A week ago, we started sending our meat birds to freezer camp. We raise Cornish Giants (which is the Canadian equivalent of Cornish Cross) and these birds are bred to gain weight fast. We got them as chicks and 8 weeks later they were ready to be slaughtered. However, Graham wasn’t able to be here when we hit the 8 week mark, so I kept on feeding the birds for what ended up being an extra 3 weeks. I did cut back on their daily feed, as I didn’t want to lose any to heart attacks which can happen because they gain weight so quickly.
So at 11 weeks ago, we were finally able to get started. We did the butchering over two days, which was great. In the mornings, it was still nice and cool without a lot of bugs flying around. Since we do most of our processing down at the barn, we need to pay attention to things like the weather and the bugs.
Our largest bird this year came in at 9 pounds, completely dressed out! Amazing – we got several that weighed 8 1/2 pounds. Our smallest was 5 1/2 pounds. We’re happy with the “harvest” and it’s great to see a freezer full of meat again.
We kept a few birds whole and froze them, so we can use them as roasters this winter. We parted out a lot of the birds as well, and ended up with many of the breasts weighing 2 pounds! Astounding – each side of the breast weighed just over 1 pound. It’s easy to mistake these chicken pieces for turkey.
Friends came for dinner and we enjoyed our first taste of homegrown chicken and it was delicious.