I learned how to butcher rabbits when I was in 7th grade, first with my sister and later with a professional butcher. I have worked in 3 college campus processing facilities and I have processed several species of animals. I am by no means a professional myself, but sometimes that’s a good thing. My techniques are the same, but my facility is open air and basic. We process animals in the big barn. Sparing the gory details – we use only the sharpest knives and the most humane techniques to ensure our animals are not stressed, fearful, or inhumanely treated as their life comes to an end. I am a realist, yes we are processing animals, but I believe the way we treat them the whole time they are alive is reflective of one’s character.
Many farmers and rural Americans process their own animals, be it beef cows, hogs, or like us, poultry. Everyone has their personal beliefs and we respect those who choose not to eat meat. We do. And we raise our own. Our family also processes goats, bison, and rabbits.
We will be butchering the presold turkeys the weekend before Thanksgiving. (Email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about turkey availability.) We will not be inviting the public to view the processing of these birds as it is a busy day and there isn’t a whole lot of time for questions. However, this posting will be followed soon by an invitation to join us the weekend before for a demonstration/seminar about processing poultry. We will have demonstrations of processing various species of poultry including rabbits (yes, USDA classifies them as poultry legally). The class will be observing only but there will be plenty of time for questions and we will demonstrate how to cut up a whole fryer. Cutting up a fryer isn’t practiced much in America anymore as we can by boneless skinless chicken breasts in the grocery store, but if you want to purchase locally grow chicken, this is something that will come in handy in the future. Finally you’ll be able to put those poultry shears to proper use. Even if you are only cutting up fryers purchased in the grocery store, there’s a certain amount of pride from taking your food into your own hands. Not to mention the savings when you get a fryer for $.99/lb instead of $3.49 for boneless, skinless parts.
So look for that information to come. We promise to keep the class small, if it gets too large we will decide if we should hold 2 classes so everyone can see and be heard.
Gotta go check on our duck babies!