Sunday, November 14, 2010

Turkey Weekend

So, I processed my first turkey of the season. He was injured, everyone was picking on him, and with 100 new baby chicks arriving this week, there would be no room for him in the brooder (aka "the hospital box"). So we took care of him this weekend.

I thought - easy - 30 minutes. Kill him, gut him, skin him, and put him through the meat grinder. (then cry about killing a bird)

Well, it hasn't been that kind of week for me. We had no sharp knives, I had to use a cleaver. He processed out at 28 pounds, so he was a big boy. And he wouldn't fit in a turkey cone. So we had to sit on him so he wouldn't break his wings in that last jerk, or break our faces! Needless to say, he didn't go down easy.

And then after he did, he was quite a bit of a bird to manage. I gutted him just fine, but that skin did not want to come off. And no, I didn't want to fire up the scalder for one dang bird, so I skinned him instead of trying to pluck him dry.

Then I decided to get moving on the meat grinder (because I cannot eat a 28 pound turkey by myself) and I forgot how awful our meat grinder is. So I go through one leg, and one breast and put the stinker back in the fridge. Tonight, I will cut off his other breast, and make some dinner for me and my nugget. Then, if I have the time and patience, the rest will go through the grinder, or heaven forgive me, I may just feed him to the dogs. It's been that kind of week.

And I have one more to go. Next weekend we process ALL the turkeys. I believe I am now at about 32 reservations for birds. I have 65+ in the barn (and at a minimum, I want to keep 13 of them) So that leaves me with 50+ to process in 3 days. That's doable.

I have extra large turkey cones on order so that we don't have to sit on anyone. I have a crew of volunteers coming to help me process. It's going to be a great weekend.

But I have to get through ONE more week of being a single mom on the farm. It's wearing me out.

So the good things that have happened in the past week?
I have a great kid and a great puppy, and 3 great dogs and 3 great cats. So that's awesome.
I finished weatherproofing the chicken house
I got a Sheep Transport System built
I got firewood delivered
I fixed the fireplace
I got the brooder set up in the barn for the new chicks
I finished 3 batches of yummy new ice cream flavors
I "fixed" a section of fence that was pretty sketchy
I spent time with my nugget
I planted 2 trees and two hazelnut bushes

The bad things that have happened?
2 baby chicks died :(
Marlow has charged me multiple times, pinning me against the truck this weekend (he has been put in detention, and I really want to eat him now)
The barn almost burned down - the sheep knocked down a heat lamp into the straw, and the turkeys flicked the light switch that turned it on!
The turkeys wandered up the street (I wonder if I lost any?)
Did I mention that Marlow keeps charging me?
Athena got in a fight with the neighbor's dog, and stopped eating (until I bought her some canned food)
We've had some rough days, and my nugget and I just need some sleep!

So I have 6 days to go. Tues-Wed working, Thursday getting the farm ready for processing, Friday, Saturday and Sunday processing - and then Sunday night, Mr. Referee finally comes home AFTER the hard work is all done. Boo Hiss!!