20 November 2015

Cull cockerel harvest

OK, I was able to keep to my self-imposed work schedule for this first stretch of cooler weather, and slaughtered the eight remaining cull cockerels through the week, plus Uno the full capon this morning for Thanksgiving Day dinner.  Of the eight cockerels, two are big and meaty enough to roast whole, Brother, Feyd's larger cross-breed son and one of the Ameracauna cockerels from Luanne.  So, six went into jars: seven quarts of stock (two with a bunch of carcass meat for casseroles) and eight pints of meat.  I'll get pictures later on, as I am waiting for the quarts of stock to cool enough to open the pressure canner and check how many sealed.

The pints of meat canned up SO beautifully!  All I added to them was 1/4 teaspoon of canning salt, and each one ended up with rich golden liquid from the meat - canned in its "natural juices" as the grocery store label would read.

As I hoped, Brother had his sire's big meaty breasts.  He also had nicely fleshed leg quarters, and he'll be frozen whole along with the largest of the Ameracauna cockerels.  Meanwhile, Uno came out not only meaty, but with large deposits of rich golden-yellow fat, not only under his skin but in the abdominal cavity.  I tried to save as much of that as I could, and hubby held open a quart sized zip bag while admiring it as I put it in.  I am trying to decide if I want to render it first, or use it "raw" for making pot pie crust.  I'll need to get a new scale to weigh Uno's whole carcass - he is certainly more than five pounds (the limit on my postal scale).  I'd also like to get weights on Brother and the Am cockerel.  Especially Brother, since he was only five months old.

I am definitely looking forward with eager anticipation to next year's capon batch, from my Wyandotte sires: Feyd, Azar, Tiny, and even Spikey (over whatever remaining red broiler pullets and Feyd's daughters).  This morning's slaughter of my first full capon made all the efforts and slips worth it.

Full speed ahead, as I work towards the goal of consistently producing twelve pound capons!

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