Wednesday, June 15, 2011

DDD take 2, cheesemaking, and other farmy updates

Duck Death Day take 2 has come and gone.  It was better than take 1 for sure but the first duck we thought for sure skinning would be better and easier than plucking....oh boy were we wrong!  We managed to salvage the breast meat out of it but not only did it take longer but we risked drying the meat out and contaminating it due to the time it took and the exposure to the feathers.  big FAIL!!  The next two we plucked and luckily our skills are getting better.  It still seemed to take forever (which is why we stopped at 3 that day) but this time they looked nicer.  They weighted just over 4.5#s a piece dressed out.  We didn't keep the organs, we just don't eat organ meat and didn't want to waste time on cleaning and keeping something we don't eat. 

The three remaining ducks seem to be on notice that they could be next.  They are next but I think we are going to have to take some rooster chicks first.  We've had our third injury (another white rock) from the chicken tractor that we use to contain the roosters and I'm thinking its probably those feisty barred rock boys.  So we've decided they are next to go to freezer camp as cornish game hen sized birds. 

My gosling is growing fast and turns out it is indeed an African Goose.  I have no idea what gender but my guess is a boy.  We've decided that since he's all along that we will butcher him for New Years.  I hate to do it but unless he proves himself useful that will be his fate. 

The turkeys appear to be mostly boys, meaning they will be some huge birds (my book says 50#s!!) by September when they turn 20 weeks old.   They've been the most interesting creatures to raise.  I really wish they weren't all broad breasted birds so we could keep a few to breed for next year.  Turkeys are definitely one we are doing again!

The goats are doing great and we are keeping steady at 5#s of milk a day.  I looked back at Kissee's milk test from this year (just one month) and last and noticed that this spring she only started out on average producing about 6lbs so producing 5lbs now is about right really.  Here I thought we were doing something wrong all this time but I think we had expectations of something different than the actual facts.

I've been making cheeses, my goal being one soft cheese and one hard or semifirm cheese every week.  Today is yogurt cheese and Mizithra.  Last week it was stirred curd cheddar and Fromage Blanc.  The week prior it was Queso Fresco and Chevre.  We do a pretty good job of using and eating all of the cheese and drinking all of the milk.  I've yet to throw any out for going bad.  I have given a quart or half gallon away here and there but nothing to really account for.  I have the plans and materials to make a cheese press, they have been sitting on my kitchen counter for a week in hopes that my husband will make it for me.  He's been so busy though I may have to do it myself.  This should be interesting.

1 comment:

  1. I'm happy to read DDD Take 2 went better than the first round!