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Friday, August 26, 2011

The Dark (and slightly uncomfortable) side of Homesteading

A skunk managed to kill all my "teen" rabbits. However, Buckets, our Staffy, killed the skunk. We thought most of the smell was off of her. However with the 100F plus, 85F in the house and her unable to do extreme heat because of her black skin and fur, she was given a cooling bath. Then she decided to lay in front of a fan and fill the house with the smell of wet, skunked, dog. I thought Medium was going to puke, and Small was a bit green.

Last night I skinned a chicken for the first time. I usually pluck as it is a habit I am comfortable with. But most of the time chicken butchering is planned out in advance. Last night it wasn't.

Missy is a good, seemingly happy pig. She gets fed all kinds of pig worthy treats. But yesterday the free ranged fryers found their way to Missy. Missy was enjoying her food as I left her, but when I stepped back outside, I found a fryer running and jumping, flapping and flipping, and Larry (rooster) feeling frisky from the scene. Blood splattered the other white fryers as they went in to attack and eat the flopping chicken. Missy was making all kinds of happy noises, and dancing about it her pen. It's the same dance she does when we move her tractor to fresh greens. She crunched away noisily on the chickens head. It was a clean decapitation though. And even if it isn't my preferred method of butchering, it still worked. The chicken had stuck her head into Missy's pen to steal the food, Missy wasn't having it, or was jonesing for some chicken skull. Either way, it was done, it was a clean fresh kill. So once the death throes finally stopped, I hung the bird and skinned it out. Decent amount of meat even though the drought and heat had stunted their growth. I am canning the meat this morning.

We finally have tomatoes growing. Throwing sheets over the plants just before the heat of the day seems to have worked. We only have a month left in the season, unless it turns out to be an Indian summer, so my fingers are crossed that the plants just explode with fruit.


Lamb said...

For some reason, the thought you planted in my head of "Missy jonesing for some chicken skull" made me laugh. Poor chicken! Thinking she was gonna get some goodies and ending up being *et*. At least it was quick!
Sorry about the bunnies. I hate skunks! Fortunately, we have very few to contend with out here. We have the joys of coyotes...not as smelly, but destructive.
If you don't have tomato juice hanging around to was down the dog, try some pine-sol. Used it once on a dog that tangled with a skunk. Got her all good and sudsy, let the suds set on her for 5 minutes or so and then rinsed. Worked pretty well and she smelled all pine-y.

Basic Humanity said...

Aw that poor chicken, what a way to go. Pretty funny though.

Sorry about the rabbits, that sucks and the skunk smell. I can't imagine how bad skunk smell is but I'm sure it's pretty awful. One of the joys of living in England is I will never face such problems. Nor coyotes. A piney smelling dog sounds like a great thing to have though. So much better than skunk, or regular dog for that matter.

mmpaints said...

Phelan, the Italians do that with the tomatoes during the heat of the summer too. I've done it a few times as well. Keeps the plants from burning up.

OMG, that bad hog! She's a hog tho, they do stuff like that. I have always skinned my birds, I'm just too lazy to pluck (or just in too much of a hurry), LOL.

J said...

Something acid-based should help with the skunk smell. Lemons or vinegar. Give her a good soak, let it sit for about ten minutes, then rinse her off.

P.S. Glad you're back.

Laura said...

Hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and detergent will neutralize the skunk smell.

lisa said...

so stoked to see that my hint of covering the tomatoes with a sheet worked for you!!! And I am italian, so that must be where I learned it,

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