This blog is about our travels in our solar powered "Airstream" and living off grid, in our passive solar home, near Bancroft, Ontario, Canada.

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Thursday 22 August 2013


Yesterday we worked all day plucking, cleaning and freezing our chickens. In total we now have seventeen birds in the freezer for the winter. Thanks to Paul's help everything went very smoothly although it took much longer than we expected.

First step was the killing cone. That was my job and it was much more humane than what I saw when my dad bought chickens.

Paul did the plucking after dipping the birds for about a minute in boiling water. Surprisingly the feathers came off remarkably easy. I remember my grandmother having to take a burning newspaper to singe the birds and remove the pin feathers. 

Mary looked after the final cleaning and preparation for the freezer. We hooked up a garden hose so she had fresh water readily available.

This shot shows our work area, very efficient and comfortable. Next year we will set up two shelters so everyone can work in the shade.

We decided to locate our freezer on the front porch. Having it outside in the winter when our energy supply is low means our batteries will not be used to keep the freezer running, mother nature will supply the cold temperatures. In the summer we have excess power and using the freezer will not put an undue burden on our system.

Seventeen birds ready for winter consumption. The average weight is about 5 lbs. I will let you know how they taste  when we try one on the BBQ later today.

6:30 p.m. Update

For lunch Mary made chicken soup from the necks and the soup was delicious. With homemade soup we can control the amount of salt used which is important to me.

For supper we BBQ a 1/2 chicken. Very tender, delicious good taste and texture. We are very happy with our first samplings and if this continues we will definitely be doing meat birds again in the spring.

If you have any questions just send them in the comment section and we will be glad to reply.

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. It certainly didnt take too long for those birds to get big! From the pictures, you guys look like pros dressing these birds. Great job! I like the idea about putting the freezer outside and save energy in the winter!

  2. We used to vacuum pack our birds for the freezer. Used the shop vac. Prevented freezer burn.

  3. Thanks Welcome for the comments. I like the idea of vacuum sealing the bags. May try that next time we do birds.

  4. I can see you now stepping through the ranks to become a colonel in no time ;)