Unfortunately, Big Onion and I only have so much time. We found that we were putting off and dreading processing days. They ate up hours of our rare and valuable weekends together. Time that could be spent on projects to improve the farm. They also left us drained both mentally and physically.
We are very lucky to have a facility just the next town over that specializes in processing ducks and chickens. We have been buying some of our duck parts from there to make our raw ground duck pet food for over a year now. We have a very good relationship with the people who run this facility, and they were kind enough to give me a tour and walk me through every step of the process. The facility is immaculately clean and all processing is done under the constant supervision of a USDA inspector to ensure not only that proper procedure and food handling rules are enforced, but also that the welfare and safety of the animals is kept a high priority.
We were able to pick up beautifully packaged, vacuum sealed bird two days later that we didn't have to pluck ourselves (that's the best part!). We ate one ourselves, the dogs got the few older birds, and a some of our regular egg customers snapped up the rest!