Welcome to Painted Hand Farm

Painted Hand Farm is a 20 acre Civil War era farm located in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. We raise meat goats, veal calves, turkeys and organic vegetables using humane and sustainable agricultural practices.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Never Again

Talk about an exercise in futility! Somewhere along the line, I had the bright idea to process all the excess Muscovy ducks milling about at Keswick Creamery instead of having them sent off to the local auction house. They could sell them at the farmers markets in DC. What a great idea.

The first butcher date for the ducks found me flat on my back with a nasty bout of food-borne illness (I thought that tuna roll tasted funny) combined with freezing rain. So a week later, I picked up the processing equipment and headed over to the farm where all hands were on deck for a day of processing.

The plan was to do the excess roosters for stew chickens first and then add the "secret sauce" (vinegar, dish soap & baking soda) to the water in the scalder to do the ducks. You see, since ducks live in the water, their feathers and skin contain much more oil & fats than chickens do making them much harder to process. Much, much harder.

Although we had close to two dozen ducks to process, we gave it up after only six ducks. What a MESS! The only way to effectively get the feathers off of them was by using paraffin wax--basically giving them Brazilian--totally not worth the effort.

So, from now on the ducks will either end up at the auction house or they can get hauled down to Lancaster County where there's a professional processor. Fortunately, Mark had some Troegs' Mad Elf Ale to numb the agony of defeat.


  1. Oh, I know I wasn't supposed to laugh but between the picture and the mention of giving dead ducks a Brazilian wax, I can't help it. QUACK!

  2. i love the picture. I definately think Mad Elf would help take care of the duck processing woes. That's an awesome beer!