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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Chickens

OK many updates to come, I have so much to blog about on the farm here, so little time.  But now it is time to slow down.  I don't enjoy being on the go so much, I have one very social child and one that is more social than I, so finding that gentle balance, where everyone is happy, can sometimes be tricky.  Sometimes I get caught up in the whirlwind before I know what happened. 

Anyway, things are coming along so nicely here, after a slow start. 

All the roosters are "taken care of".  We ordered chicks from McMurray Hatchery, great company, last year and we ordered 25.  With that purchase you have the option of a "Free" chicken.  I unchecked the box for the free chick, as I know you usually get a rooster, and I did not want a rooster.  But I got the free one anyway, and yes it was a rooster.  OK I can handle one rooster.  We then (July last year) adopted some chicks from a friend that was moving.  Great, MORE eggs.  Well she didn't have the number of  hens she thought she had.  What she had were 8 roosters, LOL.  YES 8.  And a few hens.

We knew the roosters were not staying, I have one son and a husband that eat meat, so the roosters would make great soup for them.  And knowing where the roosters came from, how they were treated, what they ate, that they were not vaccinated, and how they died, somehow feels more peaceful.  Like I am feeding my son, good~happy meat.  If he is going to eat meat, I want it to be the best I can give him, yes I am that mom.

I have not slaughtered chickens in many years, since I was a child.  Not sure if I could do it.  I saged the area, and offered a message of thanks to the chicken for nourishing my son.  I could NOT even watch the rooster be killed.  I know it is quick, but I couldn't watch and I cried.  Jackson, dh, had to do this part.  He didn't mind at all.  But it was just too much for me.  Once it was dead I could process the bird, it somehow seemed different with all the life gone.  So dipping and plucking and ...well you know what all comes next, you know what chickens look like in real life and what you buy in the store, I could help with all of that. 

We processed I think three roosters a few months ago, and were waiting for the rest to get a bit bigger, so we waited until just a couple of weeks ago to process the rest.  I now have a freezer full of meat for soups. As well as happy hens that are giving us lots of eggs.  We also purchased a chicken plucker.  That made the process go so much quicker.  Although hand plucking isn't that bad, it does take time. 

Here is a picture of the first rooster we processed:

And here is Jackson:


The soup that Phil loves:

And here is the plucker:
Now Phil wants to raise his own chickens for food, so we have ordered some chicks, due to arrive mid-month.  And we will have some extras to sell to friends.  We will see where this takes us. 

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