Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Butchering days

There is a feeling of satisfaction when one completes a task and can cross it off the
to-do list.
Some jobs warrant a greater sense of satisfaction - difficult jobs, jobs I don't enjoy, jobs that take a long time to complete ...
Such was the case today when I could stroke off the list the most unpleasant & least looked forward to chore on the entire farm, one that I had been putting off for several weeks - butchering chickens.

Those cute little balls of fluff that arrived on the farm as day-olds back in June

were now not so cute, much larger birds eating us out of house & home. The grass in their fenced run was gone and the only produce left for them to eat was softening squash & leftover pumpkins.

The old hens in the chicken tractor were slowing down their egg laying and looking slightly cold on these chilly mornings.

(obviously this picture was taken back in summer)

It was time to take action!
Actually I started last week when I spent 2 mornings butchering and today I finished.
Twenty-six chickens in total. (and that's all I'll say about the process - neither will I post any pictures!)

Seven hens are left. They will live quite comfortably in the henhouse for the winter, wandering outside on sunny days, eating their chicken food, with treats of pumpkin, squash, pears, apples & kitchen scraps. In return they will provide us with plenty of eggs for eating.

I enjoy having chickens around. I like the sound of the roosters crowing, the contented clucking as they scratch & peck at anything & everything, and the loud, raucous shrieking when the hens announce that they have laid an egg. The butchering portion I don't enjoy, but that's a part of it too - at least for me. No one else in the family will participate. They do like their chicken dinner though, and the flavour & texture of our farm raised chicken is far superior to store bought birds.

So another job is completed, crossed off the list - with satisfaction and relief!
The daily chore of providing food & water for the remaining hens is very pleasant & enjoyable - as are the fresh eggs for breakfast!

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