Monday, July 21, 2014

First Day of School

Who did you think it would be?
Good Luck Konrad!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Meat Chickens

As you heard the other day, we prepared and ate one of our own chickens. That went well, the taste and texture were acceptable, so this past Saturday we took our remaining two meat birds to a friend's farm for a butchering demonstration. After a quick farm tour we proceeded to the processing area-out back by a tree-where Regina and Leeann each slaughtered a bird. I kind of watched through the holes in between my fingers :) It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't fun either. They both said it was doable and they would do it again. So we moved quickly forward and Monday we purchased a small flock of meat chickens. They are settled in at the barn.

I plan to post several updates on their progress over the next several weeks so that Reginia and Leeann can stay abreast, pun intended!, of their progress. I will title them all Meat Chickens, so if you are not interested you can just hit delete when you see that in the subject line :)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fresh From the Farm

So this morning I am laying in bed and I hear a chicken squawking outside my window. I jump up to see what is the matter. I run to the back door, open it and there is a fox standing in the backyard staring at me with a chicken in his mouth. I yelled to Kolin "FOX!" and I rushed to grab the .22. I was at the back door when I realized that I wasn't wearing any pants. So I quickly put some pants on and rushed out barefoot, gun in hand, extra ammo in my waistband. We ran down into the neighbor's field in the direction he went but he had slipped into a thicket. We surrounded the thicket so he couldn't get away. Then Kaden came down and we sent him to the house for my shoes, Kaden's gun, and ammo for Kolin's gun. He came back with some of those items. So I left him and Kolin standing on opposite sides of the thicket and told them to make noise to keep the fox pinned down while I went for my phone to call Konrad. Konrad said he was on his way home so I got some bug spray and Kolin a shirt and headed back down to the thicket. In about 5 minutes Konrad came down with his AK-47 and a shotgun. He offered me the shotgun but I'd never shot it before so I stuck with the smaller .22. Konrad and I positioned ourselves on opposite sides of the thicket and had the boys start at the top and work their way down the thicket making noise to drive him out. They were more than three-quarters of the way down when the fox sprinted across the narrowest section of open ground. Konrad fired 3 or 4 rounds and I fired once, knowing well I wouldn't hit him, but not wanting to miss at least getting a shot off just in case I got lucky. Crazier things have happened, right? We searched some more but didn't find the fox dead or alive, so we don't know if we hit him or not. I'm guessing not.

I took notice that when the fox ran he did not have my chicken in his mouth. So I knew my chicken was in that thicket somewhere and I was now on a mission to find it. I found a few feathers at the edge so I followed them in and every few feet I would find more feathers. I crawled around and under things and finally spotted the dead chicken. So I picked it up by the feet and carried it home.

I realized on the way home that this was one of the meat chickens that I had hatched almost 14 weeks ago. Then I remembered that we were planning on butchering them this weekend. When I say 'we' I mean my friends. You see, the deal is, I raise the chickens and they process them. So I called up one of the friends, Regina, and told her about the situation and she said she could come right away. I'm sitting by the fire pit pulling feathers out of the chicken when Regina arrives. We talked it over and decided to skin it instead. I gathered some knives and she went to work. Pretty soon we were ready to take the bird into the kitchen.

We proceeded to clean the bird and trim a little more and then made some fresh chicken soup and chicken stock. So for lunch today we ate chicken soup from a chicken butchered less than 4 hours earlier! That's what you call fresh from the farm!