Everyone deserves to have a witness to their life. Someone who sees what you’re going through, understands your story, can sympathize with you, draw attention to your needs if you are unable to do so, or simply be there with you when things are difficult. Our farm has its own witness; two really, but one who really keeps an eye on what’s going down.
I’m talking about the geese – more specifically Octave. He’s always right there when new things are happening, if we’re moving chickens around, getting new chickens in, or – disturbingly – when we’re butchering, he watches us the entire time. He gives a honk as I bring the next chicken over to the cones, and he watches as they pass. I like to think he is acting as a witness for these chickens. Saying goodbye. I’m sure I’m anthropomorphising a bit, but he stays in his spot all through out the process. At one point yesterday, Sue took them some broccoli to munch on and he did move to the pool, but was right back under the mulberry tree with an eye on us as soon as he was finished. In a way, it’s a bit comforting. In a way, it creeps me out. It’s my guilty conscience, I suppose.
So, as you may be able to tell, we did our processing yesterday. 17 chickens in all – they ranged in size from 3.81 lbs to 6.62 lbs. We started at 8:15 a.m. and we completely finished and cleaned up by 7:15 p.m, with time out for a late lunch, chores, and then putting the chickens away. Long, busy, difficult day – but we did it.
I talk a lot about “pasture raised” chickens and some people say “isn’t that cage free?” But they are not the same. I came across this image from RealFarmacy.com that rather graphically depicts the difference. OK, I realize that our pasture is never this green and that our chickens have to stay behind an electrified fence for their own safety… but we do move them around a lot and they cover some ground in a given year. The meat birds don’t move around that much themselves, but they still get to be on grass and eat grasshoppers and roam as much as they will. They really enjoyed being under the apple, walnut and pomegranate trees. Their life was good and we thank God for giving us these chickens to nourish us, our families, our friends, and those in need.
I forgot to take the obligatory photo of the fridge stuffed with chickens, we were pooped by the end of the day. Our freezer is so full right now that we had to farm chickens out to the freezer in the dinky house and to our friend Nicole, who also has a deep freezer. I think we ended up being able to fit 6 in our fridge. Our neighbors above us purchased one fresh, before it was frozen, we donated one to a family in need and then had to home 9 remaining. Not bad, really.
That is the report on the Labor Day processing. Today we were trying to do as little as possible, yet we still took down the electric fence that was around the meat birds, fixed the Green House so we could move Maeve and Baby (the free chicken that came with this last batch of meat birds) into it and make room for the Banty chicks that will be here this Thursday, Sue put up snake deterrent in the Green House – just in case, and we distributed roaster chickens hither and yon. [Just a side note: Maeve is one of the birds that came with me from California. She is a pluck banty chicken that is smaller than anyone else around. We use her to teach the new chickens how to get along. Baby needed to learn how to scratch for feed, and how to get up on a roost for the night. Later Maeve will teach her how to not get picked on by the bigger hens. Thought I’d share this little tidbit.] That was about it today. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? Never a dull moment around here, check in with us on Thursday. Until then, as always~
Thanks for reading!
Today’s Weather: It was another warm day here in the Sky Islands; 94°. Currently, at 8:09 p.m., it is 76° with 52% humidity, zero chance of rain (although we had a bit of a rain around 2:30), winds are North North East at 4mph, barometric pressure is 29.81 inHg. Sunrise today was at 5:56 and sunset was 6:39.
Egg Report: Sunday – 30 chicken, 2 duck. Monday – 29 chicken, 2 duck. Tuesday – 24 chicken, 1 duck.
Fun Photo: Our fun photo today is from our friend Janet. Awhile ago I mentioned that she was being stationed in San Antonio, Tx; last month, the whole family moved and we miss them terribly. I guess she missed our eggs just as much, because when her husband Jeffrey came back to pick up one of the vehicles they had to leave behind during the move, he asked me for as many eggs as I could manage. I think we ended up getting them 3 1/2 dozen various egg types. Janet sent me this photo and text after Jeffrey arrived back home. I love it!