Sunday, September 20, 2009


Chickens,Chickens,Chickens!I am sick of chickens!OK,not our sweet little laying flock.The driving me crazy,rebellious,teenage offspring of the girls!

We had an abundance of baby chickens this year,at one time we had about 40 hatch out in a 3 week period of time!We have got some broody girls!Especially those Bannies!What they lack in size they make up for in sittin' power!
Our chickens have a huge yard,water,tons of grass and bugs.Are these ungrateful chicken teens content?Nooooo....they spend all their energy getting out of the yard and scratching up my flowerbeds and garden.So how do we deal with this rebellious teen chicken attitude you may ask.I will tell you how we deal with it...CHOP CHOP with their heads!
Yes folks, it is that time of year.How do I select who is to get whacked for the day,whoever is out of the chicken yard!Not that it matters,they are all going to get it eventually,but it gives me a little satisfaction to take over to the choppin' block the ones who just scratched up a half flat of pansies or seedlings in the garden.

The Boy and me will try and do 2 or 3 a day,in the morning when it is cool, until they are all done.The Boy is obsessed with knives,he uses the excuse that we "process" our own chickens and rabbits as a reason to buy every knife he sees!If Hubby was home we would do quite a few more a day.We have a good system.I kill 'em and the Boy's will gut them and skin them or I will pluck them depending on how I am going to put them up.These are going to be canned,so they will get skinned.I will make broth from their bones and can that also.The dogs will then get the bones after that and we feed the guts to the catfish in the pond.All we waste is feathers!
I guess that goes pretty good with the "use it up" motto!I make light of processing our chickens but we take seriously what it means to raise our own food.They have a very good life right up to the end.Fresh air,sunshine,grass,bugs,freedom,well...freedom to stay in their yard anyway!
I really like to can chicken and broth.This is country convenience food!It is so easy to pop open a jar of chicken and throw together a casserole or pot of soup.I know where it came from,how it was raised,and what is in it.Plus being in a jar I don't have to worry about the chemicals leeching from the plastic linings of cans into our food.
Yes,it is extra work.Is it worth it?Yes!
Not only for health reasons,but it keeps us connected in some way to the earth,to life and what it means to be human.Living,growing and dying they're all part of the balance.The more we become a convenience society the more we loose sight of the balance we need to maintain,we loose respect for the soil and water and pollute it.We loose respect for the lives of the animals that give their own lives to feed us with inhumane chicken houses and feed lots and growth hormones.It is sad, so many people have gotten so far away from life,and really life it what these basic things are,they no longer care how their food became food as long as it is microwaveable and cheap.That is when it gets dangerous.People that are clueless,mindlessly consuming,using up without appreciation of what it really cost.
When we tell folks that we raise our own food they are shocked and amazed.I can't figure out why.Everyday you hear stories about how our food is toxic and the chemicals are making us sick.I can't figure out why we aren't the norm!Why people,for the most part, are still blindly consuming what amounts to poison and worse yet feeding it to their children!Rebel people,rebel!
See,I have gotten up on my soap box again!I just want to grab people by the shoulders and shake them,"Wake up!"
So, yes,we kill and eat our chickens.Do I have a problem with it or feel bad?No.Was it hard the first time?Yes,a little and it should have been.
I will enjoy my chicken soup this winter with a sense of satisfaction and a knowing that we did things right and a satisfaction in the fact that no chickens are scratchin' up my flower beds as I eat it!


Pricilla said...

I can my broth. This is the first year we have done chickens. Is the canned meat good? We froze ours. All 35 of them. But they do take a lot of space in the freezer...
hmmm. Something to think about. I have 36 quarts of stock now with bones for at least that much more in the freezer. It is work but you are right it really does taste better.

Melodie said...

Yes,we like the canned chicken.I try to freeze as little as possible because if we get a hurricane we could loose power for weeks.It is heart breaking to loose a freezer full of food,especially when you put some much work into raising it yourself!

Julia said...

You have summed this up so well! I love it. While we dont have as many chickens as you we have enough for eggs. And this spring we put 12 chickens in the freezer for future use. If we isolate a few of our ladies maybe we can get a bunch of teens like you. But we had to lock up the flock when our vegetable garden was planted. THEY ARE LITTLE ROTOTILLERS!!!!

Melodie said...

I know what you mean!Last year the chickens ate all my winter garden before I figured out what was happening.They were sneaky about it!