Saturday, July 3, 2010

the harvest has begun

Yesterday I took the first batch of broilers to be "harvested." I had such a pit in my stomach and in no way looked forward to this. They had been let out of their coop to forage and be chickens for week (after being weaned off the heat lamp) and they all knew the drill when I'd show up. They'd congregate at the opening of the door climbing over one another and pushing their way to the front in hopes they'd be the first one out. I'd call to them and they followed me to the pasture, and there they'd spend the day, eating, sleeping, scratching, pecking, feeling (gentle) rain showers, sunshine and wind. They'd dust themselves in a dirt bath nearly every day and were content, happy. Yesterday when I went to put them in the crates to take them to the butcher it was completely different. The only thing I can think of to describe it is what I would think a soldier headed off to battle must look like. Knowing full well he/she may not return but boldly and bravely forging ahead. They stood there quietly not running to the door but let me pick up each one and place it in the crate without a fight. It was very peaceful. I sincerely hope that they had a good life here are From the Country Farm and only had one bad day. The hard part was over quickly and as humanely as that can be and afterward I went to Mom's house to prepare them for the freezer. She has a fancy Kangen machine that makes great water, so we washed off the birds in that and packed them up for the freezer.
patting the birds dry
Mom and I bagging them up.
As difficult as this day was, it was rewarding in a sense as well. Knowing the birds I raised will nourish my husband and will be so much healthier for him made it worth the pit in my stomach.
*Faith took these pictures.

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So what's the view from your world about that? I'd enjoy hearing it.