This past week was full of excitement, nervous anticipation, hard work and relief. I am happy to say that we made it through our first on- farm chicken processing day. Let me first say that if you have ever complained at the prices farmers charge for their products then you have never walked in their shoes. When I think back to the day we placed 100 tiny, fluffy, yellow chicks in the brooder and checked on them constantly making sure they had food, water and warmth , then all of the HOT days that we sprayed the chickens down with cool water while they were on pasture to make sure none died from heat induced heart attacks, the prices farmers charge doesn’t even come close to the work it takes to raise healthy food. We were very fortunate to have so many friends come out and offer their helping hands. We were blessed to have the help of a friend who has been raising and processing pastured chickens for many years show us the humane way to process our chickens. Everyone that came out to help jumped right in and helped us get the job done. From the first bird in the kill cone to the last bird placed in the chill tank, we finished in just a little over three hours.
I have always had respect for the food we eat but I have a whole new perspective. When you have nurtured something that is dependent on you for food and protection and have given it the best life possible, then you choose to take the life of that animal so that your family as well as other families will have healthy food, there is a whole other level of respect that is established. Nothing can be wasted! When a society becomes so disconnected from where their food comes from that society ends up being wasteful. We did our part as “Caretakers of Creation” (a.k.a farmers) and the chickens did their part. Now as consumers we have to do our part. If you live near us we would love for you to purchase from us. If not, then seek out a farmer that shares our beliefs in the way animals are raised and slaughtered and purchase from them. Most importantly, don’t be wasteful. Food doesn’t just appear.
We are already making plans for our next batch of chickens that we will be raising this fall ( it is too hot for the chickens to be on pasture in July and August). It is hard work but most things in life that are worth anything take a lot of work.