“The Chicken Crossing” a reflection (part two)


20161019_07485920161019_0750012016-10-09-21-09-39_resizedOne of the meat birds habituated with the Australian hens. She now thinks she is one of them and so do we. 


The other day my husband thought someone was at the door. He heard a faint tap, rap, tap. He opened the door and there was no one there.

“I am down here.”

It was one of our many, and one of our many, many, chickens. They are crossing new thresholds. They are indeed “crossing the road.” And why, you might ask, are the chickens crossing the road?  I have the answer for you and it’s not very funny, so never mind it.

Looking out my patio doors this cool, October morning, I see them pecking at some cucumber plants, conversing while taking a turn about the south garden. One here, one there, one just about everywhere.

Our baby has become afraid of going outside without someone right next to her to shoo the chickens away. Most of the chickens are where they should be-in our makeshift chicken tractor next to the strawberry garden. I wish we would have butchered them while it was warmer, but there is no going back to warmer around here.

The positives when we finally harvest them are manifold:

1. We will not have to buy anymore chicken feed.

2. The girls’ chicken chores will be finished.

3. Our freezer will be full of seventy free range chickens.

It’s a big win-win, really. Come on now, I’m trying to get pumped! Come on, get pumped, old me.

Estimated from our last year’s harvest, it takes us about seven minutes a bird, from catching the chicken to plucking out its last feather. Not anyone’s most favorite seven minutes, but a character building seven minutes, nonetheless. We have about seventy birds on our to do list. So seventy times seven equals some sort of biblical proportion that is causing me to procrastinate so much this year.

I can not wait to have this chore, finished, slashed, chucked, scratched off the list. The pain of procrastination I feel looking out at them and knowing that we just need to hunker down to a whole day of hating life, getting shot in the face with chicken feathers and other chicken things, is starting to wear on me as I sit knitting, drinking tea, and perusing online fabric stores.

Can’t I just always do pleasant things? My husband said I could, and that I do in fact do them a lot of the time, but it might not make me happy. I don’t know. I think I am perfectly happy carrying on this way, but I might need some chocolate and a pair of blinders for those patio door windows.

Maybe we can keep seventy chickens as pets?

“Never mind…. Tea and chocolate, I’ll be right back.”

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Click to read: How We Harvest Chickens-A Tutorial


Posted on Categories On the Farm, Uncategorized

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