Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Life on a Chicken Farm

Friends often make remarks to us about our "chicken farm." They love reading the quirky stories about our fine feathered friends that live in the back lot. Funny thing is, I never really considered it all to be a chicken farm.  That is until I received a culling set from my husband for Christmas and I was thrilled to receive it!  I guess we do have a chicken farm. It has been a slow, steady movement from 2 hens to 24 hens and a rooster.  

At first it was all about fresh eggs.  Then it was about hatching 4 clutches of eggs and experiencing the precious beauty of life bursting forth from a dormant egg. Then there was the realization that we have to do something with all the roosters we hatched. We could give them away, we could let them roam free in the wild... the decision was made and our "chicken farm" came full circle with Culling Day 2011.  

On a sunny, warm October morning I required the ultimate sacrifice from 4 roosters.  The same roosters that we marveled at when they hatched from their eggs, laughed at when they were chicks hopping after their mama and the same chickens that made us cringed when we realized the tufts on their backside were more like rooster feathers than hens, were the same chickens I led to slaughter. 

After butchering and dressing the chickens, I felt the most humane thing to do would be to honor the chickens in every way.  We saved their feathers to make ornaments out of.  We saved other feathers for fly fisherman and hair stylists. The gizzards went to nourish family dogs.  Someday we will get the guts to make broth from the feet but like I said, slow and steady, that time will come.  

The response from our family and friends that received the feather ornaments has been mixed. Most love it. Others are repulsed and others are not quite so sure.  Either way the reactions are intriguing to me.  It reminds me that we are so far removed from death. We find it easy to purchase little packages of meat but we cannot fathom eating that which we raise ourselves.  We forget that in this fallen world, sacrifices of death are required. Even seeds die to produce for us plants and those plants must die to give us herbs and salad and tea. But I digress.  The point is I am happy to acknowledge our chicken farm, honored to better understand God's marvelous creation..... but am not ready to accept the title chicken farmer. I guess that will come soon enough but for now I will file it away in the slow and steady part.


  1. I agree, we are far removed from death. Whether we eat meat or not, the death of an animal is a reminder that a sacrificed was required... and that sacrifice always reminds of Jesus who has offered that sacrifice on our behalf!!
    You are a brave and strong woman, may your family and your chickens be blessed! =)

  2. Well, Lisa stole my salient points. LOL! I was going to say that I am totally uncomfortable with the idea of slaughtering my chickens and realize it's because we hide our eyes from the ugliness of death. People spend their entire lifetimes running from the certainty of it. We can only straight to the foot of the cross. Amen, Amanda.