Saturday, October 31, 2009

a little bit softer now

Aaahhhhh, it is finished. the last rooster is chilling out... without its voice box. to be honest, the noise itself didn't bother me that much... i kinda got used to it. but i knew our sweet neighbors like to sleep in when they're able... and 30 minutes of cackling did not afford them that luxury. and it is QUITE bothersome in the summer when the sun starts rising at 4:30am. All this week, when I'd go to collect eggs from that pen, I'd find a hen sitting on a couple. Its a shame we couldn't give breeding one more try, but frankly, I didn't have it in me. We could have left one living, but I think we've trampled on our neighbor's good graces enough this year. We can't forget the rotten fish emulsion fertilizer episode either! We offered her a chicken as a peace offering (no pun intended), but I could tell she was a bit wigged out to eat a bird that was slaughtered next door. We get that a lot. Randy and I wonder how long we have to do this and how many birds we have to eat without ever having food poisoning before people will trust that we know what we're doing? I mean, we may not have a stainless steel slaughter table, but we also don't have to soak our meat in bleach because we blew out their instestines and embedded fecal matter into the muscle fibers. Oh well. The roosters themselves, though grand and glorious, were all feathers. The two meat bird hens that we had saved out from the last slaughterfest for breeding were almost double their size. Since we only had 7 birds to slaughter, we didn't bother borrowing the automated plucker. But hand plucking is for the birds! The feathers come out easy enough, but the hairs are awful.
So now we have all 19 layers in one pen. That pen has been nicely dressed with a new tarp and its frame reglued and tightened. The pen most of our layers were in is in dire need of repair. We need to build a whole new top. We designed it with corrogated PVC roofing as the lid, but it was always blowing open and now is cracking and splitting also. We hold it closed with a heavy 2x4 and the frame to a metal chair- VERY redneck! The slowing of grass growing in the winter means we often have to move chickens to the front yard. That pen will need some major attention before we can set it out for every neighbor to see! Our next batch of chicks will be arriving on Thursday and Friday of next week. I'll do my best to have it spruced up nice before then.

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