Sunday, June 04, 2006

Chicken processing day

Yesterday was a busy day. Roger could probably tell you more about it since I just sat in the house and held a baby (and did a few dishes and some laundry and took care of an ill 3 yr old), but he's resting right now.

We had 100 chicks we purchased when we didn't think the ones in the incubator were going to do well. I'd candled the eggs a week into it and couldn't tell if anything was happening. I did the math and figured out that if we ordered chicks from a hatchery right away, they should be ready to process about 2 weeks before the baby was due. This was important since I was the only one who could really do the eviscerating. Stephen and I made a good team, but I wasn't sure he could do it without me. I was pretty certain he wouldn't be happy about it if he could.

Then the time to process came, but the chickens weren't really big enough yet. I figured this meant we had to wait until I was ready to process them after the baby was born. I don't know how long that would be. Meanwhile, we would have to continue to feed them, water them, and take care of them. Now, baby chicks are cute, but full grown chickens aren't. They are stinky, messy creatures and we don't really like to keep them longer than necessary. Nevermind the fact that they end up costing us more money than they are worth if we have to feed them for an extra month or two!!

About 3 days after Gloria was born, on the Monday that Roger recently blogged about, the chickens were decidedly large enough to process. Figures it would happen that way. I was certainly not feeling up to processing them! But guess what. My mom had a couple of her friends from California flying in for a visit. They are all nurses and my mom figured they could do it. So my mother and her two friends spent a day of their "vacation" processing chickens at our house!! Roger and the kids showed them what to do and they just pitched in and got to work. What an incredible blessing!! I just want to publicly thank my mother, Carole, and her friends Marie and Marsha for being such good sports and helping us out! I'm praying God will give you all a special blessing for your efforts here.

We now have a half emptied tractor and a freezer FULL of chicken. (Contact Roger at orders@panivinoranch.com if you want to order some. He can answer questions. It's $1.90/lb if you come here to get it, or $2.50/lb if it's delivered. I'll try to get the webpage updated soon.)

Melissa

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