Walk the Walk

The Hubby and I have long talked about wanting to find a piece of land and grow our own food.  Veggies galore, of course, but also meat.  We love the idea of knowing where our food came from, how it lived and what went into it.  I already garden organically, I do not use chemical fertilizers or pesticides.  Taking this a step further we took on chicken keeping.  We absolutely love the beautiful and delicious eggs the hens supply for us.  In our decision to keep chickens we agree we are not keeping them as pets, which means, we treat at home as best we can, should someone need aid, but, rushing a chicken to the vet is not part of the plan. 

So when one of our beautiful Silver-Laced Wyandottes started limping, we of course began to keep an extra close eye on her.  I took to the internet to research and reach out to seasoned chicken keepers for tips and ideas.  Unfortunately, despite our best attempts, our hen just kept getting worse until eventually her left leg became completely useless. She was a larger hen who just could not support her weight on one leg.  With each passing day the hope of her recovering any sort of quality of life was growing thinner. Then the previous owner reached out to me, we messaged back and forth about the hen and the choice we were facing.  It was then that I realized I was dragging this birds life out because I felt awful for failing her and her previous owner so quickly after adopting the flock from her and her family.  Once I knew she felt as we did, I knew we could cull this hen and release her from the stagnant life she was now living. After a quick chat with our Kiddo, the 3 of us agreed, now was the time, let’s do this.

I promise not to go into any of the gory details, no one needs to know all that stuff so rest assured you can safely continue reading..

The Hubs and I have talked the talk plenty, we had even been called out on it.  “You’ll never be able to do it”  Yep, we heard that one. To be honest, I wasn’t really sure we (I) could.  But if we are going to be serious about working toward a future that has us on a few acres raising our own food, we had better start walking the walk.  We had a plan in place, the Hubs does the deed, the Kiddo and I handle the processing.  We had done research and figured out the most humane way to accomplish the task. So, with a little liquid courage, after all the other birds had gone to roost (no need to share the experience with them) we set about getting this done and over with.  It was fast, I shed some tears and then the kiddo and I processed her.  Emotionally the processing was the easy part. 

We have the hen all cleaned and brined and in the freezer, we will eat this hen as we are certain she was injured, not ill.  We are actually kind of excited to cook her up and see what a free-range, grass-fed chicken tastes like. For all the doubters out there, we have talked plenty of the talk, and now we have begun to walk the walk toward the life we so desperately crave.

Thank you Isabelle for your wonderful eggs and now the opportunity to feed my family a hormone, antibiotic, & chemical free chicken.  That is the greatest gift.Isi

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