Happy February! Most years, January and February is spent huddled down, reading books and knitting and creating in the home. I really feel that quality down time in the winter energizes us for spring and summer. Winter is when we relax and play. There's not that much work to do out in the garden or barnyard; no picking, plucking or canning to be done. It's really the time of year I look forward to the most. Our flock (ducks, chickens, geese, turkeys, ducks, goats and rabbits) is smaller in the winter and they're happy to just be lazy too!
Not this year though! 4 broody hens had different plans for us when they hatched 34 chicks this past fall. Bantam chicks. Bantam chickens are great for pets or play, but they suck for an urban farmer. They're smaller then other breeds and are bred for their attractive good looks and spunky personalities, not for egg or meat production. All full sized chickens fly but as they grow, they do so less and less. They become heavier and more interested in grubs and food on the ground. Banty's never loose their ability or desire to fly. My fencing abilities are not of the best quality and it's become increasingly hard to keep our little feathered Friends from roaming the neighborhood.
So yesterday we butchered. We had 9 roos that were driving us and the neighbors bonkers so our amazing friends and neighbors came over and helped teach the kids how to butcher a chicken. This was the first time that the kids had actually taken part in butchering an animal. Jason actually delivered a mortal blow to a chicken he called "Mr. Jerky Roo". I'm so proud of Jason, Josh and Stella! And what a great way to spend a Super Bowl Sunday! While we set up the butchering areas, the kids threw the football around the front yard and loosened up for what did become an emotional event. We all expressed our thanks for these amazing (though sometimes annoying) little birds. This couldn't have been the event that it was without the care and love of our friends and neighbors. I'm so grateful that we are surrounded by such a great community!