If I had any remaining questions about my existence as a "real" farmer... those were put to rest last Friday. The day after Thanksgiving was spent here on the farm with my husband and a friend, processing chickens. You see, we have never butchered a chicken before. So many of my customers have asked us to raise real chicken meat for sale. I can raise the meat chickens, but in order to sell the meat I would have to drive them to the nearest federally-inspected facility to have them butchered (5 hour drive each way), or..... butcher & process them here on the farm for sale.
So we had a friend who grew up on a farm come over and teach us. Overall, it was a pretty simple procedure, although since it was the first time for all of us it took a very long time. I do feel it was done in the most humane way possible - we care for these chickens every day and wanted their ending to be quick and painless. And it was.
The 10 chickens we processed are now in the freezer.... it may be awhile before we feel up to actually eating any of them, but I'm sure we'll get over that soon enough.... just like we were able to get past the fear of processing them ourselves.
Next year will be a great year - we'll be raising pastured poultry for our customers - Chicken & Turkey! And if all goes as planned, they will never leave our farm their entire lives. They'll live out their days eating pasture, organic garden produce, and organic grain - while outdoors and never caged or treated inhumanely. They'll meet their end by our hands in as humane a manner as possible.
If one cares for animals, but still wants to eat meat.... isn't this the way it should go?
You can visit our farm's web site at www.WishfulAcresFarm.com