Friday, January 18, 2013

What came first?

As we have pressed a bit to be more self-sustaining to prepare for our future, this summer, we ventured into the world of chickens and eggs. You might remember the day we got our chicks?


Anyone remember this list of skills to learn before departure?

So, we’ve had chickens. It’s been a Jon project and he involved the girls when he could. (Much like the garden).

Apparently, I am not very good at actually doing the “homesteading”.  Thank goodness for Jon!

I did love the eggs.


And the independent feeling I had when carrying a skirt full of them! I know, how very Laura Ingalls Wilder of me, right?

This summer, a few of our roaster chickens…err…roasted in this heat so our flock was down in size a bit. We still had lots of eggs, way more than we could eat.  Grandma even started to scramble them for our cat. (Toodles can have whatever she wants, she is a saint kitty).

We have been traveling a lot and before our next long trip, Jon decided it is time to minimize the flock. We sold some and with the rest, Jon learned to butcher.

He told the girls he was going to harvest the chickens. Little A told him, “That’s gross” while Little J said, “That’s sad”. Jon explained that we like to eat chicken and this is how you get chicken for food.  Little A assured us she likes eggs more than chickens. Needless to say, The Littles did not help harvest the chickens.

chicken harvest 026 

chicken harvest 044

Our ingenious amigo, Ralphie, taught Jon the basics of chicken butchering.

chicken harvest 047 

Grossed out yet? So am I. Squeamish just blogging about it. Needless to say, I DID NOT help harvest chickens.

chicken harvest 050

Jon came home so excited about what he had learned but mostly amazed at what he saw in the chickens. This had never occurred to me before, but in each chicken, there are eggs forming in many stages. I thought that a chicken had an egg a day, so each day, an egg was developed and dropped.

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

It’s solved, the chicken! :)

chicken harvest 060

These are all eggs in different stages of development. 

That’s kind of awesome. I love how creation continually points to a great creator!

Come April, we are enrolled at Ploughshare Institute in Texas for a three day course covering the basics in:

  • organic gardening
  • orchards
  • vineyards
  • poultry
  • beekeeping
  • culinary herbs
  • dairy animals
  • fencing, barns & sheds
  • water supply
  • One day, I am going to miss class to attend another training-“Soft Cheese Making”.

    Are you laughing yet?

    Seriously. You can just call me Laura Ingalls (let’s just ignore the fact I still haven’t learned to sew or drive a stick, I still have a few months, right?)


    L, Ann and boys said...

    I think this is great! :) I was smiling but not laughing. Knowing were food comes from is quite "chick" (pun intended) right now. So keep your head up girl friend. ;) Good luck with the stick too.

    Tifani Leman said...

    the egg thing is REALLY cool

    Anonymous said...

    Hey Amy~

    Just curious where in Texas you'll be at while at the Ploughshare Institute. I looked it up and saw there was one in Waco, but I wasn't sure if that's where you would be or if there was another one that I missed. We're always looking for opportunities to get together with friends and family if it works out.

    I really enjoyed this post... especially the part about egg developement.

    Myra Beer

    erica said...

    Shana decided to raise chickens this year, too, and much to my dismay we found out that our local butcher shop stopped butchering chickens to get ready for deer season a couple of weeks before we needed their services. Ack! We had to learn to butcher them ourselves - my job was plucking them - and let's just say it gave me a brand new appreciation for chicken butchers! And missionaries! I couldn't eat chicken for a few weeks after...... :)

    Jess said...

    This might be my favorite post of all guys are amazing! Hey, at least you learned how to live without a disposal at good old Marsteller. : )

    smw said...

    that is SO interesting about the eggs. and i would feel sort of cool collecting eggs in my skirt, too. and all those homesteader classes sound awesome!! how fun! :)

    Todd ~ Teresa said...

    What would the Fiechter Farms do without Ralphie? He seems to know how to do a wide variety of things. This is a great post. I'm with the other commenters on the egg development. I love visuals, so of course the picture of the eggs is neat.

    T and M said...

    Those homesteading classes sound really cool! I get the squeamishness re the chix. And to think, back in the good old days it would've been the wifey's job to pluck the chickens (& butcher the deer, which is what's happened around our place lately). Thank goodness for our men!