Friday, July 31, 2009

Oh, Chickenfeathers!

It is easiest to catch free-range chickens when they are asleep. Late Monday night, Cadence donned her headlamp and went out to gather up her victims, 20 roosters she intended to harvest the next morning. She nabbed them from their roostes and gently closed them into the rabbit hutch and they barely even stirred.

The next morning she went to work. Cadence is very organized and meticulous. She slaughtered and butchered 4 chickens. She worked steadily but it took 3 hours. Despite using a chicken plucker. And we have 200 roosters to harvest this summer. So now she is reconsidering the idea of having the chickens commercially processed. The other 16 chickens on death row were let free--their time will come.
It is surprising to me how blase' the chickens seem to be about the fate of their compatriots. They would walk over to the harvesting area and didn't seem to have any fear or realization that this could happen to them. They casually picked through the feathers on the ground, sometimes eating one.

The next day I was set up to paint outside the barn, staring at a blank canvas and wondering where to start, when a red rock rooster ran over to me carrying a white feather aloft like a prize. I love when the animals pose for me!


gz said...

There's quite a discussion going on on the clayart forum about potters (and other makers) at Farmers' Markets. Which one do you go to, and what is the attitude there ? Got any good potters there?!!
I've just had to rip out all the tomatoes in my "yarden" because of late blight coming early- I hope the ones in my allotment garden are ok- five minutes walk away.
How is it around you?

Susan said...

Hi GZ,
We participate in the Rochester Downtown Farmers Market, which includes only actual farmers, no artists or artisans or potters(yet). I think the key reason is probably the space constraint. Perhaps when they find a larger permanent market site they will expand their scope. I hope so--I love markets like the Eugene, OR, market --it has a music stage, quality artists and artisans, lots of vendors of unusual and healthy prepared foods.

No sign of tomaoto blight in my garden yet (cross fingers.) I have found some squash bugs though -or rather they have found us! Darn.