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!