Friday, August 26, 2011

A Roving Eye

Down at the lower place on Wednesday morning, we were waiting for Justin to finish milking so we could commence  yet another Great Chicken Massacree, a replay of one documented HERE.

Of course I had my camera so while I was waiting, I went looking for pictures . . .stripey tomatoes . . .
Silverbell eating a stripey tomato . . .
Chicory blooming. . .
A black swallowtail on a pear tree leaf. . .

Marigold . . .

Clover . . .



The obligatory basketball hoop on the barn (I think it's the law in North Carolina . . .)

Rusty old plow points from a Vulcan Number 10 hillside turning plow, reminders of when John plowed with mules . . . the perfect size for our conditions. unlike the smaller, lighter Number 8 which, according to our late neighbor Cleophas, would 'choke on a horse turd.. .'


Light at play 

. . . and then it was time to move to the business at hand.  I don't mind doing this  now and then but couldn't help thinking of the folks who work at the giant chicken processing plants, day in and day out.  As cheap as commercially grown chicken is, I shudder to think what the workers are paid and the shortcuts they probably are forced to take.

Butchering chickens isn't romantic . . .  but it's a part of farm life.

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21 comments:

Ms. A said...

"Choke on a horse turd" That's hysterical! Can't allow myself to think of the chicken massacre. I love chicken, but if I had to kill it, I'd starve to death.

Martin said...

My grandmother had the odd chicken bumped off, but could never bring herself to do it. Instead, she always asked the woman who delivered the daily paper, to do the deed.

Pat in east TN said...

I've been involved in 'chicken massacres' several times, years back. It's not really fun, IMO, but the end result sure is tastey!

GrandmaK said...

You had quite a productive day, I'd say! Have a wonderful weekend! Cathy

Ellis Vidler said...

I'm with Ms. A. If I had to kill my dinner, I'd starve. But I do love the cow faces. They have such lovely, gentle expressions. And Clover caused a big "ohhh." I wonder if there was a collective sound as your readers found that picture. :)

Margaret said...

Oh, I haven't been here in a while. You have wonderful place to live and I love the "basketball hoop law" :) Indiana has that same law, I think! :) The "before" butchering photo is much better than the after. My dad used to use an old tree stump for the beheading... :)

Carol@The Writers Porch said...

Vicki...you know I'm green over them "freezer" birds but I haven't quite got to the place yet of being able to massacre any of these birds around here! :) XO

Brian Miller said...

choke on a horse turd...haha...thanks for the walk around...the cows are cute...mmm on tomatoes...have fun with the massacre...hey it all cant be pretty right?

Wayfarin' Stranger said...

Killing chickens was an almost daily event in my childhood, since supplying eggs, fryers, and hens to local restaurants and stores was a major source of income on my parents' farm. Growing up close to the source of your food certainly colors your attitude. Jim

Jill said...

Love the chicory photo! I do enjoy the knowledge your chicken massacre gives. One day I would like to try my hand at raising chickens. This helps with the cold hard facts of it all. Hopefully sometime this afternoon I will have a little Smudge video with a tomato on my blog.

Vicki Lane said...

Our laying flock is quite separate from the freezer birds. The laying hens don't get butchered when they quit laying -- they stay on as 'boarders.' The freezer chickens are done in at the age of ten weeks -- we know their destiny and, beyond providing them with the best (short) life we can, we don't interact with them a lot.

Deanna said...

I am a huge fan of chicory and the canaries and finches it attracts. It always upsets me when the county finally makes it down our gravel road ith their "clearing" equipment. It happened here last week :(

Hope you recuperate quickly from the butchering. That has to be backbreaking work!

Thérèse said...

We do whatever we Have to do...

Elora said...

Vicki,

How do you keep the flies at bay this time of year??? Think I would go for nighttime butchering! Homegrown chickens beat the sox off store-bought!

Have a successful "slaughter." (Sounds crude even up against "massacre!"

Vicki Lane said...

Elora -- believe it or not, there were no flies. We were set up in the shade and John has been doing some intensive fly control around this area -- Big Stinky fly traps, fly paper, pyerethin spray, etcetera, etcetera.

Star said...

I think it is hard to butcher your own chickens? If I was going to do that, perhaps I would ask a neighbour to do mine and I would do his. I suppose you get used to it and it has to be done but the quicker the better. Are you going to use that fantastic plucking machine again this year?

JJM said...

I remember a friend-of-a-friend story about a young woman who went on one of those survival training courses. At the end of it, she was dropped off in the middle of a nowhere wood with a blanket, a knife, and a chicken -- the idea, of course, being that she would find flint, hit a spark off it with the knife butt for a fire, and kill and eat the chicken. At the end, she emerged, quite a bit thinner, but with the very alive chicken under her arm. "I may starve to death," she said defensively when asked the obvious, "but I am not going to die lonely ..." --Mario

NCmountainwoman said...

You and your camera did a great job!

Kath said...

Never get tired of seeing the cover girls- Clover and Marigold!

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

I like Mr. Stripey almost as Marigold and Clover (smile). Killing your dinner sounds so terrible, but in truth if I were hungry, I could probably do it. As you say, it's life on a farm and so few of us (myself included) know much about it.
Sam

clayyeatman@bellsouth.net said...

Count me in