So do you want to know why my Dad wanted to come back as a rooster? When Joe Brumwell was a kid he said the rooster did every hen every day!!! After I decided that my Dad did not come back as a Rooster I gave the whole flock to the Amish……..Years later and at the new Amish Farm my friend Suzie and I decided to raise meat chickens. Something that you don’t have to get attached to. They grow fast, they all look the same and only have one name “Cecelia” that’s what Mark, Suzie’s husband called them, ALL…..all 26 of them. They arrived on or about the first of May by Eli the former owner of my Amish Farm is a banana box. Ohhh so cute. They went right into the chicken coop in a large wooden box with a heat lamp. They were just one or two days old. If you go to the page of photos you can see the chicken coop as I found it and the clean up crew. The rotten eggs that were left behind were the worst smelling things on the farm.
It took 8 weeks of feeding and water and clean up before the chickens were ready for the freezer. No growth hormones, antibiotics and the feed was made locally. We never lost one and they were so funny to watch. From little chicks running around to fat birds with legs to big they could only take a step or two and sit down. Reminded me of the movie “Chicken Run” I would like to think I wasn’t Mrs. Tweety but I guess I was. The last four weeks were horrible. More and more feed and water and poop! I swore I would only raise chicken wings from now on.
The big days came when Suzie and I gathered the birds and stuffed them into crates (dog carrier and store displays) and off to the Amish. Two trips, one each week. What a site to see all the Amish kids with no shoes on waiting for us to do their work. The chickens didn’t stand a chance…. We laughed and laughed driving out of the drive way knowing that in a few hours we would be putting the birds in our freezer. My favorite site was seeing one of the Amish young ladies with her hands on her hips watch us pull away.
We picked up the dressed birds that were soaking in coolers of ice water in a very clean room of the Amish walk-in basement. Not only were there coolers of chickens but lots of jars of pickles that they were canning. When we got back to my farm. Suzie and I put the birds in bags, weighted and labeled them and even cut some in half because they were so big. The average weight of each bird was 6 1/2 pounds dressed (in their birthday suit). Thirteen each!!!
Would I do it again? No but yes and I guess I better get the coop ready!