Chickens. Yes we raise hundreds of them. They are organically fed, free range, healthy and, most of all, delicious. Word has gotten around and we sell em faster than we can raise em!
Once they are big enough to leave the brooder in the barn and live outside, we typically put our broilers way out in the back field where they appear no bigger than a speck when I look out into the pasture from the house. Broiler chickens are decidedly NOT pet worthy. They are eating, pooping machines that have absolutely no personalities or brains. Trust me, they smell much better and look much more cute from a distance.
Being victims of our own success, we have had to modify our practices this summer. In the past, we butcher our last batch of birds in June and don’t start up again until early fall. This year we have sold so well that we have had to extend into July. Guess what? It is flipping hot in July and chickens do not like it when it is flipping hot.
So what does a softy like Farmer Steve do when he knows his chickens don’t like it when it is flipping hot? He moves them into the back yard under the live oaks where the temperature is at least 15 degrees cooler than the fields.
Oh yes, those pooping, stink machines are about 15 yards from the house and about 5 feet away from the swimming pool. Nothing like a relaxing swim after a long day while 100 sets of beady little eyes are staring at you, all while they are eating and pooping. Nothing says unwind like the “interesting” fragrance of chicken feathers. Forget about an evening under the stars roasting marshmallows in the fire pit……already spoken for by a few bubbas and their lady friends. And the play equipment for the grandchilden? Hey, sorry there adorable grandchild, but the tire swing you love happens to be in the most glorious shady spot under the tree, so there is about an inch of poop everywhere. If you must play on the swing, please be prepared to be power-washed before entering the house. I now wake every morning, sit up, stretch and gaze out my sliding glass window to the view of big ol chicken’s asses and the sound of squawking beaks begging for breakfast. Nice.
We butcher this last batch in 6 days, 12 hours and about 14 minutes…….but who’s counting :-)