Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Life and Death on the Farm

Two weeks ago we hatched another six Americauna chicks. This was our second chick hatch this year (or perhaps I should say ever) and we increased our hatch rate from 33% to 70%. Unfortunately one of the chicks died immediately after hatching.

The other morning as I went into the garage to water and feed this second batch of chicks in the Rubbermaid container brooder box I found that one had died. It appears that it was smothered by the other chicks while they slept. (another of our existing hens died this way after we introduced them to the hen house a couple of years ago)

It is always unfortunate when one of your livestock dies, but it is the way of the world - all are born and all must die one day (us included)

I have really been enjoying the pigs and geese. They have such wonderful personalities, and the pigs are extremely curious and playful. A far cry from their fearfulness when they first arrived at the acreage. The geese are just lovable.... when free ranging they just want to be where ever we are. They especially like to follow me (all the animals love me because I'm the 'food lady')

I'm beginning to wonder how I'll be in the autumn when it is butchering time.  Daughter has named all the animals.  I know we shouldn't name our food, but then we talk about them all the time so its easier if they are all named.  I'm not unfeeling or uncaring and I so enjoy the animals, but in my head I know they will be food for us one day.  So many people can't imagine butchering and eating an animal, but we are practical people.  I would rather know that the meat I am eating came from an animal that was raised properly and humanely, and that it had a happy life.  Purchasing a plastic wrapped styrofoam tray of meat where you have had no connection with the animal and have no history of how it was raised seem unnatural to me.  Though we have also purchased meat that way for a long time, I prefer to shop at our local butcher and buy free range beef, chicken and turkey that he brings in from local farms.

Here is a photo of the ducklings we hatched out last week.  Out of the nine eggs only four hatched.  We have decided to sell them, so if you would like to add some Khaki Campbell ducks to your homestead just let me know :)


cathysue said...

we shouldn't have to apologize or explain ourselves as to why we kill our own food. it's a shame that some people think it's criminal.

The Family said...

Hello Carpe Diem,

My family and I are about four years behind you. We just started our acreage and I am blogging about it. We hope to go in the direction you are going with animals and living off the land. Thanks for writing, you now have a new follower.

Rob and Amy

Carpe Diem said...

Cathysue - I couldn't agree more, but for some reason people can't get over the 'killing' part. It is certainly not something we enjoy doing, but I know my animals have had a healthy happy life.

The Family - I checked out your blog. Good luck in your new lifestyle! Living in the country is so satisfying - knowing that what you consume has been produced by your own efforts.

The Family said...

It has been so far, thanks for visiting. The goals include chickens (so I am enjoying reading your newest material, can't wait to hear how it goes) and horses in the next year.