Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Latest

It's been a tough week for us here at Twelve Acres. I worked a 48 hour week and Jim has worked equally hard at finishing the shop/store for our business so we can get started. We received our FFL this week and this means we can now sell guns legally, with an added bonus that allows Jim to sell what he builds as well, something call a level 7 manufacturer's license.

Last weekend I asked Jim if he would help me butcher two of the chickens. One of the roosters I was thinking about keeping suddenly matured overnight and began sizing me up and giving me "the look" if you know what I mean. It made me very uneasy to have him stop whatever he was doing, walk over to me and just stare at me! Derek was upset to lose Achilles the gorgeous Australorp rooster, but he had to go. He had become a tyrant to the pullets and I couldn't take their screams anymore, nor his bullying of the other roosters. He is now in my freezer awaiting a day for when I can grill him. The other rooster we butchered was "Mouthy". We knew from the get go that he wouldn't be a keeper. When he got big enough, we butchered him and cooked him in the rotisserie the next night. It was delicious and Derek and I both agreed that it was the best liver we'd ever had. It wasn't at all bitter but was actually sweet!

Butchering was something we both had to participate in as children and this was our first time doing the whole thing as adults. You know what? It wasn't that bad! It wasn't scary or overly gross and our chickens died very calm, humane deaths. As we sat down to dinner to enjoy that mouthy barred rock rooster, we thanked God for the chicken and asked that he be used to strengthen us. It was a wonderful meal.

It's been a hot, humid week and it's taking its toll on me especially. I work in a factory where it's already hot. It takes all the energy out of me and by the end of the week I'm just a mess. Wouldn't it be awesome if our business took off to the point where I could quit my job and focus on raising our own food and livestock? A thunderstorm moved over the lake which is less than 5 miles north of our house. I captured the lightning show in the huge clouds tonight. Some of the lightning was beautiful! We got just a sprinkling of rain. I hope we get more during the night, we desperately need it.

I've got 10 ducklings coming this week. I'm hoping the post office calls me Monday at work to let me know to come get the ducklings. It's easier to leave from work rather than struggle to get out of bed at 7 a.m. since I'm a night owl.

I ordered:

After Derek got upset at Achilles' demise, I promised him that the ducks would be just for pets. I want them to feed on the aquatic weeds in the pond as well as the insects, slugs and snails that live in the yard. I'm sure they will also help keep the frog population under control, just as the chickens do. It's going to be a lot of fun to watch them grow and explore their new big pond. I hope they will have fun swimming with the boys too. We are all looking forward to spending time with the ducklings and getting them to bond with us. We are looking forward to watching their funny antics in the pond as they swim around and do ducky things. To have ducks in the pond is yet another dream of mine to be fulfilled. Most likely, meat rabbits will be next. One thing at a time though.


  1. I hope your business grows strong and fast, so that you can follow your dreams. I don't think i could do the actual killing of the chickens, tho i do think i could help with the butchering, as my Mother did when she was a girl...I used to raise guinea pigs and hobnobbed with lots of rabbit breeders. At the shows, they would offer rabbit stew and "Barbeque Bunny on a Bun" for lunch and i would be the first in line for some of that! I asked one breeder who donated the meat, how he decided which rabbit would go into the pot that day, and he said the one who bit or scratched him.... Fair enough! I guess that's where the saying comes from-don't bite the hand that feeds you! ;)

  2. Of, first what is up with the first picture. Is it real or did you make it...I like! Cool lightening show! We have 2 ducks in our pond and the only thing I do not like of them is that they make the pond a little yucky but we do not swim in it. We feed them once a day bread/grain and the rest they get on their own. In the winter they stay up in the barn. I like having them around, they are the only critter we can have free roaming. They do not mess with our gardens but they do come up to the house from the pond and they are hilarious always chasing after our dog Callie. They are about the only critter she runs from. Our neighbors are entertained by them too. Have a restful weekend.
    Take care, Kim

  3. Mare, yep, that's pretty much it for me too. Any critter that bites me better watch it! Now our other Barred Rock rooster is acting too big for his britches. He better simmer down or I'll simmer him! Thanks for the well wishes. We are working hard to become independent.

    Kim, the magazine cover idea came from Paula (Fraker Farm). You can make your own here:

    I've heard ducks are messy but I've always wanted ducks in our pond. It's about 3/4 acre in size, so hopefully it's large enough that the ducks won't be too much for it.

  4. I wish you all the best with your new business! I'm sorry you have had such a brutal week. It has been hot and humid and that really takes it out of you.

    I just posted an ad on Craigslist to see if I can find someone interested in a couple of my Cuckoo Maran roosters.

  5. That mag cover is way cool, Don showed me his last night, the idea from yours.

    I appreciated what you wrote about butchering, all of it. It was honest and open and humane, and a very good summary of what can be a difficult situation with kids.

    The lightning show is amazing to have on your video! I'm impressed.

    I hope the ducklings make up for your brutal week. Hang in there.


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