Our homestead status leveled up this past month in many ways. After many months of searching, we are in negotiations for our very own property. Land of our own would certainly allow us a much higher degree of self-sustainability (I already ordered new seeds!). The other important milestone we surmounted was the dispatch and processing of a guinea fowl. It had been creating chaos (ultimately, it was this one, another guinea, and sadly, my favorite rooster that had to go). We had to get rid of it (them) and I needed to learn how to process meat anyhow. Here is a little of my thoughts and a little peek into my experience.
The hardest physical part of it all was plucking. I think I didn’t have the water hot enough. It was cold out and I had brought the water down from the kitchen just before we killed the guinea, and it sat for about ten minutes before I could dip the meat. The plucking took FOREVER. I now have a chicken plucker high up on my wish list. Seriously. That was very tedious for one scrawny little guinea. The gutting was easy. I did it like a pro, only barely knicking the crop, and removing everything else intact, with no mess. However, I think our first investment in the new place will be in some meat birds.
The hardest mental part was the killing, which I had a friend do. It didn’t go as planned, and I ended up cutting its head off anyway with my knife. All in all, it wasn’t too bad for my first time and I can do it all myself next time. It wasn’t enjoyable, but providing healthy, wholesome meat for my family certainly will be now that I leveled up.
I am becoming one Tough. Mother. Plucker!
Today’s chicken menu, one organically-well-fed Tomato Hornworm, if you can find it!
I have wanted to have chickens forever. So we moved to a place where we could:
After moving in and getting the garden going, we got the chicks, two guinea keets and four barred rocks.
Then we got two more guinea keets and four Easter Eggers (they lay colored eggs!):
We built a “Hoop Coop”
And learned all about our fowl:
THEN I got the cookies scared out of me:
And in the same day, learned how much I love my chickens!
So this is where I am with it now:
What ways do you keep your chickens safe when they are running around? I have also learned from a fellow homesteader that hawks are deterred by crows, so at Halloween I will be stocking up on life-size decoys!!
This month has been a busy one! Gardening and chickening in addition to fun kids’ activities; I have been behind in video editing/posting. Who has time? Hahaha, anyway… here’s our amateur Hoop Coop chicken tractor build :).
We went and picked up our first installment of livestock! We got four Barred Plymouth Rocks and two Guinea keets from Dean Family Farm not far from here! What a great experience.