This is who I informed my grandma (“Ma”) would be coming to Snow Hill over the weekend. And that, obviously, I would need HELP! Juggling a camera, a baby and a chicken is no easy task, my friends.
Around Easter I had been looking for a 4-H club to get involved in. After getting the run-around from local groups I came across some new clubs in Greene County (the small-town, farming community where I was born). They were offering a project called Greene Chicks, in which a child would receive two baby chickens, learn to take care of them, and show them several months later at the 4-H Rabbit and Poultry Show held during the Sweet Potato Festival in Snow Hill, NC. Perfect!
I had seriously been wanting to add chickens to the homestead for some time. Only two problems.
1. We aren’t allowed. Nasty HOA and everything.
2. We couldn’t tell if the chicks were male or female. Roosters or hens.
Solutions to said problems?
1. Did it anyway.
2. Called my friend and next-door neighbor, Norma, who knew exactly how to “fix” our little problem when one chick loudly went through some changes.
Above is said chick who soon became a rooster. We couldn’t exactly tell because he still looked just like the other Cornish/Buff Orphington we had picked up. But I was pretty sure he was the source of all the noise. And I was settled on what his fate would be. Any guesses?
Yes, I wanted to cook him up. It may sound horrible, but think about it. Most of us eat meat several times a day, and those animals are raised (and killed) much less humanely than mine was. Plus, he was raised and fed completely naturally. Perhaps out of sight is out of mind but it doesn’t change the truth of what goes on to most animals.
Norma, who grew up on a farm, came bearing her knife and pot. She did the actual deed and then a very pregnant me helped to pull the feathers off. All the children watched. It was actually a second for my children. But what a learning experience! And quite yum, when all was said and done! Oh yes, and we were happy to learn that this chicken was the suspected rooster. Whew. Apparently the male parts of a rooster are found inside the bird.
After living with Mike, Yerlin and Michelle on their butterfly farm in Costa Rica one summer and having fresh eggs every single day, I was dying for them myself. Above is Carver holding our very FIRST egg! Exciting times we live in.
Emma showed her hen, all grown up now and whom she named Emily, in a laid-back setting to an NC Cooperative Extension’s Livestock Agent. This was a first poultry show for many other young children that day as well so all was kept low-key.
Carver showed off a feisty Madeline the Hen. This one likes to peck.
This is one adventure that wasn’t exactly on the bucket list (never thought we would actually show a chicken), but it’s been great. I adore hearing my grandparents talk about farm life when they were young. I love getting back to basics and sharing in a tiny piece of that. A big thanks to Emily Herring and Eve Honeycutt of Greene County 4-H and NC Cooperative Extension for allowing us the opportunity. For more information on involvement with Greene County 4-H clubs, visit http://greene.ces.ncsu.edu/get-involved-in-4-h/.