So we have come to the end of our chicken journey -- yes, it has been 11.5 weeks from peeps to freezer. My hub did an incredible job raising the 26 chickens and in the last week we lost 2 (which is not uncommon).
The first one to croak was one of our largest roosters -- we had heard that the biggest can unfortunately die from heartattacks and that was apparently what happened. As for the other, we woke up the other morning to find our hoop house destroyed by the cows in the pasture. We watched the cows for weeks scratch up against it and sniff around for the chicken feed and they finally decided to destroy it in our last week. Unfortunately one of the chickens apparently got trampled on in the process. We only had a few days left of raising the chickens so we set up a temporary spot for them in our yard.
Then last Friday, Dustin loaded up the 24 birds and transported them to a processing facility in Marion, NC. It's a small operation that works with independent farmers and is USDA inspected and Animal Welfare Institute Approved. He had the opportunity to watch the process, which he did, and at the end of a long day brought home a cooler full of chicken for our family.
I'm so proud of my hub for committing himself to raising food for our family. We learned a lot in the process and feel so rewarded. Learning more about the food we eat and appreciating the sacrifice we ask of the animals we consume makes our meals so much more purposeful.