I've just put the chickens to bed and their little house is looking decidedly roomier now that there are fewer of them. Earlier tonight we bid farewell to the rooster and one of the Malines hens, and both are now in the fridge.
The experience overall was a good one, and one we'll certainly remember. The farmer (can't remember his name) killed them both after admiring them and saying they were healthy, good looking birds. I felt tears welling at one point and held Steve's hand but I had to let go and concentrate.
Then Steve and the farmer totally hit it off and they seemed like the best of friends, especially once Steve donned the bloody jacket and plastic apron and got stuck in de-feathering the second chicken. Meanwhile, his wife, Madeleine, and I took the first up to her kitchen and she showed me how to 'process' or prepare it (I need to learn the lingo in English because all this was done in French.)
Then it was my turn... I got the rooster. I had worried I'd be a bit queasy but not at all. I loved it and the whole thing just felt so right. I won't give any more detail here, but we'll be writing about this so we can reread it before the next time.
Steve was in his element listening to and asking the farmer about his life and land. He even accepted a cigar when he was offered- a part of the experience and a special occasion I guess!
Anyway, here are a few pics from the last couple of weeks.
This could be the first layer. I can't believe I used to think of chickens as ugly birds, I don't know what I was thinking.
Although the ladies may miss their man for a bit, I like to think they may appreciate not being chased around and pecked at constantly, and will soon get used to not having him around. I think the pecking order lower down is pretty much established but, after the rooster, the two white ones seemed to be on a par but I guess one may re-establish herself as the boss now? It will be interesting to see how it pans out.
So the next couple of days will include a lot of sitting with and watching them and, most importantly, cooking and sharing a very important meal with friends.