Homestead Animals

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6 articles in category Homestead Animals / Subscribe

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We’ve had a buildup of roosters and now old laying hens so the past few weeks we have been butchering 2-4 per week for meat and broth. It’s been a real blessing.

The boys have been asking about learning to butcher for some time now. We’ve been trying to give them their own homestead domains, both to give them something of their own to work towards and to foster a sense of responsibility. So far this has looked like gardens and chickens but more animals is high on their list of requests.

First, I suppose, is learning to go from flock to food with what we already have. So last week Stewart stood by them at the counter and talked them through the gutting of the chickens. These photos are of Abram’s time at the butchering block but Elijah, ever the extrovert, came directly to me after his turn and proclaimed it “Fun!” with two eyebrows up.

So I’m thinking they’ll want to continue helping with this for the foreseeable future. Which is great since I learned to butcher roosters at 29 and they, at eight and ten, would do well to get a jump start on me in just about all areas of life.

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It is some kind of irony that all of our children seem to be cat people. They all like to pick up Rover and carry him around and Joshie even chases him around the house if ever he jumps in while the screen door finishes closing.

I liked that Rover seems to be making a dent in the rodent population, though he certainly still has his hands full in that department. Stewart falls somewhere between the children and I in his affection, or lack thereof, for the feline species.

So when another kitty was offered to us, I guess it was an easy yes. This one Elijah got to name and care for, since Abram asked for that responsibility with Rover. Teddy was his name of choice and he showed up pretty small and fuzzy.

He and Rover seem to be getting along just fine now that they’ve learned to coexist. We’re glad to have more rodent control on the property and the children are quite smitten with this fuzzy little feline.

And I guess he is kind of cute… for a cat.