Chickenstock & Update
Spring & summer is always a busy time of year, so blog posts are more infrequent. That's why I like doing quick updates or photos via our hobby farm's Facebook page. And still I usually only post about 1/3 to 1/4 of what goes on here. Not that I don't want to, but I'm trying to make sure household & hobby farm priorities take precedence over social media.
Anyway, this past Saturday my dad & I plus a car load of chickens, hatching eggs & some seeds headed over to Harpursville for what's called Chickenstock. Members of the BYC forum have local threads of which most have an annual Chickenstock. So, many of the members from the NY Chicken Lover's thread gathered together to swap/sell chicks, hens, roosters, ducks, rabbits & hatching eggs. Several of us brought pop up tents & chairs where we could gather round & talk with those who've chatted with online. We all contributed food, drink, etc & shared a picnic lunch. It was pretty relaxed, different than a typical swap/sale that's open to the general public. We also brought things of interest - hatching eggs, gift baskets, egg cartons - for a "Chinese auction" to help the host with the cost of porta potty, food, etc.
Two pullets I'd hatched - went to new homes, some 2 doz hatching chicken eggs & 4 turkey eggs. Plus the Blue Slate turkey poult I'd hatched for a young man who wanted to hatch his turkey's eggs. It needed some friends, so went home with 4 of my poults. But, the chicks, extra pullets & SFH adults didn't find homes, so I'll be advertising them soon.
Yet, as chicken math goes, I think I brought home more than I found homes for. Yes, I bought 2 hens who are blue/spangled Spitz - one of which was broody - they are gorgeous, winter hearty & lay white eggs. And they have cute crests - kind of like a Mohawk! I saw them last year, but wasn't sure if I wanted any, but I've since grown to like crested birds.
Then, I wanted to add another source of green/ blue eggs, so I keep those genetic diversified & fresh in the Catskill Homesteaders. So, there was a lady who had two groups, both with legbars & EEs. Long story short, I came home with 10 extra chicks & 20 hatching eggs!
At the last minute, Friday night the host of Chickenstock asked if someone could show her how to process her Lavender Orpington rooster "Bob". I responded & offered to even do it as a demo, as people had requests one last year at Chickenstock, but it never worked out.
So, I processed the rooster with kids & adults, mostly women watching! One lady even took photos. The only issue was I brought my newer smaller knives that work great when guttng after plucking. But I was skinning & the small knives weren't as easy to use for cutting off the head & don't the long slice up the legs to skin. Still, it went pretty well & several people thanked me. It's not new to do a demo, but before it's only been with one person watching, not a whole group! It it weren't for th changes my Father God has done in my life, the "shy little girl " I used to be, I would have never done this. But it was no problem at all.
On the way home, we stopped at Frog Pond, got some produce & plants for the veggie garden. The car was totally packed full!
Other little news on the home front...
My last of turkeys 8 hatched & in brooder! All spoken for already!! Current chick hatch have 12 so far.
Well, I have good & bad news. Seasons change & so do things in our life. Since I'd have to invest a lot of $$ to get new Swedish Flower Hen bloodlines from multiple breeders, build more coops, etc, my Boss & I concluded that it's time to simplify more. I've certainly enjoyed the breed & they are gorgeous. But, as I was talking with my Father God the morning of May 10th, He began speaking to me through taking control of my pen & writing,
"My precious daughter, are you willing to give up the SFHs, too?" He went on to explain, "I want you to be freed up, for My Kingdom's sake. ... There's a pull when breeding a specific breed, "to be better, etc" - that's fine for them, but I'm calling you out. With the Catskill Homesteaders, I'm the only Boss & director of what & how things should be. ... Simplify My way & you can't help but be blessed. You've had your fun, but now like he Bielefelders, you've reached "the end" unless you purchase new stock. I don't want My provision for you to be used for that. ... While it may seem that not breeding SFHs is a blow & you may question this decision - it's for your good in the long run. Hasn't good come out of your willingness to stop breeding the Bielefelders? More blessings await you, because I'm directing you in this hobby farm, as our relationship grows more & more."
If you're not familiar with this type of relationship with your Father God, this will seem strange & weird to receive instruction in this way. But, it's actually part of what God has always desired, that we be in constant communication with Him via the Holy Spirit. It amazes me every time my Heavenly Father speaks to me, especially when it's an "earthly matter". But, the fruit of listening & obeying is delicious & satisfying. And slowly, over time, I'm beginning to see that what Paul wrote in Philippians 3:8, 9, 12-14 :
"I look upon everything as loss compared with the overwhelming gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. ... For now my place is in Him, and I am not dependent upon any of the self-achieved righteousness of the Law; God has given me that genuine righteousness which comes from faith in Christ. ... Not that I claim to have achieved all this, nor to have reached perfection already. But I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. My brothers, I do not consider myself to have grasped it fully even now. But I do concentrate on this: I forget all that lies behind me and with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead I go straight for the goal for the prize of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus."
So, how does this relate to the SFHs? In comparison to knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, they are not worth giving my whole life to. My purpose in life is not to breed chickens & raise animals, as this life is a mere fleeting breath. Yes, they were staring to consume me & my every thought, they'd started to become an idol. But as a loving Father,
He has shown me what is really important in life & that He was to be the center & focus of my life, not the hobby farm.
(Note: I had written this back in May, but never published it until September! Time sure does fly by!)