This past Saturday, a blessedly beautiful and shirt-sleeved, warm, unusual February day, I had an equally unusual meeting in my new back yard.
I am one of 4 co-organizers of our local St. Louis Back Yard Chicken Meetup List, recently listed as the 7th largest in the nation, apparently partially attributed to my oft blabs – I mean, blogs – on us.
Guy Niere and I are right now the most active of the co-organizers, John and Linda Bergh taking a bit of much deserved back seat time for present, but still we are an integral team and I enjoy working with each and every one of them, and also enjoy the members of our very active backyard chicken group.
Somehow, somewhere along the line, I got it in my head to organize a meetup to deal with the (to many, and to me, “ugly”) topic of processing birds. My remaining two chickens are beloved indoor/outdoor house pets, they visit schools and nursing homes etc as education and touch animals, and were in full and oblivious presence to our processing seminar, one (the Silkie) resolutely sunbathing under everyone’s feet and the other (the Silkie/Serama/Cochin cross, both are rescues from GA) running around trying to be as involved in the event as possible – other than being the processed bird!
We had a crowd of a little under twenty people show up to learn how to process a chicken. Guy brought two already butchered Penedesenca roosters and in his usual, highly educated way, taught everybody the anatomy and details of processing for the dinner meal. There were many questions, much active inquiry and participation, and the crowd ranged from already-chicken-owners to chicken-owner-wannabes, and a family in tow who already has a large flock and the children are interested in processing and contributing to the dinner table.
Guy later generously donated his time and expertise to above said family and taught them in more detail and hands-on experience how to cook for the kitchen, and everyone voted for more such events.
For more information on this group, go to http://www.meetup.com/
Dorene, Little Sumo-San, and Cuckoo, loving our chicken community