Our butchering date had been weighing on me for weeks. I was
counting the days, looking forward to the end of hauling 5- and 7-gallon water
jugs morning and night from our yard hydrant to the chicken yard and of
wrestling 50-lb. bags of broiler feed every few days. But I was also dreading
the slaughter – the toll I would be exacting on sixty living creatures. This
was not the sort of burden I ever considered before our first harvest of meat
chickens in July of 2011.