chicken

There’s a rhythm to butchering as there is to most kinds of farm work, and a special pleasure in doing a job of parts with other people who know the routine — like playing pickup football with your brothers, or dancing with a familiar partner.  Making hay is an obvious example of such work, and butchering is another, the patterns being consistent enough that even strangers, if they are experienced, can jump in or out of the set without breaking the rhythm.  The last of the four-year-old layers went into jars on Saturday, and  family that was here for a farm visit, having some experience gleaned on other farms, moved into our assembly line without a hitch.  The shared work is like friendship, and perhaps like the foundations of community, and may be one of the biggest benefits harvested on a small farm.