And now they are meat…

Took in the last of the season’s harvest this morn (turkeys and broiler chickens). This year (as in years past) we drove them to Twin Cities Pack in Clinton, WI (near Janesville). We left about 4:30am and got there at 6am. I pick the (frozen) birds up tomorrow! I did save behind 3 of these “super chicks” from the batch of broilers. They are from a shipment of chicks that were sent in June and arrived with many dead. Amid the sad bunch of dead babies were these 3 super chicks that acted like nothing was wrong–peeping loudly demanding water and food. I figure after that, they are meant for something else–maybe they’ll be good breeding stock for more meat birds?

hanging carcasses made from woodcuts adhered to polysterene

Carcasses from 'The Meat Locker' (click to enlarge)

At any rate, they earned it. Let’s hope they are fertile and can lay some eggs. If not, oh well, they are a good addition to the bunch–calm, big, personable girls. And they’re not pecky. Instead, if they don’t want somebody near, they stand up tall, poof out their chest and neck feathers making themselves huge, and the wee little pesky polish (crested) turn tail and run.

Also picking up meat–pork– from Avon Locker Plant over in Darlington, tomorrow. I love this place–best meat processor around (and yes, we tried the others nearby). Incidentally, these are the guys that let me take photos of my hogs when they (as carcasses) were hanging in the freezer. And from which I made some 8ft woodcut of the carcasses. And who (the woodcut carcasses) then made it into a NYC show! Still can’t believe it. Awesome hogs (from feeder pigs I bought from Monson Show Pigs). Awesome carcasses courtesy of Avon Locker Plant.

New reduction print

The story behind this scene (or what happened afterwards)
For this folio exchange, Hand, Eye, Bird, I took the literal approach (as usual). In fact this image is the first thing I thought of when I read about this folio. For me, there is no stare more intense than a predator focusing on it’s prey, and although that was not my intent (to feed a helpless, cute little chick to Dexter), it was clearly Dexter’s.

color relief print of terrier about to eat a baby chick

'The handbook said' • 5-color reduction linoleum print on mulberry • 10in x 16in • click image to enlarge (and read the text)

As you can read in the print, The handbook said…, I am doing just what is recommended, showing Dexter one of the chicks (out of the box full of chicks that I just brought home from the post office). I am telling Dexter: “Gentle, good boy!…Mama’s chick…gentle…good boy!….” which I’m sure he translated to “Blah, blah, blah good boy, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, good boy….” (I now realize that I was praising him for staring, “pointing” and anticipating the kill as he trembled with anticipation). He is vibrating here (as little terriers do), eyes growing wider and wider. What you don’t see in the print, is the split second after…. Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, Dexter had the chick’s head in his mouth! “NO!! Dexter!!! BAD boy!!!!” I shouted, and in the next instant, Dexter had opened his mouth and the chick’s head popped out (chick wasn’t harmed), and then Dex was cringing and trembling with fright that I’d yelled at him (which is SO Dexter). It all happened in seconds–so fast that the chick didn’t even blink an eye or register the fact that it was almost swallowed alive.

Another typical vignette of life on our farm. It is never boring when you live with terriers.