Chicken Processing for the Uninitiated


David Schafer and Nathan Kipnis 

I have been to all three of the annual Mother Earth News Fairs that have been held at Seven Springs Resort. I go there not only as a keynote speaker and presenter (‘Working with a Green Architect’ and ‘An Insightful History of Energy Conscious Homes’) but also to learn about things I don’t know about. The range of topics and exhibits at the fair is way outside of my normal zone of architecturally related endeavors.

To save time I had gone through the program and lined up the sessions that I would be attending. This is the fourth year that I have had a good size (250 square foot) backyard vegetable garden and I think I am finally get the hang of it. So a lot of the topics I wanted to hear about had to do with gardening, but there were a few on green building and related subjects.

I arrived on Friday, late in the afternoon. It was my birthday and it was strange not being at home for that. I meet up for a birthday drink with Bryan Welch, the publisher of Ogden Publications of which Mother Earth News is a part, and James Duft, overall superhuman and the key point person for all of the goings on at the fair.

They introduced me to David and Renee Schafer. David is the owner of Featherman Equipment. He asked what I was doing tomorrow morning. I told him I was scheduled to go to a talk on urban versus rural homesteading. David looked me right in the eyes and said I should definitely go his presentation. I asked him what it was on, and he said it was a live display of poultry processing. 

Unlike what I believe is the vast majority of the fair goers, I don’t fish or hunt. I know that animal food doesn’t come plastic wrapped in nature, but beyond that I haven’t fully connected the dots. And I certainly have never witnessed anything like what he was proposing that I go see.

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