We have now passed the beginning of the end (chicken-wise). The plan has always been to raise chickens for eggs and meat. If we had a rooster in our flock his destiny was always the stew pot. Once I finally accepted that the one with the unusually large comb and tail feathers was actually a rooster, we all knew where he (Pepto Bismo--no that isn't a typo, that is his name)was headed. However, that did not prepare me for the eventuality of having him injure his leg and the need to find a butcher quick!
The upside of living in the middle of Amish country is that you can find people with diverse "back to the land/self sufficient" skills. The problem is that they don't advertise. So, I spent 30 or 40 minutes driving around to various farmhouses--"do you butcher chickens?" "No, but I think if you go to the house by the railroad tracks, they do...or they will know who does."
I did finally track down the people who do, and they were very nice. The rooster is now in the freezer. The kids were much more philosophical about it than I was. Even LargeGirl, the softest hearted animal lover you could ever know, took it much better than I thought possible.
On the other side, the "girls" are getting very big, and we just got our new waterers, which I am really excited about! Cleaning out the waterers is just a gross job--since chickens are notoriously unfussy about where they perch and/or poop. The new waterers work rather like a hamster waterer, where they peck the "nipple" and it gives up a drink of cool CLEAN water. Yay!