September 13, 2009

And Then There Were Five

In April we purchased six female chickens. We paid extra to make sure we received females because we want to raise them for eggs. Prior to the purchase I did a little reading online and found some chickens that are better layers and then also found the "cutest" chickens. Any man out there does not understand why anyone would want a "cute" chicken but from input from my female friends I did good by picking the chickens with feathery feet because they are in fact cuter and my friends understand why I wanted some. Anyway, we purchased two "cute" chickens and four good layers. The kids named them (Nut, Meg, Blueberry, Strawberry, Cloud and Rainbow). Nut and Blueberry were the "cute" chickens. Well, when we first brought them home, Nut was pecked at and picked on. That passed and everything was fine, we had transitioned them from the garage to a cage outside then one day we went out and Nut was dead. One of my cute birds was dead. I wasn't sad because I really had no attachment to the chickens but I was a little ticked. I still wanted six chickens so one day we stopped by another store that was selling straight run (not sexed) chickens and purchased a replacement Nut knowing that it may be a rooster. Well time passed and the signs of rooster showed up. So, it was planned that as soon as he started to crow he would very soon meet his end and end up on our table for dinner. Nut started to crow about two to three weeks ago but not very loud. His crow has slowly increased in volume and frequency so PE decided today that he had crowed his last crow.

WARNING - Detailed Killing Info Ahead
When the kids heard he was going to kill Nut they both jumped at the chance to watch (Moo more readily than Bob). PE grabbed Nut, tucked him under his arm, and wrung his neck to kill him. He twisted and twisted and Nut made some semi-crowing noises and just sort of laid there. Then the process was repeated until no noises were uttered. There were various antics involved. Bob nudging him with his foot and PE yelling to startle him (it only worked two or so times). Then Bob sat by the bird and sort of pounded on his chest saying, "breath" and PE told him he had to breath in the birds beak and Bob said, "No, I don't want him to come back alive."

PE then dipped the bird (once dead, the bird no longer has a name) in a pot of boiling water to help with the feather removal and then plucked the bird. After the plucking (Bob held a bag for the feathers), PE used his pocket knife to cut off the head. I only know that this is what he did because I saw the blood and I asked if that is what he used. I really didn't watch anything after part way through the last neck wringing. So, while I know he cleaned out the inside of the bird, I have no idea what that entails and I really have no idea why he had Moo bring in the heart. Wait, I will ask. . . oh, he is going to eat it. Why didn't I think of that? Moving on. . .the bird is now cleaned and in the refrigerator waiting to be cooked in the Crock-Pot later this week.

Did you know chickens are cannibals? They are. PE fed them the skin and some fat from the dead bird and they gobbled it right up. We have fed them left over chicken bits before and the same thing. If they only knew.

I am sure if you would like more information on killing your own chicken, PE would be happy to share the information with me to pass along (no way would he ever venture to comment or answer anything on the blog--he doesn't even read it). Just let me know if you have questions and I will get the answers.

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