Chicken Doomsday of 2009

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Once upon a time we had 13 free range chickens who provided us with delicious farm fresh eggs.  These golden days ended during the hottest summer months and never returned.  Was it that the chickens were just too old?  Not finding enough food?  Laying somewhere else? Too hot? Regardless of the reason for our lack of eggs, we were fed up. The very stupid chickens’ only use was as an entertaining spectacle for baby boy as they obnoxiously wandered up to the house and stared at us through the windows.  When they started wandering into the neighbor’s yard and pooping all over our driveway, something had to be done and that thing was Chicken Doomsday of 2009…

The day began with a mournful rain. None of us were thrilled about what had to be done, but carry on we did.  Grace and I made room in the freezer while the men folk made their way down the hill to retrieve the first few unlucky birds.  Apparently, swinging them by their feet has a hypnotizing effect:

chickensswinging

Then they sat on them and cut of their heads.  Really. Photograph not included. Instead here’s a photograph of my little farmer napping soundly unaware of the demise of his beloved friends:

bds121

This is where we stored them before plucking time:

Can we try to see the humor in this?

Can we try to see the humor in this?

Plucking is awful.  Like really bad.  Really really really bad. We borrowed this machine from the farm to get the bulk of the feathers off:

chickensdefeatheringjpg

Then we plucked with our fingers and tweezers.  Grace was thoroughly disgusted, as well she might be, yet soldiered on impressively.

chickensplucking

Little known fact (at least to me until yesterday): Chickens smell TERRIBLE.  Worse than rotten fish.  I’m not sure why, but it’s true.

After plucking three chickens, my little farmer woke up from naptime and I tended to him during the gutting phase.  Do I feel a little guilty to have not participated in the gutting and left it to the others?  Yes.  Was I delighted that I did not have to view the scene as I heard dialogue like, “I just can’t get the lungs out.  The intestines and bowels are in the trash but those lungs…” or “where’s the esophagus?” or “oh no” ? Yes, a thousand times yes.

We thoroughly sanitized the whole kitchen afterwards, Mom.  I promise.

We thoroughly sanitized the whole kitchen afterwards, Mom. I promise.

Anyhow, we have 10 frozen chickens in the freezer and ate a delightful chicken stew last night with leeks and potatoes by the fireside.

It seems reasonable that if one is not willing to slaughter an animal for eating, one should not eat said animal after someone else slaughters it, which calls into question whether I am ever allowed to eat poultry again. Way grosser than I imagined.  Like disgusting.  Like really really disgusting.

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Comments

  1. says

    My Dear Daughter,

    Well, that’s what I call “good copy!” I’ve recorded, for posterity, my own participation in the transmogrification of live chickens into chicken & dumplings. This was at my grandmother’s home. She had a different method for killing the chickens, however. And, yes, I can attest to the fact that plucking is mind-numbing work. So gratified to hear that you santitized the kitchen!

    Love,

    Mamma

  2. says

    When Henry met his end, Enid our housekeeper did him in while John assisted, and I skulked in a corner feeling like both a guilty murderess and a dirty rotten coward (so kudos to you). She killed him the same way y’all did, but then scalded him to make most of his feathers come out. Maybe you can try that next time — if there is a next time?

    Did you imagine, at, say, sixteen, you would have these kinds of conversations? Life (and poultry husbandry) is weird.

    • says

      We did dunk them for a bit in hot water but perhaps we should have scalded more or dunked every once and awhile during plucking for good measure.

      I think at sixteen I had plans of moving to the big city which is now entirely unappealing. Maybe I’m just tainted by my city-loathing husband who just last night was talking about how he can’t imagine how folks like in nyc because of “all those buildings everywhere.” brilliant.

      We ate chicken number 2 last night. It was quite delicious and less rubbery than chicken number 1.

  3. John Bowers says

    Haley, to get the feathers off more easily pour boiling water over the body once they have been slaughtered. You can then basically brush the feathers off without trouble.

  4. jen says

    i am a vegetarian and i really appreciate your last comments. its always easier for someone to do our dirty work, so thank you for caring and doing it yourself…i dont know you but am proud of you.

    • says

      Thank you, Jen!

      We’re not vegetarians (except during Lent) but we are, I suppose, meat minimalists due to financial, ethical, and health reasons. I have a particularly hard time giving meat full of hormones and nasty things to my little toddler. He’s had meat once or twice, but it really grossed me out so I’m trying to stick mostly to other forms of protein.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Chicken Doomsday of 2009

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Once upon a time we had 13 free range chickens who provided us with delicious farm fresh eggs.  These golden days ended during the hottest summer months and never returned.  Was it that the chickens were just too old?  Not finding enough food?  Laying somewhere else? Too hot? Regardless of the reason for our lack of eggs, we were fed up. The very stupid chickens’ only use was as an entertaining spectacle for baby boy as they obnoxiously wandered up to the house and stared at us through the windows.  When they started wandering into the neighbor’s yard and pooping all over our driveway, something had to be done and that thing was Chicken Doomsday of 2009…

The day began with a mournful rain. None of us were thrilled about what had to be done, but carry on we did.  Grace and I made room in the freezer while the men folk made their way down the hill to retrieve the first few unlucky birds.  Apparently, swinging them by their feet has a hypnotizing effect:

chickensswinging

Then they sat on them and cut of their heads.  Really. Photograph not included. Instead here’s a photograph of my little farmer napping soundly unaware of the demise of his beloved friends:

bds121

This is where we stored them before plucking time:

Can we try to see the humor in this?

Can we try to see the humor in this?

Plucking is awful.  Like really bad.  Really really really bad. We borrowed this machine from the farm to get the bulk of the feathers off:

chickensdefeatheringjpg

Then we plucked with our fingers and tweezers.  Grace was thoroughly disgusted, as well she might be, yet soldiered on impressively.

chickensplucking

Little known fact (at least to me until yesterday): Chickens smell TERRIBLE.  Worse than rotten fish.  I’m not sure why, but it’s true.

After plucking three chickens, my little farmer woke up from naptime and I tended to him during the gutting phase.  Do I feel a little guilty to have not participated in the gutting and left it to the others?  Yes.  Was I delighted that I did not have to view the scene as I heard dialogue like, “I just can’t get the lungs out.  The intestines and bowels are in the trash but those lungs…” or “where’s the esophagus?” or “oh no” ? Yes, a thousand times yes.

We thoroughly sanitized the whole kitchen afterwards, Mom.  I promise.

We thoroughly sanitized the whole kitchen afterwards, Mom. I promise.

Anyhow, we have 10 frozen chickens in the freezer and ate a delightful chicken stew last night with leeks and potatoes by the fireside.

It seems reasonable that if one is not willing to slaughter an animal for eating, one should not eat said animal after someone else slaughters it, which calls into question whether I am ever allowed to eat poultry again. Way grosser than I imagined.  Like disgusting.  Like really really disgusting.

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Comments

  1. says

    My Dear Daughter,

    Well, that’s what I call “good copy!” I’ve recorded, for posterity, my own participation in the transmogrification of live chickens into chicken & dumplings. This was at my grandmother’s home. She had a different method for killing the chickens, however. And, yes, I can attest to the fact that plucking is mind-numbing work. So gratified to hear that you santitized the kitchen!

    Love,

    Mamma

  2. says

    When Henry met his end, Enid our housekeeper did him in while John assisted, and I skulked in a corner feeling like both a guilty murderess and a dirty rotten coward (so kudos to you). She killed him the same way y’all did, but then scalded him to make most of his feathers come out. Maybe you can try that next time — if there is a next time?

    Did you imagine, at, say, sixteen, you would have these kinds of conversations? Life (and poultry husbandry) is weird.

    • says

      We did dunk them for a bit in hot water but perhaps we should have scalded more or dunked every once and awhile during plucking for good measure.

      I think at sixteen I had plans of moving to the big city which is now entirely unappealing. Maybe I’m just tainted by my city-loathing husband who just last night was talking about how he can’t imagine how folks like in nyc because of “all those buildings everywhere.” brilliant.

      We ate chicken number 2 last night. It was quite delicious and less rubbery than chicken number 1.

  3. John Bowers says

    Haley, to get the feathers off more easily pour boiling water over the body once they have been slaughtered. You can then basically brush the feathers off without trouble.

  4. jen says

    i am a vegetarian and i really appreciate your last comments. its always easier for someone to do our dirty work, so thank you for caring and doing it yourself…i dont know you but am proud of you.

    • says

      Thank you, Jen!

      We’re not vegetarians (except during Lent) but we are, I suppose, meat minimalists due to financial, ethical, and health reasons. I have a particularly hard time giving meat full of hormones and nasty things to my little toddler. He’s had meat once or twice, but it really grossed me out so I’m trying to stick mostly to other forms of protein.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>