Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Some days...

Some days just throw you a curve. I am beginning to wonder if chickens are worth the trouble and heartache-yes, heartache. First we had Slaughter I. More recently we had Slaughter II. Of course in between these two "events" we ate a dozen chickens and many dozen eggs from our flock.

Last night we were ahead of schedule for once. Prayers were said, the kids were brushing their teeth-when I heard the dogs barking. This is not unusual. They bark every night. But some reason, this time I decided to check....

I took our spotlight and pointed it towards the chicken tractor....Three black dogs, the biggest is inside the chicken tractor-but just walking around. One (liberated) chicken is walking towards me. One small black dog takes off. The second freezes with a chicken in his mouth and then takes off. The big dog inside the tractor is just sitting there. It isn't threatening the chickens, it just sits. We catch the liberated chicken and lure the 4 chickens remaining in the tractor out and secure these five in the abandoned coop. One chicken has been carried off and the last is laying behind the tractor, still alive but with a broken leg. Meanwhile the big dog sits in the tractor-calmly. It appears to have a collar, but is mangy-missing fur around the face.

It is unclear exactly how this dog managed to squeeze into the tractor. It is not a fortress, but the one obvious (new) breach does not seem nearly big enough for this dog-yet it must have been. Come morning, I may see if there is a tag on that collar ...

We kill the wounded chicken. For the first time I use my hatchet instead of breaking the neck. (Yes Jeff, I recall your experience and made sure mine was sharpened-a sharpened hatchet does the trick.) Once again, I forego the plucking and dressing and simply cut away the skin and take the meat directly off the bird. I think this will be my method from now on. No messing with the vent, plucking etc. It doesn't take nearly the time.

My chickens have not been so profitable....

From Bethany, the small holding in Bethune...Oremus pro invicem!

2 comments:

Jeff Culbreath said...

I like your new method of preparing chickens. Maybe that's the silver lining in all of this ... well, nevermind.

I thought of you last night in the pouring rain as I was slamming a rubber mallet against a water-logged chicken-house door that no longer closes.

JCurley said...

Jeff-When I finished all this the other night I opened the fridge looking for the beer- but alas I was out!

Maybe I have found a better way to slaughter chickens-which I will be doing a whole lot of as soon as we make room in the freezer. Our 6 egg-layers are giving only 1-2 a day total. This may be because the days are shorter, but no matter; they don't lay they hit the pot....

Keep that door shut.