Life Happenings

From the Cradle? to the Table

Tonight as I was walking out of the chicken coop after dutifully collecting our eggs (more from the side of the coop that the roosters are NOT allowed on by the way….those roosters stress the chickens out…poor, poor, chickens…), our littlest, scrawniest, most annoying rooster starts to come after me. My only defense, I am afraid at the time, was my foot which I had to use 3 times to fend him off. I had a water bucket in one hand and a carton of eggs in the other.  I don’t know why he thinks I am such an enemy but he always comes after me, feathers puffed out, charging ahead!  Well, I marched back to the house and told James that the rooster had come after me one too many times and it was time he became dinner.

I had been wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt for a while. He hasn’t always been the aggressive type.  Really only this past month I think he was trying to be more aggressive (maybe to keep up with the other bigger, more macho roosters?! )  I am not sure.  Anyways, I really didn’t want to have to kill him because he was our oldest daughter’s bring-home-from-school-hatched-from-the-incubator rooster.

This was Mr. Rooster’s cute stage…

Well, him coming after me tonight sealed the deal in my mind, he was going to be dinner.

Now, I have never butchered a chicken before.  I have been around one other time and watched the the process take place, but have never been the, um, facilitator.  James thought it would be good for me to learn.

Here is the culprit, I don’t even know if we ever gave him a name (besides the scrawny, white, annoying rooster).

This is the moment I think he knew he was in trouble…

This is his last moment…music please (you pick happy or sad music – happy for me, sad for him!) Don’t worry, I WON’T SHOW the actual deed, or him running around the yard afterwards.

When talking with a sweet lady from church recently about butchering chickens she said to give them a spoonful of vinegar before you butcher to help tenderize the meat (especially on roosters) so we squirted some down his throat with a syringe. This actually seemed to sedate him, so the actual act wasn’t so …bad. Well, maybe it was…but it helped none the less. So, here is the gruesom part – I chopped his head off with a large axe, actually accidentally chopped his head in two…James had to finish him off and get a clean cut farther down on the neck (and yes, they do run around crazy for a while after their heads come off, by the way.)

Then, in case anyone is wondering, you dip the whole chicken in a pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds.  That is what we did anyway. It stinks.  Then the feathers pull out easier.

I actually had the hardest time reaching in and pulling out the guts (still being warm and all…). James said he was wondering if I liked having my hand in there because it was taking me so long to pull them out…I was trying to pull the innards out all while doing the I am really grossed out right now dance and faces.

The rest of these next pictures are just showing me cleaning and cooking the bird.

I have to say that he did smell pretty good while he was cooking. Or would it be more proper now to say “it” or “the chicken?” In any case, the house smelled great!

And this is the finished product…

So, this has been my first butchering experience.  You all get to share in it with me, as weird as that may be.  I think though that this experience has altered things in my life in a few different ways.  #1) I will be able to go outside or gather the eggs without being attacked, which will be more peaceful for everyone.  #2) I won’t have to listen the the scrawny, white, annoying rooster crow at all hours of the day and night.  #3) I now say I have butchered a chicken (not saying that I want that to be my primary responsibility in the future though).  And finally #4) I have a full belly as I go to bed. I know these are not life shattering alterations or anything like that, but they do result from an interesting experience, nonetheless.

Also, tonight what was reiterated to my kids, once again, is that food doesn’t just magically appear on the shelves at the grocery store! Bon appetit! -Shelley.

6 thoughts on “From the Cradle? to the Table

  1. Very funny! I was doing the “I’m really grossed out dance and faces” as I was reading this, so when I got to the part where you said that I had to laugh out loud. Did he have much meat on him?


    • Liane that is funny, at least I am not alone! I am suprised with you having chickens that you haven’t had the opportunity for butchering! ;). He was a little smaller than a standard size rotisserie chicken that you would buy at the store. So definately big enough for a meal for all of us!


  2. I think it is so neat that you guys are living off of the land a lot these days on the farm. I am glad you were able to move there. 🙂 You have inspired me to can and to cook really amazing meals for my family. I don’t think I’ll butcher a chicken….lol…..but I think it was a good lesson to us all that this is how our ancestors lived…..and how many, many people in our world still live. My mom and dad lived this way, and it is nice to see you “returning to the land.” 🙂 That was one delicious chicken, wasn’t it? 😉


  3. You go girl! That brought back many memories! Used to do that for Selma all the time then headed out to the fields and returned to a delicious fried chicken dinner. Just thank your lucky stars you don’t have to gather,clean,sort and pack 16 cases of eggs every week!


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