Sunday, April 15, 2012

Free Chickens

One of my students pulled me out of the teachers' room this week to tell me that his parents wanted me to come take care of their rooster.  Their family got three chickens last summer in hopes of producing some eggs, but eight months later they haven't seen an egg yet and they think the rooster isn't a very good rooster, so I can have him if I take him.  I said no problem so combined a trip to Aka today with that and an invite to a teachers' party.  When I showed up at the house the student told me that in fact they would like me to dispense of all three of the chickens because they'd like to try another breed.  No problem, I said, but I had to do a lot of "Are you sure this is okay?" to the mother as she took me to the chickens.  It was a decision they'd made and were sure of, but the chickens were also pets (and not to mention a beautiful, white French breed) so it was a little hard.  Their third grade boy caught one of the hens and passed it off to me.  I had to walk 200m up the road to get into a non-cemetery part of the forest for the death.

I've never killed chickens before so I did a little youtube checking beforehand and saw a 'hang it upside down and cut the head off method' that looked okay.  But it was a two-person method and required breaking the chicken's neck, which was something I wasn't sure I could do alone (I couldn't).  So I ended up tying the legs into a loop then just putting the neck against a tree and whacking it with the knife, then quickly cutting the head off.  This seemed to be a relatively efficient way to kill.

I had to catch the second hen myself which was slightly difficult - and left the rooster squawking wildly as he lost both his girlfriends.  When I came back for the rooster he was not pleased but not terribly hard to catch after I got him outside the coop then blocked the entrance.  The two boys decided they'd like to watch this one die (one of their teachers suggested they should be involved in the death).  I respected them for this, but hoped that I didn't have any problems with this one.  I got the throat cut well and he was bleeding out but he kept blinking which I think gave the false impression he was still very alive, so I went back to sawing on the neck which took longer than on the hens, but the whole deal probably didn't eclipse 30 seconds.

[my 'bleeding out' method]

[three headless chickens]

I've killed plenty of birds in my life, but never have I plucked one and ended up with a whole carcass (usually I go through and cut the meat off the bones), so I wanted to try that with these.  Again, Google.  So I boiled them for about 20 seconds each, then...

[the plucking was surprisingly easy]

[they're pretty small]

I don't have any recipes yet but I'm sure I'll come up with something from the Internet!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice leg!!