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Friday, September 24, 2010

Rockin' with the rooster

Last weekend I found 10 more chickens to add to our flock. My reason is, we can still get a few months of eggs from them, and then butcher them for meat in the early winter. We had a lovely drive out to pick them up. Their old owners told me they are great layers, but they were getting rid of them because a new group was old enough now to lay eggs. I didn’t understand why they didn’t combine them, but I am no expert. The guy was catching them and I was putting them into the chicken box. (I am amazed at how many chickens you can get in one of those boxes!) Then the farmer asked me if I wanted a rooster for free. I knew Phil doesn’t like roosters, but I decided I would take him home for Sunday dinner.

We decided to just set them all loose with our hens and see what happened, it was kind of late to butcher anyway. I was out in the garden working when I heard some commotion and realized the rooster was after our hens. They didn’t want anything to do with him… and he didn’t like it. He made me mad so I went to the garage and got the hatchet. I put 2 nails in a stump (to hold his head) and caught him. He was full of fire until I held him upside down (I forgot how that calms them right down) and walked to the chopping block with him. I put his neck between the nails (they held his head perfectly still) and raised the hatchet. WAIT, is this thing sharp enough? OK, it looks fine so up it goes again .. WAIT what if I miss. Well that is a chance I will have to take. Once again I raise the hatchet high above my head and start to swing. WAIT … what now? What if I don’t cut clean through the neck and he is in pain and jumps up and starts to run around?

We had peanut butter sandwiches for dinner ……. I told Phil I need the neighbor to come over the first time and help me. I can do everything with confidence except chop off the head. I will get over that, but I need a little help.

The rooster got a reprieve, for now. I must say that little experience has made him respect me more. He gives me a wide berth, and hides behind the hens every time I walk out to the coop. Maybe he just needed a little education on how to act while living at Pooh Acres.

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