Hey! Guess what? We had backyard chickens. We don’t anymore. This post is about killing them. So, uh, if you want to be detached from your meat, may I suggest you don’t read this post? There are photos. With blood n’ stuff.
(Are the people who think chickens have an organ called the “tender” and come from the freezer of Kroger gone?)
OK. So, first things first!
Gregg and our friend Dan killed the chickens this morning. We (and by “we” I mean “me”) decided to kill them earlier because the chickens were continuously brutalizing each other. They were plucking out each others’ feathers and would emerge from the coop each morning bloody and bruised and scared of each other. We tried several different approaches for months (food supplements, chicken treats, distractions, letting them out of the yard to graze in other places, etc.), and it only got worse. I wanted to give them away, but honestly, they were just going to do it to other chickens if we did that. Chickens are mean at best to each other, but these were true sociopaths.
Still, murdering animals, even as a meat eater, was a new frontier. I was worried. I wrote on twitter, “Do kids who cull chickens end up as sociopaths or Republicans? Asking for a friend.”
Then I added, “It may already be happening. To entice sick kids to eat, we have Gogurt in the fridge for the first time. Folsom here we come.”
Then I started to get nervous tummy. Then I told Gregg that I was staying inside, like a chicken. Which, duh, no wonder they’re scared of everything. PEOPLE MURDER THEM.
Sure enough, when Gregg started to get things ready in the backyard, the chickens all perked their heads up, all excited. “Oh hey! Hi hi hi!” they said with their tiny little wobbly, soon-to-be-detached heads. Because every time we come out there it’s to give them treats or food or water, you see. They thought we were going to give them TREATS.
This is just like Charlotte’s Web, but without Charlotte, and Wilbur dies. Kirkus gives it no stars.
I had to go inside and hide while they set up the chopping station. In case you are in the unique niche of people who have chickens in their tiny backyards who decide to brutalize each other and then you have to kill them to save their souls for Chicken Jesus or whoever, what you need is: a very big pot of boiling water, another pot, a hatchet, a wood block to, er, chop, and a garbage can. And nimble fingers. The hot pot of water is to soak the chickens after they’re beheaded, because it makes their feathers easier to remove. The rest is self-explanatory, right?
Well, I know I said I stayed inside, but once the chopping started, and since my seven-year-old was brave enough to watch, I also took a few peeks. It…wasn’t bad? Not bad at all. Chickens on the Green Mile aren’t nearly as sad as people, probably because they’re too dumb to know they’re on the Green Mile. Probably colorblind or something.
So, you have a friend with a hatchet holding the head of your chicken, and you’re holding the body, because yes, they totally run around after they’re beheaded, and then, maybe your friend didn’t sharpen his hatchet and he has to chop a few times to get the head off.
But after the heads are off, and the chickens aren’t moving, and you’ve soaked them in a pot? You take a photo of your husband standing over your garbage can full of chicken heads and blood n’ stuff, defeathering chickens.
And then this is what the chickens look like:
That black stuff on their feet? It’s chicken poo. SERIOUSLY DON’T EAT CHICKEN FEET.
So, yeah, I chickened out on murdering my sociopathic flock, but I do suddenly want to eat a Gogurt. Mmm, FD &C Yellow #5, come to Momma. Guess this means I’m going to jail soon.
(And while I didn’t kill them this time, I think I’ll try it for next time.) (Yes, we’re getting more chickens.) (Alert the chicken SVU.)
And! Guess who gets to disembowel these babies? Yeah, I got the worst job.