"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Ah, Spring!

Ah, Spring! The breeze, the green shoots, the mud. Ah, the mud. Such delightful squishiness, and so deep! Such a tremendous, one might even say overwhelming, scent, as of decaying animal poop of diverse kind, all in harmonious blend! Ah, the crusty, disgusting hip waders I have to wear every morning and evening, often half filled with freezing rain.

You get the picture.

Of course there are great things about spring. I believe I've mentioned pussy willows. Crocuses. The ever-nearer prospect of adorable baby goats, and, this year, even a baby pony! And let's not forget broody chickens.

I dislike chickens in general, but broody ones are the worst. They hunker in the nest boxes and scream when I approach. They yark and flap and usually manage to peck me, occasionally drawing blood. And they do this especially disgusting thing called a "broody-poop." I'll just leave it to your imagination, shall I?

Until today, I've been grabbing them and hucking them out of the barn, because it's too early for baby chicks. But there's one black hen who is particularly persistent about brooding. Hucking her repeatedly hasn't changed her mind about it. So, okay, she can hatch some chicks.
I carried her, box and all, over the the momma barn (it's really the feed storage and milking barn, but it's also where we put broody chickens and goats in labor, to give all the mommas bonding time with their babies and protect them from interference from the herd/flock.).

I know I just said we have too many chickens and should start eating some. Well, some of these are likely to be roosters, and we'll eat them. I find it easier to contemplate eating one of our animals if it has been designated as food since it's birth. That way we aren't ever eating a friend. Not that I get that attached to chickens, but y'know.


ChristyACB said...

She may be broody and a bit mean, but she sure is cute!

Do you give your roosters food names? I noticed that a lot of people name boy animals food names.

AnyEdge said...

How could you not get attached to chickens? They're wonderfully beautiful and intelligent animals. Their behavior is as sophisticated and complex as any of the herding mammals, and they're probably smarter.

I mean just think, for all intents and purposes, you have a flock of tiny dinosaurs in your back yard!

Plus their necks crackle satisfyingly wehen you strangle them. (For the record: no NOT strangle your chickens when you want to eat them. It's cruel compared to a swift decapitation, and it isn't kosher.)

Aimee said...

no, christie, I have an aversion to cutesy food names like "pork chop" or whatever. Animals who are to be food just don't get names. If an animal has a name, that means it isn't food. Chickens don't get names.

Bro, we need a hatchet or something then. The four chickens we've killed so far have all been killed by Homero's "stretch the neck" method. Hold chicken firmly under one arm, grasp neck with other hand, and give a quick, sharp yank. It's instantaneous, except for one particularly healthy rooster who took a couple of yanks. Then there's the "chicken whip" method, which I've seen described in a painting, but never observed. You hold the chicken by the neck and "crack the whip" with the body.... like, whirl it around really fast and hard. Sounds prone to failure and rather cruel to me. But I bet if you are good at it, it's quick as anything else. And these methods, while not kosher, true, do avoid the annoying fountain o' blood while the decapitated chicken flaps about.

AnyEdge said...

Those methods are better than strangling, true.

How odd for me to give such advice, when I'm generally pro-chicken-choking.

Penelope maude said...

I notice you're lit up all over the map again today, must be the pussy willows :-)

~ Denise ~ said...

We had chickens growing up (for eggs and food) and I despised the "cut the head off and let it flail around". Then I remember the "hang chicken upside down" method and despised that one too. ugh. Hope you find an easy way to do it. ;)