Sunday, January 10, 2016

Farming Story: Mom Butchers a Chicken

One afternoon as I'm taking out the trash, I found our dog Bella on the entrance of our garage killing one of our barred rock chickens. These black and white chickens with their bright red combs are my favorite, and their purpose here is to provide our family with eggs. Bella seemed so proud of herself and didn't seem to understand why she was getting a spanking. After all, she has seen us butcher chickens before, and she has been fed leftover chicken meat from the table, so I guess in her doggy mind she didn't see what the big deal was. I sent Bella to her cage, and then fetched the shovel out of the storage room to scoop the dead chicken up to toss far into the woods. However, when I stood over the chicken, I could see that she was still alive, breathing, even able to stand, but she was mortally wounded. I knew that we would have to have the unfortunate task of putting her out of her misery. Mitch was away at work, and wouldn't be home for at least 3 to 4 hours. I called him anyways asking what to do. He told me my two options were to either take care of the situation myself or let the hen suffer until he was able to come home. Of course I couldn't allow the poor hen to suffer, so I called my oldest son Maddox outside to help me. I had him find an axe while I brought the chicken over to a chopping block located on the side of the house. I didn't think that I could do it, so I asked Maddox to take over for me, he was willing, but with the axe in his hand I was concerned that he would miss and cause the hen further pain, and what kind of mother was I to have my 9 year old son to kill a chicken instead of taking care of the dirty work myself. To be fair, this wasn't his first chicken slaughter, but it would be mine. I took the axe from his hand and said I would do it myself. I screamed as I swung the axe down, the head was removed and the poor hen was dead. I cleaned up the mess myself and thanked Maddox for his help.

This all happened a couple of months ago. Bella our dog has since killed all of our barred rock chickens, but she has left our cornish rock and red star chickens alone. I guess our black and white chickens were too slow to get away from her. I'm not sure how to train our dog to leave our chickens alone, especially since she has a taste for them, but we're trying our best to work with her, after all she is only a big puppy, who isn't yet a year old.

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