Saturday, February 27, 2016

Attempt at Butchering

Well, today was interesting.

I paid the neighborhood farmworker kid to clean my coop this week, which was awesome. He did an OK job and the chickens love him for it. I went out to do chores this morning and it was a BEAUTIFUL morning. You can't beat a 50 degree day in February. Seriously, it's the best.

I got everyone their water and brought them some leftovers from the Legion's fish fry last night. I joined the town's Auxiliary last year and we host fish frys along with the Legion to raise money for the organization. It wasn't "my" night to work, but I figured since it was Lent and I had nothing going on AND I actually felt like being social, that I would just show up and work. It was fun and my birds directly benefit by eating the scraps that we scrape off people's plates. It's amazing how much waste there is! Thanks to my chickens, they will turn that waste into delicious eggs!

Anyways, I collected eggs and hung out with the birds for a little while. I noticed that BBQ had a lash egg....which is bad news. Long story short, it is from a bacterial infection of the oviduct. You can read more about lash eggs from the Chicken Chick HERE.

When I saw that she had that issue, I decided today would be a good day to get a start on butchering my flock to make room for my new babies. I put BBQ in the Chamber of Doom and then went back to catch Petey. Petey was being a total asshole. Excuse my French, but he would NOT let me catch him. I chased his little punk ass around for 20 minutes. I caught Piper and then I grabbed a Barred Rock for good measure.

Petey was the first to go because I was pissed at him. I've never been so satisfied to cut something's head off. He is currently soaking in a cooler with ice water.

After Petey, things got weird. I chose to butcher BBQ next, but after I dipped her in the boiling water and started plucking her feathers, I noticed that her vent was prolapsing like crazy. Well, knowing how curious I am, you all know I couldn't just let that stick out without my investigating it. I cut it open and her guts practically shot out at me. She had ascites (water belly) and infection going on in her guts as well. Ew. Not eating her. So I tossed her in the junk bucket and went on to butcher Piper.

Well, I found the SAME THING with Piper! I was highly annoyed. So, I pardoned the little Barred Rock and brought her back to the flock. I decided that with all of the old flock, I am just going to put them down and not bother with butchering them. I suspect many of the older hens will have this issue. I think the original flock that I bought in September 2014 was sick with something. Sigh.... Both of the hens today were from that flock. The other hens with similar issues that have previously died were from that original flock. At least I am finally pinpointing who the sick ones are. It's the original 12. Most of them have died. I think I have like 3 left, if that. I KNOW one is laying, so she must be OK.

But alas...What an interesting day. I decided that I've had enough of the butchering of non-meat birds. I'll butcher ducks later this spring and summer when I get some but no more chickens unless somehow meat birds come home with me in my purse. That sometimes happens. I don't know why!
The pardoned chicken and I

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