Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Broiler Boil

*** Warning: The following account is a true story and may be offensive to sensitive folks and just plain disgusting to others.
A broiler’s divine purpose on this planet is to eat and be eaten.
But when it came time for Matt and I to send these chickens on to meet their maker, in turn fulfilling their divine appointment, we were both a little hesitant.
See we both were a bit scarred from our attempt to “harvest” Jerry (the mean old rooster) and we weren’t so keen on the idea of killing nine all at once.
So I Googled it and read and read about the most efficient way to make a chicken into meat for the freezer. I felt as ready as I was ever going to be. No excuses now, it was time to take matters into our own hands, literally!
Walking to the chicken pen I was nervous and anxious at the same time. Our plan: Matt was going to catch one and I was going to hold it “still,” close my eyes and hope for the best while Matt “took care of business.”
That was the plan, one plan I never thought in nearly all of my 26 years on this planet that I would be planning to do. But there was only one way out of this mess and that involved me, once again, demolishing my comfort zone.
So after Matt handed me the first bird, I closed my eyes and waited. When the deed was done, I sceamed and chucked the thrashing bird as far away from me as I could. But the headless chicken got right up and ran towards me!!! AHHHHHHH
And what do you do when a winged creature that is bleeding like an open spigot is running after you? Well run the other way, of course. So that is what I did, took off running and hid until he gave up.
Through tears of laughter Matt summoned me to do the next and then the next and on and on until finally we had a yard full of headless chickens. (They were everywhere because I refused to pick up their adrenaline-pumped bodies until the nerves had passed!)
The next part really didn’t bother me. Matt was the “feather plucker” and I was the “gutter.” While Matt wasn’t that excited to stand for the next hour pulling feathers out of the broilers, but I was stoked for my job.
I got real good at cutting the bird open just wide enough to fit my entire hand up to my wrist, grab a handful of unmentionables and pull them out. By the last few birds it became a game to see how much I could get out in one go-around.
And then we were done. The birds were dead, plucked, gutted and now resting comfortably in plastic inside the freezer.
As I showered, washing away the “evidence,” I realized that I will never be the same. My innocence, if there was any left, was gone. There was then and then there is now.
A now that is filled with the knowledge of how to raise something from a baby to its prime. And then kill it and stick it in your freezer and then put it in your oven and then feed it to your own babies.
Yep, life will never be the same.

As seen in the Lawrence County Record

1 comment:

  1. Oh Ginia. I too have experienced this on our little chicken farm. Our first attempt at buying chickens provided us with 7 roosters - we didn't want ANY roosters!
    I can now TRULY appreciate the saying, "Running around like a chicken with your head cut off."