If you haven’t read about our Rooster you can do so here – A Rooster Named Fried Chicken. It gives an overview of the rooster, and why I am so happy to write the post about his Finale.
**I must insert a disclaimer here that there is a picture and information on this post that might disturb some people, there is a picture of a dead bird at the end of this post.**
As mentioned in my first post we don’t keep animals around if they don’t serve a purpose. There are exceptions with a few pets we have, but all of our farm animals are here for a reason. We take good care of them and they take good care of us. Normally if we have one that is mean or has a bad attitude it doesn’t stay around long.
Our animals have human interaction a lot throughout their lifespan, some more than others. It can be during feeding time through the winter, moving them to a different pasture or pen, or if they need assistance during the birthing process. Whatever the case may be, it’s extremely hard to do any of this with an animal that wants to hurt you any chance they get.
Now for the most part I am talking about our large animals, cattle and pigs, but our chickens get daily human interaction. Most of this is by my kids, so having a chicken that’s mean just doesn’t cut it. I can tolerate it a little more by my laying hens because usually the only time they actually get mean is if they are protecting their chicks. It’s the normal Momma bear attitude that comes out with most animals and their babies.
On this one fateful day, it just so happened that Momma bear came out in ME! I have definitely had it out for our rooster from early on when he started getting to big for his britches. However, I tried overlooking it because hey, he’s doing his job by protecting his hens right? Well that only goes so far and when you start biting the hand that feeds you or her children, that’s where you come to an end.
I always tell my kids to just ignore the rooster and let him stay with his girls and he’ll leave you alone. I want my kids to trust what I say when we are in the barn and I want them to know they must listen to what I say. Listening is important but it can be crucial when your around any kind of livestock. Most of the time it’s not a big deal, but if we are working calves and need them to stay back, be quiet, or stand still it is a VERY big deal. Not only for what we are trying to accomplish (loading/unloading, tagging, etc) but more importantly for their safety. I want them to know when I ask them to do something, to trust what I am asking and it will keep them safe. When what I’ve said to them still gets them hurt it makes them not trust what I say and also makes them frightened to go to the barn or be around the animals. See my problem??
We head to the barn to do our morning chores, like every morning. I feed the chickens first so they will be busy eating to leave the kids alone. The middle alley of the barn is the best playing dirt you’ll find. This is where many hours have been spent by my kids and created many dirty bath times. They are dirt magnets wherever they go. So they head to the toys in the dirt while I finish chores.
After just a few minutes in to my routine I hear a familiar scream. I run to scene of the crime, where I see my sweet baby girl laying on her back in the dirt with the rooster standing at her feet getting ready to flog her again. I try and grab his tail feathers when I reach them but I barely miss. I pick up my now crying toddler and assess the wounds. She’s got cuts all over her right arm that are now starting to bleed. Thankfully they aren’t deep and I’m able to calm her down and help her to regain composure.
At this point I’m ready to put an end to this guy. He’s done it for the last time and there is no way he’s going to draw blood on my child without a consequence. I look around to find him not far from me and take off sprinting towards him. It’s said you can’t out run a chicken, they aren’t only fast they zigzag the entire time and it’s extremely hard to catch them. I try my best though, with adrenaline pumping I chase him for a good 10 minutes all over the barn and pasture (I’m sure looking like an idiot). During my pursuit my two little dirt lovers are just staring at me in amazement. Either they haven’t seen me this mad before to go this crazy or they are extremely curious of what I’m going to do if I ever catch this goofy thing.
Some people have big fish nets to catch their birds to give vaccinations and what not, I of course don’t have that. So already out of breath I find the next best thing, a plastic pitch fork. I’m hoping with this if I get close enough to him, I can put it on top of him and push him to the ground long enough where I can get my hands on him. Another 10 minutes and several attempts of pinning him down and I end up missing him, tripping over something and falling on my pitchfork which breaks it in two.
My blood is now boiling and I decide it’s time to call in back up. I gather the kids up, throw them on the four wheeler and head to the house. The hubby has been on the tractor the entire time clearing trees. I pull up and he’s giving me a quizzical look, I’m sure he’s been watching my chase this whole time and wondering what on earth I’m doing. I give him the low down in short spurts still trying to catch my breath. We are definitely on the same page when it comes to this rooster, so it’s almost a game at this point who can kill him first.
The hubby has the great idea that we’ll just run him until he gets tired. Yeah, great idea, either he’ll go down or I will! So we take out after him together in the hopes of pushing him in the barn where we can corner him.
Thankfully in the matter of just a few minutes we get him in the barn and I slow to a walk as the hubby and rooster have it out. The kids are still sitting on the 4-wheeler as I see my knight in shining armor walking out holding the rooster by his feet. So he’s caught!! I grab the ax and off with his head!
**Disclaimer, the next picture has some blood and if you don’t like the sight of dead animals don’t scroll further.
Yes we actually cut his head off. Yes my children watched the entire ordeal. Yes I understand that might offend some people. Yes I’m joyful he’s dead, and YES my toddler was thrilled also!
The reality of life is there is death, and it’s all around us. On the farm death happens, it can be with baby animals dying from sickness, babies being born dead, butchering an animal for meat, an animal dying of old age or injuries and the list goes on. It’s part of the farm life and it’s not all glamorous. This is our world and I won’t apologize for the way we live. On the flip side, I don’t ever want my kids to get calloused to the death of animals. That’s why we put such an emphasis on taking good care of everything around us, but regardless death happens.
Immediately after the be-heading, I got out some pots and a sharp knife and skinned him. I’ve butchered my fair share of chickens and we’ve always scalded them in hot water before plucking and then gutting them. After the morning we had there was no way I was going to pluck this dirty dumb thing. So I just skinned him whole and gutted him. During this process the kids squatted next to me and asked 100+ questions, I smiled and attempted to answer their questions before they could ask more. I want to teach my kids about the animals and where their meat comes from. It’s not just bought at a grocery store, it was at one time a living, breathing animal. This all goes back to, we take care of our animals and they take care of us. Ole Fried Chicken just took care of us sooner than he may have hoped for, and he was pretty tasty I might add!
That night we had a very tasty Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza. My sweet toddler that had quite an ordeal that morning happily pronounced at the dinner table that the rooster wouldn’t get her anymore because he was in her tummy! With a big smile on my face I once again thank the Lord for the life He has given me!
– The Clucky Hen