Saturday, October 08, 2005

Chicken Judgment

Three chickens hadn’t been making their numbers in the egg quota
Three chickens hadn’t been making their numbers in the egg quota
Monsieur decided the fate of three chickens. Since he keeps chickens, this will involve a bit of violence. I will never get used to it, I don’t think. I was raised on a farm and I know all about where meat comes from and what happens to animals and all, but still… I can’t quite get used to the fact that it’s gotta happen so often.
Three chickens hadn’t been making their numbers in the egg quota, so they started getting some additional shelled corn and fewer soybeans in the feed for the past month. They didn’t seem to know what was up; they just started putting on the pounds. Monsieur usually does the chicken feeding and egg gathering, but once in a while I do it. In case you were wondering, chickens stink.
One chicken was already dispatched earlier this week, and cooked in a pinapple and honey glaze. The next one will go for tomorrow’s dinner. #3’s execution date has not been set.
For every chicken we off, we usually purchase five new chicks from the chick hatchery. They’re adorable, but I can’t get too attached. We set them up in a little warm box heated by a 25-watt light bulb and filled with sawdust and dried leaves. Chicks need to be fed five times a day or more. One or two usually will die from natural causes and another will get offed by a feral dog or a coyote.
Monsieur treats coyotes with the same respect that he treats all thieves: none at all. I discovered this recently one night when he heard a suspicious noise in the back yard; he snatched a saber down from the wall and ran outside, his footsteps silent. He came back in and replaced the sword and I gave him a questioning look. “Damned coyotes,” he said.
“Why don’t you have a gun?” I asked.
“I hate guns,” he replied. “They are without honor; they require less skill and I would have to lock them away from the children. By the time I could get a rifle unlocked, have it loaded and run outside, the coyote would have had dinner and then would be carrying away his breakfast. Besides,” he added, “an intruder can use a gun against you.”
“He could use a sword against you just as easily,” I argued.
He chuckled. “Unlikely,” he said. “He would have to be well-versed in swordplay. I know of few 21st-century house burglars with such esoteric knowledge.”


The Anti-Wife said...

When I was in my 20s, I dated a guy who would contine in the farming tradition of his family even though he was a mechanical engineer. We were getting fairly serious and he wasn't sure I was cut out for being a part-time farmer's wife. So off to the farm we went for the weekend. Before we I got there (he was already at the farm), he asked if I would make his favorite chicken stew that I had perfected, and had all the ingredients ready for me. When the time came for dinner, I happily started preparing the meal, and went looking for the chicken. I asked him where it was, he said outside. Thinking there was a freezer or something on the porch I went looking for it. Ah...he meant outside in the chicken coop. He told me to pick which one and he'd take care of the rest. I about died. I love me some chicken, but to know the little critter was alive and breathing a few hours before hitting my plate was just a bit much for me. We fought like crazy over this. Needless to say, we didn't have chicken stew that night, nor did we get married! :o)

Hugs to you, girl.

the Yearning Heart said...

It's hard for me, too. I don't think I could ever pick the chicken out, much less slaughter it. I'm only now learning to cook using techniques beyond opening the package and sliding it into the microwave. But I'm learning.

introspectre said...

That's why I rarely eat animals. Too much guilt. If I had to kill them myself, I wold be completely veggie.

the Yearning Heart said...

well, IntroS, I really tried to cut out the meat but after a few months I went totally nutso; mood swings, etc. Then I went back to it and felt better. I don't feel guilty about meat; I just hate seeing blood. I even cringe during the last scene in Hamlet.