Dance of the Adolescent Male
Too full of the rooster swagger
To see the lonely hen,
Patiently nesting in far corner,
Her feathers drooped.
Strut, Strut, and Crow!
For all the world to hear
Your cock’s glory.
You know someday that strut
Will be a shuffle
And the Cock-a-doodle-doodling
In the hands of the axeman.
Then, your crazy strutting body
Will run wild
Through the barnyard,
And the hen will be roosting while you’re roasting -
A couple of weeks ago I got a note from a long-time Internet friend of mine. She was the first person I met online that lived local to me, but it's taken us thirteen years to actually meet in person.
But, let me back up a bit ...
Several years ago my friend moved from her "city" apartment out to the country, and little-by-little, she and her partner have set-up a little farm. Recently, they added chickens, for eggs, to their farm, but when they got their first batch of, what was supposed to be hens, they discovered a couple of roosters. They want no roosters.
Although we've never met, we have kept up an email/Internet/Facebook connection all of these years, and we've "talked" on a fairly regular basis. She knows that we have chickens and that we raise meat animals. So, she emailed me to ask if we wanted this hen-turned-rooster. We can not have a rooster here in the suburbs, which is what we told her, but I said I'd ask around to see if anyone wanted a juvenile Aracuna rooster, which I did. Seems no one is currently in the market for a live rooster.
So, she offered him to us for the "pot."
I almost made the title of this post "stew", but that would have given away the ending of my story, which is, my friend brought her rooster to us today, and Deus Ex Machina and I butchered our first chicken.
The hardest part, for us, was the killing part (but that's always the most troublesome). In fact, I almost decided to just let him live and assimilate into our flock, but he kept crowing, and I knew that it would become a problem for my neighbors.
I was concerned that plucking the chicken would be very difficult (because one always hears stories), but it was actually pretty easy and went a lot faster than I expected.
We already know that we're going to cull the flock in the Spring. We're talking about what breeds we want, and I'm thinking, now, we might consider a straight run of dual purpose chicks next year and save a few pennies over the cost of ordering just hens. Now that the mystery has been taken out of the process, and we know we can do what needs to be done, having a rooster or two wouldn't be a problem for us.
It was really nice to, finally, meet my friend in person, and I owe her much thanks for the gift. I promised I wouldn't take pictures of the process, but this is the end result.
Some homemade egg noodles added to the broth made a nice Sunday Dinner.