Wednesday, August 3, 2011

To Kill A Chicken!

All images courtesy

Our Rhode Island Red chickens laid brown eggs, and my parents swore that they were better for you than white eggs. Every morning we would collect the eggs from the nests in our hen house.

One day I discovered one of our hens refusing to get off the nest. She squawked, ruffled her feathers and tried to peck at me. Running into the house, I told dad what was happening, and he knew exactly what her problem was.

Dad informed me that she was now a setting hen, and she wanted to have baby chicks. From one of our drawers in the kitchen, he removed a wooden egg. It was smooth, the size of a real egg, and Dad said that this was to satisfy and trick our setting hen.

I followed Dad out to our chicken coop and watched him place the wooden egg under our mother hen. Dad said. “We will allow her to sit on this egg for a few days and she will think she is becoming a mother.”

The following week end, dad visited our local feed store and there he purchased a good number of chicks and brought them home.

I supposed hens can be fooled easily, because when dad placed those babies under her, she clucked and was so happy that her wooden egg had hatched.

Dad and Mom had plenty of laying hens, and these babies were not Rhode Island Reds.  All along Dad knew what was going to happen to those babies as they grew and matured.   They were going to be our Sunday dinner as time marched on.

Quickly the weeks flew by and it seemed every day that our chicks grew larger. The roosters were to be first for our dinner, because they soon learned to crow, and our city neighborhood did not appreciate their early morning wake up call.

Dad gave my brother the new job of learning to kill the chickens. One day armed with an axe and a galvanized bucket I followed my brother out to the chicken yard. He selected the fattest rooster.

“Let me do it,” I told him. Without speaking a word he handed me the axe. Holding that axe up to my shoulder it suddenly became quite heavy.  I was ready, but the axe would not come down to do its work.

“Go ahead and aim for its neck and do it now,” my brother urged.

Swinging the axe downward, I hit the poor chicken in the wrong place and it was a good thing my brother was holding its legs.

“I can’t do it,” I cried, and about that time he took the axe from me, and completed the task. The next step was to place the chicken upside down in the bucket. If you don’t do that they will run all over the yard, and chasing a headless chicken is not fun at all.  

I never did learn to kill a chicken. Mother did teach me how to cut up one after all the feathers were off, and they had been properly singed over the gas burner.

Today I get my chickens from the store already cut up.  

No more lessons for me on how to kill a chicken!!

This post was inspired after reading Floyds story at:  
Please read his post and be sure to leave him a comment.


  1. Butchering the chickens was always a great family entertainment when I was a girl. I can't hardly believe we were so cold-hearted now, and can't imagine my children enjoying such a thing. Just goes to show, things change.

  2. I love the story and your heart! It's a task I think God spared you from. He has others for those things. A strong yet gentle heart is made to raise great families. Job well done!

    I'm honored to be part of your life now in this small way. Thanks!


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