Monday, 23 January 2012

Martha and Mabel (part 2 - not for the faint hearted!)

Martha and Mabel, of course, both turned out to be roosters.  Mabel developed first and was very very noisy, so he went to a lady nearby who had a larger property and didn't mind the roostering.  At that point we still weren't sure if Martha was Arthur or not.  Once Mabel was gone, Martha/Arthur started attacking the hens and also attacking us!  He was the most aggressive chicken I have ever had in 7 years, and it got to the point that the kids were scared to go into the garden with him.  So, M/Arthur had to have an appointment with an axe.

My lovely friend did the deed, at the end of our garden.  I was shooed into the house to look after the kids, and not allowed to watch - she grew up in the country and had done it before, I'm a lily-livered city girl, ex-vegetarian and all-round softie!  Apparently they really do run around with no head for a while.

After it was done, together we gutted him, plucked him, stuffed a lemon up his jacksie and roasted him.   I decided it would be wrong to waste him, having just 'wasted him' execution style, so hubby and I tried tried tried to have him for dinner.  Hubby ate a few slices, I could only choke down one.|

 Why the difficulty eating the meat?  I'm not sure.  I've cooked and eaten plenty of chooks in my time, and some of my reluctance was because he just didn't taste very good.  As a layer breed hatchling, Martha's body was just the wrong shape for cooking, the legs seemed too long and the whole carcass *shudder* just didn't look like your regular roaster.  He was also a lot older than the chickens you get at the butcher, he was over 8 months old - roaster chickens are typically killed at around 14 weeks, so are a lot more tender.

Was it moral repugnance?  Cowardice?  Anthropomorphism?  I wasn't sad to see him go, he'd pecked me and terrorised my children!  I suppose it was because it just wasn't something I was used to.  If I lived in the country and chopped a chicken every week or two, I'm sure I'd get used to it, and see it just as another task.  I guess as a city-dwelling Western person I'm divorced from the realities of food production.  We've talked in our house about raising chickens for meat, but I'm just not ready for that yet, if ever at all.

I think I'll just take the supply of free eggs and let my butcher do the dirty work.  Call me a chicken!

1 comment:

  1. I think I would be very wary about being called a "chicken" in your yard!! Goodness knows what could happen to you!!!

    Although I think I may have seen you running around "like a chook with its head chopped off" . . .