Thursday, September 10, 2015

Processing Chickens

I have blocked out a lot of my childhood.  Don't ask me why....but I remember very little of it.  My siblings or parents will say remember when this happened????  Most of the time I do not remember. Perhaps it is because of these memories that I have.
When I was a kid....we did not go to the grocery store like normal people to buy our chicken.....NOOO...we had to raise our own chickens.  Now those chicken were cute for about 2 weeks and then they started to hate you.  You know was my job to feed those suckers.  I am sure that I had to trade off with my siblings with the chore but now that I think about it I can remember it vividly.
I had to trudge across the field to my Grandparents house.  I had to take a trek people.  The second part of the misery was opening the barn door and getting inside without any of the chickens getting out.  It was a good thing that I was a skinny little girl.  If one ever got out you had to chase the little sucker down.  Next step, plug your nose.....Chickens smell awful. Going on to the next task you had to pour the chicken feed while 5000 chickens tried to attack you and poke your eyes out.  I remember taking the water lids and trapping the meanest chickens underneath.  After you fed them, you had to water them and give up your protective water lids.  The last task I had to perform was to gather the eggs.  The chickens never wanted to just let you have them...they would try to protect those little orbs with all their might.  Oh and last but not least you would need to get out of the barn without letting any of the chickens loose again this time with a basket of eggs that you needed to not break.
We had to do this during spring, summer and into the fall. But during the fall, we always had a chicken massacre.  We had to process those chickens for eating.  So not only was I forced to eat those eggs I had to gather, but I had to help butcher the suckers to eat. 
My Dad and Grandpa would go grab a squawking chicken by the neck and then with a ax they would cut off the head.   The chicken would then run around for a few minutes with the head cut off.  No lies... there were headless chickens running around everywhere people.  Gross.  Once they finally died, my dad would grab the chicken by the legs and move it up and down in boiling water for a little bit.  Then my dad would slap the legs on a hook on the barn and I....ME....was forced to pull the feathers off the chickens.  It smelled terrible.  I am sure that my parents were breaking all kinds of child labor laws by forcing me to do this task.  Once the feathers were off one chicken, another chicken took it's place.  I had to do this for hours. (practically forever)  I guess that I was lucky that I did not have to gut the nasties from the chickens, I was only forces to do that with fish.  Needless to say, I could not eat chicken for years... the process kind of ruined it for me.  Come to think of it....I might not have chicken for awhile.
Anyway, the whole reason that I remember this part of my childhood is I received a text this morning from someone out in Ohio where Avery is serving his mission.  Guess what he is doing today.  Processing Chickens!  Lucky Boy! When you are in the SERVICE of your fellow beings you are in the SERVICE of your GOD!  What an awesome missionary he is.  He is willing to serve the people of Ohio in incredible ways.  This is going above and beyond. He is a trooper!  I love this Boy!
It does not look like he had to cut any heads off and watch the chickens run around headless. He might have enjoyed that part.

Get this, they now have an electric plucker that plucks the feather clean off the chicken in 15 seconds.  Where was this device when I was a kid??

I see that the Chickens finally loose their heads.  It looks like he might have enjoyed this part.


  1. Mindy, we had an electric plucker in Clifton, and at the most we had 50 chickens. You are too funny, someday you will use this information, maybe on the trek back to Independence!

  2. I don't remember any electric plucker! If we had one it must have been left in the barn unused when we did chickens.