Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Chicken Anatomy 101

Warning: Graphic chicken action

Mmmm. Dinner!

Some ranch kids end up with a skewed view of life.
Let me explain . . .
Husby was butchering a chicken.
This involves such things as a head and foot-ectomy, removal of several important inner organs, and complete de-feathering.
Our kids had never witnessed this.
Though they had been raised on a ranch, all animals had been sent off site for 'processing'.
This was their first exposure to one of the more graphic of ranch experiences.
I had been a little concerned for their sensibilities.
I needn't have worried.
They were front and center.
And jostling for position.
Grant placed the chosen/unfortunate chicken on the stump and, with one blow, removed the head.
"Oooooh!"
Then he allowed the chicken to go through its death throes.
"Ahhhhh!"
Then the all-important soaking in hot water to loosen the feathers.
"Stinky!"
And the gutting and dismembering.
"Cool!"
Finally, we had, sitting on a plate, what would eventually be our dinner.
The rest of the chicken, the head, viscera and feathers, were gathered together in a sack for disposal.
Then Husby picked up one of the feet. "Watch this, kids!" he said.
He pulled on a tendon and the foot flexed. Claws closed. 
Uh-oh, I thought.
"It's gonna get you!" Everyone scattered, screaming, as he enacted his own version of Day of the Living . . . Chicken.
Okay, so it'll probably never be a hit.
Back to my story . . .
"Wow, Dad, that is the coolest thing ever!"
"Let me try! Let me try!"
They took turns pulling on the exposed tendon. Squeamish? I think not.
Our youngest daughter grabbed one of the feet.
"I'm gonna get you!" she hollered at her sister.
"Screech!"
And the chase was on.
The two of them spent some time pursuing each other.
Finally, breathless and happy, they relinquished their chicken feet to their impatiently waiting brothers.
Who proceeded to enact act two.
And I had been worried.
Pfffff.

13 comments:

  1. Wow - they did well. When our daughter found out where "chicken nuggets" came from she had much more of a reaction than yours did when they saw the real process ... she became vegetarian a few years later and still is to this day! I think the process you described is more humane than the production line of large chicken operations (or beef for that matter) and I feel guilty because of it every time I eat meat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was totally prepared for the angst from such an experience. But kids often fool you!

      Delete
  2. I can picture every moment of this scene and I am glad I am not there. This was a fun one in a chicken sort a way.
    Blessings for the smiles!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Strange, what farm families find entertaining . . . :)

      Delete
  3. Kids from farming families understand the food chain..no problems.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And find humour in such strange places . . .

      Delete
  4. Chasing each other with chicken feet! I love that. Ranch kids have the most fun.

    ReplyDelete
  5. LOL.

    My mother has somewhat "fond" memories of butchering chickens. Can't say that I've actually seen it myself -- until now. In my head. :-)

    Pearl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The memories you make inside your head are always the best anyway . . . :)

      Delete
  6. Yes, sometimes I have also over estimated my kids fear of things like that. We had a gerbil when they were about 4 & 6 and it died one day quite unexpectedly. My husband I were so worried that they'd be upset but they came home and wanted to see the dead corpse so they could bury it in the back yard! So much for sensitivity :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That moment when morbid curiosity wins out . . .

      Delete
  7. I don't know I could have done as well as your children although I enjoyed the chase with the chicken foot!

    ReplyDelete

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