The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

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The Chicken Doctor


The Architect



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“Uh, think we oughta getter towed?”

“Nah, let’s jest get tah fishin!”


Look at my little mud lover.

Lookeee what I did with Picasa2. I’m still figuring it out. If you stopped by earlier I had a post with pictures, except none of the pictures showed up. I know, I know, some of us aren’t as quick to learn as others…..sigh.

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Edna Slaughter

Here it is, finally. The long awaited rooster killing with lots and lots and lots of pictures.

This post is as real as it gets. There are guts, some blood and dismemberment.

You have been warned.

Here the mighty man of valor sharpens his ax in preparation for our first ever chicken slaughter.

The guest of honor, Edna was named after my grandmother, by mistake. We thought he was a hen, turned out he was a rooster and a mean one at that. He brought about his demise when he relentlessly attacked our two year old.

Buh-bye Ed!

The woodsman ties Ed’s feet from a rope that is suspended from a branch in a tree. He stretches his neck out on a log.

Ed was very calm throughout; we asked him if he had any final words.

Cockadoodle DOOOOOO …..


It was a clean cut. We let him hang for about five minutes. A chicken has two nervous systems so they flap around quite a bit after they have been killed. It’s weird. Just when you think they are done, they start flapping a bit more. Creepy.

There was not as much blood as we had prepared ourselves for.

The hunters first kill.

We prepared a large pot of boiling water in advance. The mighty-warrior-chicken-killing man dipped his trophy into the pot.

The chicken stays in the pot for one minute, that’s it, your not cooking him, yet.

Then the chicken is pulled out of the water and the body feathers peel away very easily.

Keep plucking.

My sons are were more interested in the dirty water than their father plucking a chicken.

The tail and wing feathers take a bit more brawn to pluck.

Seth got to play a little tug-o-war with Ed.

All done.  Not much meat on that mean rooster.

Now, lets go see what’s inside of that rooster!

One of us held a book with step by step instructions, while the other tried to comprehend what it all meant.

The feet come off first. Slice the skin around the joint.

No, hon, the joint, move the knife down a bit….

This is where my years of preparing chicken dinners paid off.

Wah-la! A very clean cut.

Looks just like a leg from KFC.

Next, pull out the neck and the gullet.

What’s a gullet? It’s the sack in the chickens throat where the food is stored. We didn’t withhold food before killing Ed which is a good idea if you know you’re going to be killing a chicken.

I’ll show you why in a second.

Slice the neck and gullet out at the base just inside the body cavity.

Did you get the gullet? We’ll soon see.

Okay, this is the yuckiest part. A chicken apparently has an oil gland located right above their little fat tail-butt.

See that yellow thing sticking out by the knife blade? That’s the, ugh, oil gland. Yick, this just made me sick, it was greasy and well, oily…blech.

Mighty-ferocious-beast-slaughtering man just scooped it right out with his sharp little knife.

That’s the neck laying on the board.

Do you see the gullet? No? What’s does the gullet look like? Hmm?

Mighty-beast-stalking-hunter-man prepares to dig out the guts.

If you have done everything correctly then you can slide your hand up into the body cavity and pull out all the organs.

Except Super-human-beast-killing man’s hands were too big, so I got the job.

It was all nice and warm and squishy inside there.

Get away from my chicken woman!

No, me! My chicken!

Guts. But, not all of them. Something wasn’t coming out.

There was a definite clog up at the neck that wouldn’t release the remaining organs.

Ahhh, here’s the problem. The gullet.

It was still in place. It’s the red and yellowish thing being pinched. No, the other red and yellowish thing. What? It all looks red and yellowish? Well, guess you had to be there.

What’s inside of it? Let’s take a look.

Ed’s last meal.

Next time, we’ll remember not to let the chicken eat before we butcher it.

Finally, all the guts. Let’s see what we have; the heart is to the left on the pavement. The blob in the middle is the intestines, liver and gizzard and the two blobs to the far right are the testicles…, just kidding. I think those are the kidneys.

and a foot.

Now we’re done with the outside work. Let’s step into April’s kitchen and wash that bird like crazy under cold water.

Note how yellow the skin is? It’s very greasy.

The easiest way to store a fresh kill is to cut it up in pieces and place it in freezer bags.

We put Ed in the fridge for a day and then cut him into pieces and fried him.  We all agree that the white meat was really good, but the dark meat was tough.