Remember this fella?
Until recently, he ran around harassing the hens and crowing at all hours of the day, including the entirely unacceptable hour of 2:00am. It was quickly determined that this guy would no longer rule the roost.
Here he is now. John had planned to do the deed himself but got caught up in other things. So, I had to take care of business the next day while he was at work. Yes, I slaughtered and processed the rooster . . . all by myself . . . outside . . . on a 20-degree day. I've done it by myself one time before. And, I've been a part of the two-man slaughter team several times. The process has become familiar. And, once the headless chicken carcass has hit the processing table, it's even gotten easier. I don't even use gloves anymore for that part (it's so much easier to get the lungs out if you can make use of your fingernails). But, no matter how many times I've done it, the actual slitting the throat part just doesn't get any easier. I think that's a good thing. Taking a life, even of a bird that was raised to feed you, should never be easy.
Anyway, this showy cockerel is no longer puffing out his neck feathers and playing the bully. He's broth.
And, then there's Maggie. Remember her? This low-lady on the totem pole was being pecked to death over at the farm. So, we brought her home to live with the smaller flock here in the backyard. She's not being pecked anymore and has begun to regrow her feathers, but she still hadn't been accepted by the group and just kind of hung out by herself up in the hen house. That is, she hung out by herself in the hen house . . . until last night, when she busted out of there! John called me out into the yard this morning before the sun was even up to help him catch "a chicken" that was out. But, this wasn't just a chicken; it was Maggie! Relishing her freedom, she showed no signs of wanting to return to the hen house where she was being shunned. So, softy that I am for the poor recuperating bird, I declared that she could just live in the backyard and have the run of the place. John presented her with her very own bowl of feed and I brought her out some strawberry tops, and I'm pretty sure she's the happiest bird to ever roam. So, the gal who was literally the bottom of the pecking order of 107 chickens is now ruling the roost . . . and the entire backyard.