Culling a chicken from the flock
finally got around to killing one of our hens who hadn't laid an egg
since the spring. After a couple of months by herself with top
notch food, I determined that she had developed a defective
shell gland that wouldn't heal and that she needed to be culled
from the flock. You might be interested in reading my post over
on our chicken blog about my philosophy on when
to cull chickens from your flock.
ashamed to say that I procrastinated all fall and never put the hen's
demise on our list until the end of November. Those five minutes
a day I spent giving her individualized attention and the cup of food
per day she ate while laying no eggs really adds up, and I hope that
I've learned my lesson not to procrastinate in the future. After
all, it took less than an hour of concerted attention to dispatch,
pluck, and gut her.
I would turn an old hen into potstickers or
another sausage-type dish, but I was a bit worried about the condition
of this hen's meat. As soon as we slit her throat, fecal matter
came bubbling up from her crop, and it was impossible to keep the
manure off the meat. I assume there was some kind of physical
blockage inside her, which contributed to her egg-laying problem, but I
just didn't feel good about eating the questionable meat. So we
cut her into quarters as a winter treat for Lucy, who wants all dog
owners to know that uncooked poultry bones are a
perfectly safe (and very nutritious) addition to the canine diet.
Having an extra homemade chicken
waterer on hand
makes it almost too easy to forget about a hen in solitary confinement.
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