The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Escaped chicken

How to catch an escaped chicken on processing day

We've been processing our 15 broiler chickens this week.

5 on Monday, 5 yesterday, and 4 today.

Why just 4 today? Because the above rooster managed to bust out of the holding coop just as I was grabbing him. He exploited a weak spot in the plastic fence and just pushed his way through to freedom.

We tried sneaking up on him, but decided it would be easier to wait a few hours and catch him when he goes in the coop tonight.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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The light in your photo, and the circumstances of his escape say to me: this rooter deserves immortality, maybe as the hero of a children's book...
Comment by adrianne Wed Nov 28 21:06:23 2012
Whoever said chickens are dumb haven't lived with them. That rooster knew what was going on and he wanted no part of it.
Comment by Sheila Wed Nov 28 21:24:45 2012

Sheila --- I'm not sure I'd call him smart, though. I opened the door to the brood coop where he spent two thirds of his life roosting in at night, and come dusk, there he was settled down on the bedding. Looks like we'll have another rooster in the freezer today with no chasing.

Mom --- Sounds like you're going to have to write the children's book if you want him to be immortal --- two roosters in one small flock is bad news, and our current grown up rooster is far too good to slaughter in this guy's stead.

Comment by anna Thu Nov 29 07:44:34 2012
How do y'all scald your chickens for plucking? Or do you skip that step? We could never make ourselves butcher only 5 birds after waiting forever for the scalder to heat up. What do you know (about this :)) that we don't? We always end up doing 2 dozen birds at a time just so as to avoid heating the water more than once.
Comment by Lindsey in AL Thu Nov 29 09:29:47 2012
Lindsey --- Good question! We have a two gallon pot that I cook up soup in during the summer, and it doubles as our scalder. Just fill it two thirds of the way up and put it on the stove on high and it's ready to scald by the time we've snagged the next bird, slit its throat, and drained out the blood. After plucking, Mark refills the pot and puts it back on the stove as I take out the entrails, and the cycle continues.
Comment by anna Thu Nov 29 09:40:48 2012

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