Oh, dear. My last post was...some time ago.
Sorry, I've been busy: podcast recordings, Summer fun and school-upkeep with munchkins, book club appearances, a week-long trip to visit friends out of state, and an incredibly busy husband leaving me in many instances to be an independently sort-of-wealthy single mom. Not his fault, of course; we're ultra-blessed that he's so dedicated to us. That said, I'm tired.
And I need to start writing again. Soon.
But I have some other things coming up first, like my in-laws arriving tomorrow and staying for a week, my husband taking a bit of vacation time, my garden requiring some serious effort, my kids still needing entertainment and continuing education, and, most urgently now, I need to dispatch Rooster.
Rooster is officially a rooster. The idea that I ever could have denied it before seems ludicrous to me. He has a comb, a wattle, and crows (rather pathetically; he's still young) every morning at 5:27 like CLOCKWORK. HE...IS...A ROOSTER. Which means, thanks to city ordinances (and the possibility of pissing off both our neighbors and the HOA) specifying NO roosters in the city limits, HE MUST DIE.
An animal activist-y friend of mine pointed out that I could give him away to one of the outskirts-of-the-city farms, but what she didn't know until I broke her heart explaining is that when you introduce a young, sexually immature rooster to other chickens - particularly other roosters - you end up with murder. Literally. They don't want him invading their territory, and they will either hen peck him to death, or engage him in cock fights with older roosters who will happily do away with him. It's all rather horrible. Rather than let that happen, I'd prefer to dispatch him myself in as humane a fashion as possible. Oh, and eat him. Because really, we bought these suckers for food, not to keep as pets.
And like I said, the in-laws are coming tomorrow. Turns out they have an interest in both eating Rooster (because really, who wouldn't?) and watching the dispatch process occur. Dad # 2 has actually done it before, some time ago; Mom # 2, God bless her, wants to learn! They'll be in tomorrow night, so there will be no opportunity for us to attend to it then. Sunday's a crazy day, and Monday is the 4th, so neither of those days will work.
Rooster, therefore, has a reprieve...until Tuesday.
Tuesday Rooster meets his Maker.
And I'm mostly okay with it. I bought a small, very sharp knife, both for throat cutting and beak insertion. I have a giant tamale/lobster pot that I'll use to bring water up to 150 degrees. I have a big plastic storage bin that will serve for a warm water-filled plucking tub, and a plastic Costco folding table and a sheet of aluminum from Lowes to top it so I can do my eviscerating. I'm ready to lock the other chickens in the coop for the length of the process, and I have stored away in my brain the how-tos and the wherefores.
Again, mostly. Then I start thinking about that cute, fluffy little yellow puff ball we picked up from the feed store 14 weeks ago, and how Rooster eats from my hand (with his very sharp beak that he has not yet let injure me) and allows me to stroke his beautiful feathers.
It motivates me to use every possible part of him all the more. You see, he has already lived about twice as long as much factory chickens, and heaven knows he's had a far, far, far, far, FAAAAAAAAARRR better life. For one thing, he could spread his wings...fully...whenever he wanted. For another, he got to spend his life with three doting lady chickens, and what man wouldn't want a life like that? For a third, he has been truly free-range, enjoying about 4000 sq ft of run-around space. He eats what and when he wants, gets regular treats, and (kinda) crows at will. He can laze around, do as he pleases, and enjoys chasing off the local squirrels on a whim. He has led as happy a life as a chicken could want, and will meet his end amongst family members and humanely.
Not so bad a chicken-y life.
More to follow...probably Wednesday, after the fact. My husband will be photo-documenting it all, and I'll be posting (potentially very graphic) photos (just a warning!). Other stuff to blog on, too, as it's been a while, but that will also come later than sooner. I've got junk to do, family to entertain, and a husband on vacation to enjoy.
Signing off for a few days. Love to all, Jessica
PS. To those 100+ people who have bought the book so far: THANK YOU!!!!