Ode To Our First Processing (Warning - Graphic!)


In the Brooder
11 Years
Jan 29, 2008
Southern Maryland
I've been lurking on this board for quite sometime and just recently joined. This past weekend we processed our first chickens to make room for new layers. It was quite an experience. I've written this ode to commemorate the event.

An Ode To Our First Processing

“They’ll suffer if you cut their necks” my Hubby said to me.
“No, no” was my response.
“At the moment of death they will flap for a bit,
But that happens no matter what.”
“It won’t, he replied, if I chop off their heads.”
“It will” I was heard to retort.
“I’ve read all the books.
Please trust me, I begged,
If you do, I know it will work.”

But trust he did not,
And quickly he shot
To the shed to retrieve his sharp axe.
And try as I might,
I did not win this fight,
‘Cause he simply refused to face facts.

Two nails he did drive in the board by his side,
then he placed the stout board on our drive.
“The driveway? I said with my heart full of dread,
The neighbors will most surely uprise.
And their children will watch from their bikes as they pass,
And remember for all of their lives.”

So we circled our cars on the driveway that day,
In a pathetic attempt to save face.
Then we placed the first hen on his board just as planned,
But Paul Bunyan went white in the face.

Now the man is 6’4” and as strong as an ox,
But his heart is a meek as a lamb.
Though he swallowed quite hard and he swallowed again,
The rest didn’t go quite as planned.

Oh he made his first cut on the board in our drive,
And I sighed with relief as he did.
But as I lifted her feet from the drive that dark day,
He was shocked that she still had her head.

Now mind you her head was held on by a thread
And the thinnest of threads ever known.
But the man with the axe was upset beyond words.
“She’s not dead” he exclaimed with great show.

Then the flapping set in and he cried with dismay,
“She is suffering, please give her back.”
But this time I stood fast and I begged him to shush,
And just wait for the moment to pass.

For a time on our drive the earth ceased to spin
And time just completely stood still.
But time marches on,
We recovered our wits,
And reluctantly brought out hen two.

This time would be different he steely resolved,
As he wielded his axe with great verve.
And he brought it straight down with one mighty blow,
So there was no time to cave into nerves.

But just as I said when we started this gig,
The flapping began to set in.
“I told you so” blurted right out of my mouth,
And hurled with great force straight at him.

But then we looked down and together we said,
“Where - oh where - is her head?”
It wasn’t at all where it should have been then,
And we searched as our hearts quickly sped.

It seems that the force of his blow was so strong,
That her head was propelled from that board,
It went under the car,
It went straight down the drive,
And it stopped just short of the road.

That same road where those children ride by on their bikes,
And families stroll by with their dogs.
“Get it quick,” I cried out as he ran for the road,
And I prayed for a very thick fog.

We came back in the house and sat down in our chairs,
And recovered in silence awhile.
Then my husband remembered some work left undone in his office,
And flashed me a smile.
“I must go right away to fulfill this one task,
I’ll be back in just a short while.”

And he jumped in his car,
And went off down that road,
As the children road by on their bikes.
And I had to finish the job we’d begun,
‘Cause he didn’t come back until night!

But when he returned, the first thing that he said,
Was “where are the chickens right now?”
And I showed him my work,
And he looked and he said,
“That’s them?”
And he offered a smile.

And I cooked them, by using the guides on this forum,
Chicken and Rice,
And so on.

And he ate each with relish,
Though if pressed I would say,
That next time he won’t help me,
No how,
No way.
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I laughed so hard my family came running in to see what was so funny, so I read it aloud to them! They all laughed, too. Though my DH said he was glad I didn't have to write an "ode" about him! (He does a great job, and he cuts their throats!) Congratulations on two jobs well done--the butchering and the writing!
Wait...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Cant stop laughing , read it out loud to hubby ,we havent bellied rolled like that in awhile


We will be butchering for the first time this fall . Wish us luck!
Hi everyone - glad you enjoyed the story. It really was quite an event. This morning I composed one final stanza...

The job was complete,
And we went up the stairs,
And I knelt by my bed to say prayers,
Then I laid down my head,
On the crook of my arm and said
"Now we must shop for a farm!"
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Oh My that was just too funny, im spliting a gut here. I will be butchering my first this fall and as I look at all these little fuzzy butts in rubbermaids in my living room I cant help but wish they are all hens so I wount have too.
That was great! Thanks for sharing! My wife and I had an experience with our first one but not nearly as entertaining. She stretched the bird and I chopped. We put a milk crate over it for the flapping. When the flapping was over she said "my work here is done, have fun." And went back into the house. At which point she logged into BYC chat and bragged to everyone about it.
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