Unfortunate jump into processing


8 Years
Sep 14, 2011
Shingle Springs, CA
I've had five cockerels in freezer camp for a couple of months and have been putting off the processing. I've slaughtered birds in the past, but it's been over twenty years ago. It was never an easy task for me and I had never actually seen anyone do it (that was before the internet and YouTube). The boys are three BSL's, a campine that had curled toes and a BCM. I'd been dragging my feet to start and had signed up for a refresher course that someone is offering locally on home processing.

Thurs. morning my DH went outside to let all the birds out and do the morning feeding of the sheep/alpacas. I was getting ready to fix breakfast when he put his head through the door and said "Your dogs just killed Noah (the BCM)". Freezer camp was a converted cyclone dog pen that we never got around to putting smaller wire around the bottom. Noah was the only one that would wedge into the corner to get away from the older boys. Apparently he put his head through the wire and the dogs grabbed him. It literally had just happened, they had severed his jugular and he was bleeding out.

That moved me into action so I didn't have time to stress over the process. Less than an hour later he had been scalded, plucked, cleaned, bagged and refridgerated.

I'm not happy with the end he met, not happy with the dogs, not happy with ourselves for not preventing the situation (the pen has now been wired 3 feet up with small mesh), but I was glad with getting it over with and finding I could still get it done.

Tonight we had roast chicken, it was great and he didn't die in vain.


(And Noah was the only bird in the pen with a name!)
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