Friday, April 1, 2016

The Demise of Rainbow Dash

When Rainbow Dash was a handsome young lad.
Feeling much better but whoa, what a tough month. I spent my fair share of days flat down in bed, a position that is very rare for me. If I don't feel well I at least sew or do bookwork or something. Nope, I was even taking naps. Papa takes naps at a drop of a hat but I avoid them because it often means I end up staring at the ceiling when it is bedtime. The bronchial flu that just kept boomeranging back again was made worse by a delayed shipment of my hormone medications. The most important in this instance was my DHEA's, which boost the immune system. The hormones are finally built back up in my body and I am running to try and catch up.
I have not been a complete slacker as I have done some painting in the house and helped hubby build a unique and awesome barn wood arch for between the living room and kitchen. We also made a custom curtain rod for the long expanse of windows in the living room. When I catch up on my present projects and cleaning, I'll show them to you.
Last night I spent two hours planting seeds in pots for our outdoor garden. They are in the sun room under grow lights and I'll soon share the latest on the tomato experiment. Right now I'm waiting up once more on another batch of chicken and broth I'm canning to later make into chicken noodle soup. 
Our rooster, Rainbow Dash was suppose to be included in the canning but he was just as miserable dead as alive. Our youngest grand daughter, unbeknownst to me, was chasing him when she went outside. Hence, when our back was turned he began chasing us. Him and I went the rounds. I have never been able to persuade a rooster once he starts attacking to never do it again. I wasn't afraid of a little ole rooster and he felt my boot when he flogged me with his wings. I also tried my best to grab ahold of his neck when he attacked but he would just stay outside my arm's length. He was more like an irritating flea and didn't really bother me but every time our youngest grand child called or showed up the first thing out of her mouth was, "Did you kill Rainbow Dash, Grandma." 
I would have to reply, "No."
"Well Grandma, step on his head. Step on his head.", she would advice me, like it took nothing more than that to take care of the problem. True, it didn't take much more than a step and pull for the  neighbor's 12 - old laying hens we killed the end of last summer. The kids thought it was the most hilarious thing and squealed with laughter. You have to witness it to understand but it can be comical. You know the saying, " Run around like a chicken with its head cut off." Well, they don't really run but flopped about drunkenly every which way. Often a funny squawk emits from air being force out of their lungs as they land on one side and then the other. Their brain is dead but their nerves take a little while to catch up. Not that every chicken does this. Most just lay down dead, which is why I prefer this method of killing chickens, besides it is very quick.  
When we brought the chickens indoors a show and tell anatomy lesson began as the kids explored while I dissected. How does a chicken digest its food? They have a craw not a stomach. Every egg a chicken will lay is already inside her just as it is with a woman. They got to see the tiny egg yolks and a soft shell egg nearly fully developed. Our tender hearted 9 year old, with a sparkle in her eye but a yuck look on her face, commented, " Its kind of gruesome but fascinating too."
With no time to can, in the freezer went the hens until now. Fried chicken isn't happening with an older laying hen as the meat is tough. Pressure canning or cooking long and slow works but I always can them for long winter nights when the last thing I want to do is stay outside killing a chicken for supper. I 've done it in my youth but now that I'm boss I prefer to do the task in summer.
Step on his head wasn't happening as Rainbow Dash had a really big neck. It took an ax and he was just as miserable in death as in life. After spraying me in red from my face down, which does not happen, I found that his skin was fastened like glue to his muscles. It generally takes me 7 minutes to process a chicken to where they are ready for the freezer but I was tugging on this, not yet a year old bird, for dear life trying to persuade his skin to separate from the muscle for well, well, over 7 minutes. My muscles aching just after skinning one bird, I still had a pile of pin feathers attached to the meat. The chickens I usually raise do not have pin feathers firmly stuck in the meat. This new kind of breed, Asian Blues, was not winning a popularity contest with me. Yes, I could of used a torch and burned the little feathers but when I tried to cut into his meat, the razor sharp knife skidded off and penetrated my hide instead slicing my finger deeply. I try to be frugal and all but enough is enough and that sorry beggar went into the garbage instead of being included with the hens I'm processing now.
That night was parent teacher conference for the older three kids. After having told her Aunt, in great detail and I might add relish, all about the demise of Rainbow Dash, I just knew our 3 year old was going to tell the teachers too.  She was so.... excited. I could just imagine their eyes growing large in horror of this terrible grandmother who subjects her innocent grand children to the horrors of farm life. To my amazement and huge relief, she did not utter a peep. 

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