Tuesday, July 17, 2012

When Chickens Attack... OR ... Haunted by Chickens...

It started like this, several months ago we acquired 5 meat birds (fast-growing chickens) that we have been raising and pampering and coddling all summer. We managed to save them from their own stupidity, raccoons, skunks, snakes and dogs. Finally they were big enough for the freezer and today was the day! Poor birdies!
I heated up the water to dunk them in – it loosens up the feathers to make plucking easier. We dispatched the poor beasties as humanely as possible. Down into the depths of the 90 quart stock pot. And now for the count. One one-thousand, Two one-thousand… Twenty One-thousand. Test the feathers. Some of the birds took more than one bath.

We commenced with the plucking. I’m such a mean mom, I made the boys help! Ha Ha! Moving on to the part where I eviscerate the carcass (for my non-farming friends, this means to remove the giblets, etc. No, they don’t come in those really nice white packages. It’s a little more messy than that).

Around the time when I was eviscerating carcass number 4, my knife slipped. I sucked in my breath quite rapidly then pressed my thumb over the already gushing wound. Making it to the bathroom past all my kids without them noticing the blood was quite the trick. Let me tell you, soap and water BURN! I grabbed a gauze pad from the first aide bucket and applied pressure.

I'm convinced that the chickens are trying to haunt me. I tried to convince my 14 year old that he could finish the job. It didn’t quite work. I called Josh who was at work and couldn’t leave. Then we tried our home teacher who was at football camp which is where my oldest needed to be. Josh texted another friend who headed over to finish the job. Glenn did an excellent job finishing up that bird and taking care of #5. I’d hate for the poor thing to have been left out of all the fun.

I called my mom to ask if she’d mind driving me to the nearest ER (45 miles away – the other way is about sixes with the construction). She arranged for a sitter for my kiddos and away we went! The hospital in Kemmerer got us in and looked at my finger.  I filleted the first  knuckle of the pointer finger on my left hand.

“How did this happen?”
“I was shaving? No, really, I was butchering chickens.”

“Did you bring the piece you cut off?”

“Ummm. No. I couldn’t really tell which piece was chicken and which piece was me. I didn’t want to chance growing feathers.”

There was much laughter and sarcasm. If it didn’t hurt, it would have been much funnier. Several shots of lidocaine later, my finger was numb enough to scrub. OUCH! Just kidding! It wasn’t really that numb. The sweet doctor numbed it again and again and again. Then she started cauterizing. Again, OUCH! And it was still bleeding. Really? I bleed really well – in fact, I got an A+ in blood! ;) She cauterized at least twice. Now it’s wrapped really well and I look like I have ET fingers. It’s AWESOME! (I'm tempted to put LED lights in the bandage)

If you’re gonna hurt yourself, do a good job of it! There’s no nerve damage that we can tell. It’s a really clean cut (thank goodness for really sharp knives). As of midnight, it’s still quite numb but it’s starting to throb. I’m already imagining the fun I can have trying to get chores done.   :P