I alluded in my last post to an incident that occurred while I was trying to deal with the situation with Reggie and the chicks. Here is what happened.
So, I had set aside several hours on Saturday morning to process the 5 Roosters (and the rabbit) I currently have that are surplus. I even set about filming the process for my Youtube channel. I decided that I might try a couple of different methods for culling the Roosters, providing my input on which I found most effective. I decided to start with a technique I recently picked up from watching Paul Wheaton’s channel. In the video a young lady kills the chicken in a very efficient method which seemed interesting. I decided to emulate that. `
I grabbed an old towel which I used to clean up some blood and stuff that I had laying around outside and wrapped the Rooster in that. I sat down and prepared the Rooster on my lap, holding his head in position with my left hand. I picked up the extremely sharp knife in my right and prepared to cut. I made a mental note to be careful with the knife before I made the cut. It seems that I put way too much strength into the slice, cutting deeply into the chickens neck and then… as my hand motion moved upwards… I sliced into the hand holding the chicken.
I immediately dropped the knife on the grass and covered the cut with the dirty towel (if you didn’t know, this was a stupid move). The chicken started to struggle and I realised I had to finish the job, it was bleeding and possibly in pain. I let go of the towel, grabbed the animal and broke it’s neck. It slumped in apparent death. I dropped the Rooster to the ground and covered up the wound in my hand with the towel, realising that I was very stupid. After a couple of seconds the Rooster leapt to it’s feet and started to run. I jumped up from the chair, still holding the towel over my hand and gave chase. The Rooster was having trouble… it’s head was not correctly connected to it’s neck, and when I tried to break it’s neck I had ripped all the skin off that section. So would have looked comical to an observer… thankfully no-one was around.
The Rooster was headed towards the kids trampoline, intending to hid under the structure. I wouldn’t be able to catch it if it did that, so I had to carefully kick the Rooster so it was on it’s side (I couldn’t really use my hands, could I). I was then able to pick him up and, with my right hand, break his neck properly. I walked back to where I had been sitting and dropped the body on the ground and took some time to examine the cut on my left hand. It looked bad, yet I didn’t think it was very deep. The pain was quite intense so I stood there trying to work out my next step… I had a dead rooster and a cut hand.. how could I process this meat? I looked down and the Rooster and I realised he wasn’t dead. He was paralysed from the neck down, and he was looking at me. The feeling of being a failure… of dropping the ball so totally started to grow with me, yet I had to finish this one job. I drew my larger knife and with one movement I removed his head. I placed his body on my cutting table and went indoors to tell Kitty about the situation.
Kitty immediately demanded she take me to the hospital. I refused, I didn’t think the wound was serious enough to warrant an hour drive to Hobart. She said she would take me to a clinic we have in my town, so I agreed to that. We left and visited the local clinic. The nurse decided that the wound was bad, yet not that bad to need stitches. She said she was more concerned with the chicken blood in my wound and the disgusting towel I used. After much cleaning I was discharged with some antibiotics and able to go home.
Once home I was confronted with the aftermath of the dead chicken (and the injured Reggie… now that I think about it, the dead Rooster’s head was missing… maybe the hawk left with it). I asked Kitty to assist with processing the meat… sadly she refused. I was unable to use my left hand so I had to dispose of the body for no gain of meat.
I felt like such an idiot. I had killed an animal for no good result, I had injured my hand meaning that I would be unable to do any work for several days, and I had caused this rooster unbelievable suffering. I don’t blame the video, I blame myself for the failure. I am intending on investing in a butchering glove to prevent such injuries in the future.