Sunday, May 22, 2005

Too many roosters, part 2

1.


2.


3.


1. Buff Orpingtons. We had three roosters, which was two too many for our hens.

2. This is why. The roosters fought, injuring each other and the hens as well. Many of the girls had all the feathers plucked out of their heads and backs. We tried to give away the extra roosters, but could find no takers. So...

3. Chicken and dumplings.

My mother-in-law gave us a recipe: Simmer about 1/3 of the chicken for 2 hours. Take the chicken out to cool and add onion, celery, salt, and pepper to the water. Roll biscuits out flat, cut into strips, and add to the water. Cook for 15 - 20 minutes then add the deboned chicken back in and heat through. (We also added some sage and summer savory.)

18 comments:

Niobium said...

I wish I had thought to do this when I was growing up in a house with too many step-brothers.

Ahhh, hindsight...

Lorianne said...

Now *that's* a way to keep a bird in line! :-)

fletch said...

"Simmer about 1/3 of the chicken for 2 hours"

Which 1/3, the top, middle, or bottom? Shouldn't you kill it first?

Just kidding. Sounds yummy.

roger said...

mmmmm---rooster. i seem to remember buying "sex link" pullets, meaning that the roosters were different color than the hens at first feathers. don't know which variety. roosters can be abusive, and hens can be quite mean to the lowest in the pecking order. woe betide the rooster who falls too. all the hens will lunch on him.

Rurality said...

Nb, I'm not sure that this method is legally approved for step-brothers!

Lorianne, I probably need to print out these pictures and show them to the remaining rooster. His name is "Stewpot" by the way.

Fletch, LOL. I left out the gory details in the interest of being family-friendly. :) Actually hubby did the dispatching. I helped a lot with the eating.

DPR, yeah I've seen those chickens in the hatchery catalog. Actually these two Buff Orpington roosters were not aggressive towards us, just towards the other rooster. And they were so heavy and frequently double-teamed the poor hens. And their favorite targets were the ultralight Lakenvelders! Just too much drama in the yard... We kept the other rooster because he possibly has the blue-egg gene, he's lighter, and well, yes he's prettier. None of which may matter if he goes after me again.

megabethcom said...

I'm very unschooled on farm animals so I have a dumb question. Why do the roosters pluck the feathers out of the hens?

Hick said...

Yummy! If it wasn't going to be so hot today, I would cook up a batch.

Karen said...

Since you spared Stewpot, I hope he was the best dancer. :)

Rurality said...

OK SM, I'm going to attempt to explain, while also attempting to maintain a "family-friendly" rating. :) Roosters want to have their way with hens. Frequently. To accomplish this, they climb onto their backs, and sometimes hold onto feathers on their heads for balance and/or dominance, I'm not sure which. The state of baldness in the hen shown above means she was awful put upon.

Hick, this was the first non-store chicken I've ever eaten. All told it's probably cheaper to buy from the store, but I definitely know what went into this one. :)

Karen - absolutely! I really did hate having to do this but we couldn't find homes for them elsewhere.

Jolie said...

You crack me up! I was scrolling down the page and when I got to #3, I thought, "Yum!" and then "Wait, does that mean what I think it means?" :)

I spent my summers in college working at a church camp. We had one rooster, and he was very *cough* attentive. When kids would ask why the hens were missing their feathers, it was pretty hard to explain without worrying you were going to lose your job. You did a great job keeping it "family friendly"!

cookie jill said...

Oh...No....poor Rooster. :-(

but I suppose he was nummy...

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/recipe_views/views/104633?epiSearchPage=http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/find/results?search=chicken+and+dumplings

Zanne said...

1. Awesome photo. You need to put together a calendar or something and sell in your booth with the soap!
2. Boys will be boys!
3. Looks absolutely wonderful. Couldn't do the dispatching myself, but I've been known to spend an afternoon plucking. The bird tastes oh so much better after all that work.

Rurality said...

Jolie, someone explained to me that your rooster-to-hen ratio is too high if the chickens are bare-backed. :) Presumably these will grow back in eventually - with the next molt I guess.

Jill that recipe looks more like what hubby had in mind! He kept saying "the sauce should be white". My MIL told me I could make my own dumplings or just use biscuits... and of course once I heard "biscuits" it was hard to imagine doing more than the minimum, especially for the first time trying this. :) When I try to get fancy is usually when I start messing things up! I do like the chives and parley idea though.

Thanks Zanne. Actually we ended up skinning the roosters, so we didn't have to pluck them. I guess that's a whole other experience!

Anonymous said...

We have the exact same problem, only with ducks!

Though none of ours have ended up in the stewpot just yet....we're a little hypocritical, we've been trying to pawn the Bad Ducks off on our meat eating neighbours who know how to do these things :P

Those chicken dumplings sure look good though!

-Sarah
http://www.slaphog.com/sarahblog/

mira said...

Mom and Dad are already marking which roosters will be the first for the stewpot. Rooster Cogburn, one of their Barred Rocks, is definitely spared, he's become a pet. Others won't be so lucky. They purchased mostly straight-run chicks, so they are going to try to keep about a 5-8:1 hen:rooster ratio.

I'm looking forward to the round of meat; they're raising the chickens on antibiotic and animal by-product free food, and have a decent sized fenced area to run around in. They're hoping maybe that healthier meat will be healthier for me.

Anonymous said...

Very funny, that sequence of photos.

Please don't do a "too many squirrels" series...

Abdul-Walid

Rurality said...

Mira I think the free range chickens are much better for you... and tastier too.

Sarah male ducks are worse but they don't take quite the toll on females as chickens do. At least not when they're on the ground... in the water they will sometimes drown the female. (Not exactly good for reproduction.)

Abdul-Walid, I promise, no squirrel-eating posts!

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