Looks like company's coming!
I think that the woman in the upper photo is wringing a chickens neck. I always heard that back in the era like this that there usually a fried chicken dinner out on my grandparents farm on Sunday afternoon.
When I was growing up on my parents farm my dad hated chickens so we did not have any. The neighbors had chickens and every so often when I was there they would kill a couple of chickens for dinner. The mom would come out and choose a chicken to eat, grab it by the head, flip that chicken around like it was a propeller and pop the head off. The chickens body would then wander around the yard for a few minutes till it finally flopped over and died.
Quit a grisly sight.
I can distinctly remember my paternal grandmother with a chicken in each hand. When we visited there were big feeds with lots of family. Cooking for my grandmother was an all day affair, breakfast and lunch were heavy, dinner was relatively light. Chicken was offered both roasted and fried along with beef and pork. Back then they burned off a lot of calories on the farm.
I grew up on chickens. Raising them, eating them, and wringing their necks.
We raised them in three large houses. We contracted with a regional chicken company and our family made pretty good money doing it.
We raised around 12-15 thousand a season and had chicken for dinner 2-3 times a week.
We had kerosene brooders( heaters) to keep them warm in the winter.
This was in the late 40's and 50's before Pilgrims Pride and a few other conglomarates took over the chicken market.
We still have the remains of the largest house where I store my T parts and etc.
When I saw the pic of wringing the chickens neck it brought back a lot of memories! Thanks
Steven, my grandparents lived on Wayne Avenue in University City and their neighbors kept chickens in a coop behind the garage. (These are the same neighbors whose teenage sons owned a 1918 T Touring and used to give me rides in it.) I remember once when one of the sons took a hatchet out to the chicken coop and chopped the head off a chicken. I must have been around six or seven at the time. When I later heard the phrase, "like a chicken with its head cut off," I knew what it meant.
When my older grandson (now 16) was about 3 or 4 years old he observed my wife un-package and begin to prepare a whole chicken (supermarket variety). He watched for a couple of minutes then asked, "Who killed it's head?" That phrase is now a standard in our family.
My dad hated chicken for the very reason Herb posted above. He said as a kid (in the 20's & early 30's) they had chicken to eat often and dinner for folks visiting from town almost every Sunday. As the eldest son he got stuck with the dirty work.
Steven, I watched my dad do that a time or two. I fear that I would not have made the best homesteader...grin...
Killing it is easy. Pulling the feathers a bit harder, cleaning the insides the messiest, but it is good eating. Now days we have it easy, just run down to the grocery store and buy a package of legs, wings, breasts or mixed pieces or a whole chicken all cleaned and plucked. You can even get one already cooked!
Remember Mike, the chicken who refused to die when his head was chopped off and became a sideshow attraction 1945/47.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqDjRCHyjTY
His memory lives on in Fruita, Co, with "Mike the Headless Chicken" festival in May every year!
Since Mike didn't have much of a brain left, he didn't care much what cars he was seen around;
Looks suspiciously like a '36 Chxxy..
My mother would stand on the chickens head and pull it off holding the chicken with it's legs. Then the chicken would flop around and bleed out. I can see her now.
When I was about 11 we lived in near Mansfield,Missouri. On the farm we had chickens and I can remember Dad chopping off the chickens head it flopping around. We then dipped the chicken in ho water and pulled the feather, much easier that way. The gutting process I never got into, but chicken and gravy YUM< YUM, hot biscuits and home made cane sorgum, have a small jar in the cabinet that I bought in Missouri Last May..
As said earlier in the post go to the store and buy what you want and save all the time and enjoy FRIED, BAKED, BBQ'D, or what ever way
Bill D #14079
Bobby Rutledge & the Cimarrons knew what they were singin' about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSDIhSFGWwE
Thanks, Steve. We're having chicken for dinner.
After the rooster took a chunk out of my sisters leg I cut its head off and we had boiled rooster! I think that was about the last time I dispatcher a chicken to eat. If it weren't for chicken and a little pork now and then, I wouldn't eat much meat. Glad I like chicken!
This my grandparents and the small chicken ranch
they started after there retirement from the wood and delivery stable business. This was sometime in the late 20's and 30's, in Santa Cruz Ca.area.
My father being a butcher had to do the killing a little different, back then for sale in a store they would have there heads and feet left on the body, why I don't know.
We used a hatchet, usually did 4 a night when it was time to butcher the cockerels. Didn't do much of the gutting but did my share of the killing and plucking. We dunked them in scalding water to make the plucking easier. I HATE the smell of wet feathers.
Mom would cut the carcasses up the next day and burn the hairs off over a candle stub. If you look very closely at your piece of KFC or some other brands of coated chicken you'll see that they don't bother to singe the hair off and chickens DO have hair.
Brings back memories. I started as "hatchet man" at about 6 or 7. Never got used to that. We would do about 10-12 a day for several days to help feed the harvest crews on our ranch. Mother used an small alcohol lamp to burn off the pinfeathers. Your mentioning scalding and plucking feathers brought back a bad smell in my mind too! Thanks for the memories :-)
P.S: I still like chicken-one of my favorites. Commercial chicken is certainly not like "home grown" though. Small and not much flavor. Just glad somebody else does the preparation.
Mom was a small gal & she would put a broom handle over their neck & then step on the handle & give their legs a quick hard pull. She'd pull hard enough so that they'd go flying far enough away that they wouldn't splatter blood on her. Us little kids would chase, or be chased, by the critters until they settled down. I'm not quite sure why we got such a kick out of that.
I've not plucked a chicken in 50 years, but I can smell those scalded feathers like it was yesterday.
Every Sunday dinner, it was roast (beef) or pan fried chicken. We had a dairy, so the beef was tough (from old dairy cow) so more roasts and hamburger.
I always knew if it was a "chicken Sunday" because mom would pull off a chicken's head on Saturday if that was the Sunday menu selection .
When I was growing up in the 50's we had a black lab that thought it great sport to catch and retrieve the chickens after their heads were lopped off with the hatchet. Of course Mom didn't think it was funny since the dog would be covered in blood and needed a bath before he could come back in the house and sometimes he would be a little hard mouthed and chickens would have a few bite marks.