Bernard

In response to Nick’s complaint request, I have decided to post some man-type stuff.  I must say “man stuff” is not my specialty but I will try.  I took these pictures planning to do a blog, but had decided it was too gory for a family blog, so beware.  Rick is included in the pictures – but still no blog from him.

Some of you may remember our chick Bernadette.  When I placed our order for chicks last spring, the company offered a free rare or exotic chick with your order. So, in addition to our laying hens, I got Bernadette.

Even as a day old chick she had feathers all the way down her feet and she was much larger than the others.

She was awkward and gawky as she grew, and never seemed to fit in with the others but we thought it was just a phase and she would grow out of it.

Not.  Turns out, Bernadette was actually Bernard and she didn’t grow out of it.  Since she he is a Cochin he was much larger than the hens.  As he started performing his rooster duties, he was none too gentle and the hens have the battle scars to prove it.  Note the missing feathers.

They ran from him, but he was so much larger they didn’t have much chance to get away.

If he was the same breed as the hens, Australorps or Barred Rocks, it probably would have been a lot better.

So, we knew Bernard would have to go.  If you are squeamish, you may want to go back to the quilting page now.

Rick took care of the actual killing while Megan hid in the house.

After Bernard hung for a while to bleed, Rick started plucking.

We were quite surprised at how easily the feathers were removed.  We didn’t have to scald Bernard,  just pulled the feathers right out.

Rick got to use the very sharp military knife Alex gave him and it worked well!

Soon after that, Bernard was fried.  I must admit he was a little tough, not the breed or the age of the chickens suggested for meat birds, but we didn’t want him to go to waste.  We fed the broth and fat to the dogs which they thought was delicious.

The hens have been celebrating since Bernard has gone on to his reward.  Egg production is up to about a dozen a day from our sixteen hens; very good considering the winter is usually the slow time for laying.  We have a light on in the coop on a timer to supplement the daylight on these short winter days and that has worked really well.  Our neighbors don’t have a light in their coop and haven’t had an egg in months.

We are hoping the hen’s missing feathers grow back now that they are left alone.  Some day we are planning to order chicks to raise for meat birds.  We could also get a Barred Rock or Australorp rooster and let one of the hens raise a batch of chicks to replace these hens when the time comes.  These girls should lay well for at least the next two or three years though, so there is no hurry on new chicks.

 Bernard is gone and sadly I don’t think anyone misses him.  So there you have it Nick – man stuff:  guns, blood, knives and dead bodies.

And now I am off to quilting class 🙂

10 comments on “Bernard

  1. Tj says:

    …and what a gun! “Think you used enough dynamite there Butch?” Even if rick missed, the concussion would probably be fatal. What happened to the mouse-slayer? mark

    • Brenda says:

      Okay I didn’t use the BB gun like I used on the mice, but I didn’t use my 44 magnum Cowboy gun either. Just a little old 22 with bird shot in it for a clean head shot with no body damage! Do you have any idea how hard it is to hit a moving head shot with a scope on at 10feet? Have you seen a rooster strut his stuff? Also Brenda didn’t want me to shoot the house. I agree with Nick that a shotgun would be better but I was also trying to not hit anything else around like dogs, other chickens and Brenda.
      Rick

  2. The Nick Dude says:

    Nice post!

  3. The Nick says:

    An observation, I just made an observation…. Next time you kill a chicken, why not use a 12gauge and blow the head clean off. Wow… that was graphic. Sorry… P.S. nice post!-The Nick Dude

    • Brenda says:

      I hope it was clear that we did away with Bernard well before your “observation.” I just did the post for you Nick!

      Rick will have to discuss his choice of weaponry – I only know about sewing machines 🙂
      Brenda

    • Brenda says:

      It was more fun to chop his head off with the axe! If Brenda could have held him down we could have chopped off his head then let him run around but she wouldn’t help and I couldn’t do both!

      Rick

  4. Michael says:

    From what I saw, Bernard fried up nicely. I was just wondering the other day about his current status in the coop. I was wondering if Rick and Nick felt the same hunter/gatherer man pride that I did after seeing the events unfold in the pictures. Was Rick able to use one of your quilts to snuggle up in after getting his stomach filled with fried Bernard?

    • Brenda says:

      Bernard was surprisingly tasty – even Megan had a piece.

      I can’t speak to the whole hunter / gatherer thing, I will let Rick address that. I can say my quilting efforts so far are table runners, potholders and one baby quilt, so it would be tricky to snuggle up with those. We do have a nice down comforter on our bed though and that is very nice!

      Brenda

    • Brenda says:

      Next time I will just kill him and gut him with my Kabar knife with my shirt off and a bandana tied around my head like Rambo! That should be some great pictures. 🙂

      Rick

  5. margaret says:

    Can’t wait to see those! :-0

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