The Chicken Story

The other day I went outside to the let the dog out, when I noticed two extra chickens in our coop. We started out with 8 chickens last spring. In early January, Shaughn butchered one of them. She was the runt, not laying eggs, and at the very bottom of the pecking order. I mean we practically did her a favor. And a month later Shaughn butchered a second one. She was laying, but she was always getting out of her fenced in area, picking on everyone, and being a terrible influence on the other chickens. Honestly, she had it coming. So then, it was a great surprise when I came out and we had 8 chickens again.

Oh shit, Ghosts Chickens! No wait, that's not a thing.

I enlisted Shaughn's help to sort out what was going on. He was just as perplexed but suggested we check out the house kitty corner behind us. We knocked and peeked in the window. But the house was empty except for a shop vac and a stereo as if someone had been cleaning and listening to their favorite jams. A neighbor confirmed they indeed had chickens but didn't know anything else besides that. We came home and checked the chickens out thinking maybe they had just flown over several fences to our house. "Hey you should check out the O'Lindy Acres, they have everything!" But on closer inspection we realized their wings were clipped pretty short so there was no way they could have flown in! They must have been dropped off! How weird is that? They weren't there when Shaughn let the chickens out earlier that morning and we were home the whole time. So whoever it was, didn't bother to knock and see if we wanted his chickens. He just tossed them in and scrammed.

While we watched, trying to figure out what to do next, a scuffle broke out between our chickens and the new chickens. So we quickly separated them and decided to figure out what to do when we got home. Maybe someone would come get them. Shaughn wrote a note and taped it on our front door.

When we came home, they were still there. Shaughn said angrily, "Isn't there some kind of farm rule that if you don't pick up your chickens by sundown their ours?"

"No Shaughn. Just because you added the word 'sundown' doesn't make it a 'farm rule'."

"Well, I'm butchering them tonight," he declared.

And he did! The first chicken of ours he butchered in January he read several books and Internet sites about how to do it the most humanely. So he sequestered the chicken in a box in our basement for 24 hours with just water to clear its bowels. We bought a road cone and cut the top off it. He hung the cone upside down and then gently put the chicken in it, head down, so that just the head would peak through the cut end of the cone. The blood is supposed to drain to the head and calm the chicken and then you slice it's head off. Only, we didn't cut the cone down far enough so the chicken's head was nowhere near sticking out the bottom. So after some struggle of getting the chicken in the cone, he had to take her out. He tried to calm her by holding her and saying, "It's going to be...well....hopefully this will be over soon." When I asked how it was going from the top of the stairs. He said in a really pleasant voice, "Oh you know...not great."

The second chicken of ours he butchered went a little smoother. Plus he added the super creepy addition of cutting the head off with our hedge clippers instead of his sharp hunting knife. "It went way faster." Ew. Gross. But you know, great, whatever works.

But these foreign stranger danger chickens? Shaughn marched through the kitchen with his ax saying, "These chickens are going down Grandma Lindgren style." And then he chopped their heads off in the yard. And it was before sundown. So, you know, it's a good thing that's not a farm rule.

I honestly expected some little girl with ringlets to come skipping up our porch and ask, "Have you seen my chickens? They're my best friends." But so far so good. And the bonus is that I have several pints of amazing chicken broth in my freezer.

Here's a couple of our chickens that we haven't killed.


  1. so glad you wrote this out! LOVED reading it!!

  2. This is awesome! "Grandma Lindgren style" LOVE IT! :)

  3. What do you call it when a storyteller makes you feel like you were right there with her? You've got that in spades.

    1. Aw thanks Aida! I keep hoping you'll compile all your random posts into a book.


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