I have a dead chicken. Not- as a consequence of the dog.
When I went out to turn the birds loose for the day (they're closed in the coop at night, totally free all day) - the coop looked fine; all the birds were inside, including the little banty hen who is a slippery as a weasel- and one of the Buff Orpington roosters was - dead.
99.99% probability - he was murdered by the other, single remaining, Orp rooster. Now I'm wondering if the disappearance of the 3rd Orp rooster, last week, was not due to the eagles hanging around- but to rooster harassment.
Sigh. Well, vast relief it's not the dog; who is still behaving beautifully. And I can feel the relief from the hens, who were definitely over-exercised.
The carcass is not ripped up, or anything, but the corpse was cold when I got there.
So. Now what?
The bird is 9 months old. But was harassed- and left to lie undrawn for quite some time. And, surprise, the other birds in the coop wound up walking over it, and pooping a little on it.
Can I pluck it, or should I skin it? (Of course I intend to eat him!) Is he going to taste a little rank? From being kicked around and undrawn so long?
Any experience in chicken salvaging out there?
I'm leaning toward a pot-pie, at the moment. This will be the first bird we've eaten out of our experiment. Most of the muscle mass will be from commercial feed; but they've been truly free range since they were 7 weeks old. They ate, to my astonishment, a lot of apples; mostly Roxbury Russet (the coop is under one) and Golden Russet, which is the next line in the orchard. For a month and a half setting the birds loose for the day included stepping on and crushing about a dozen groundfall apples for them- which they would attack immediately. Could be interesting.
oh, yeah, and the computer is restored. And, of course, Beelar, who has been Sys Admin for his grad school engineering department, tells me "huh, I've never known one to do that before..." - which is standard operating around here. Whatever we break- no one has never broken it that way, before. I could give you a list.