Sunday, May 29, 2011
Clubfoot Chick and Duck Smackdown
My new host family has 6 baby chickens. They started out living in a cardboard box in the kitchen. Every night my host father dangles a light bulb into the box. My ibu-mama said that helps them keep quiet at night. It’s true. They are so cute. By the end of the day they are exhausted and just stick out their necks and fall asleep under the light bulb or half way lying in the little wooden box my host dad made that holds their baby chicken food. (It looks like sawdust.)
We also have some 2-3 week old chicks that have graduated to life outside in the yard. One of them has a club foot. He (she?) can’t walk very well and just drags the foot around. The other chicks – there are 10 in this combined liter (What do you call a batch of chicken eggs that hatch?) from previous cardboard boxes – run after each other and peck at stuff in the dirt. They still eat the special baby chick food that my host family buys in the market.
Our big chickens live in a walled off section behind the house. We give them the leftover rice each day. About once a week one of them becomes our dinner/breakfast/lunch. My ibu-mama likes to boil them first and then fry them. Every person eats a small piece of chicken for each meal and generally the whole chicken is eaten in a few days.
When we have chicken I eat about a 1 inch cube (with bones) at each meal until it’s gone. Our other protein sources are fish, eggs, tofu and tempe. An inch cube or sometimes two is about average for a meal.
There is also one large chicken in the yard. When I asked my host father “Why?” he told me that she will lay eggs soon. I asked if they lay an egg every day and he said, “No, every month.” Obviously there are some language difficulties with this conversation but I just chalk a lot of this up to “Oh well, there are lots of things I will never really know.”
I asked about the clubfoot baby and my host mother said that baby chickens don’t taste good. They don’t have much meat. She said they are waiting till it gets bigger and then…. “dead” and she used a cutting motion at her throat.
On a slightly different side note: there is a small outside food stall near my school that sells Bebek (duck) Smackdown. I’ve always been curious about it. How does one “smack down” a duck? What does Duck Smackdown taste like?