During the early days of the Foochow pioneers in Sibu, many chickens were actually swallowed whole by pythons.
And in turn the Foochow pioneers would kill the pythons.
Hens which were full of unlaid eggs were seldom slaughtered because they were supposed to be kept for laying of eggs and most families would keep at least half a dozen hens. In that way the whole family would have eggs throughout the year.
However only in certain circumstances that hens were slaughtered for food. Usually an old hen would be slaughtered because it had broken a leg or looked as if it was not so healthy or it could not lay any more eggs. Hence the saying that old hens were only good for soup. The chicken meat would be too tough for the seniors who in those days had very poor dental health.
Today old layers are slaughtered to make superior soup in restaurants.
The embryos found in the hen would often be given only to the elderly.
Once my father shot a fairly large python which was stealing our hens in our backyard in Pulau Kerto, at the Hua Hong Ice factory.
One hen was badly injured and my parents decided to give the hen and the python to the Iban and Melanau staff to enjoy. The hen according to my mother was full of unlaid eggs. She was so disappointed that a python should come and visit the hens.
Both the hen and the python had a lot of embryos much to the delight of the staff.
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