Originally Posted by Kassaundra
It gets easier, stick to your guns and follow through. Take them to the processor, come home have a good cry and some wine.
I wish the carriers were easier to tell, any of my birds could be carriers and I'm in the same boat, very reluctant to sell my chickens, chicks or eggs
The crying will happen for sure. I'm already dreading the trip and handing them over terribly.. apparently if you go there on a not too busy day, you're in and out within like 20 minutes, it is scary for the birds. That's what gets me. I could probably do this with a good thumping on my chest and a resolve to do what's right for future birds no problem if it wasn't for the fact people have said they're handled roughly and get scared. I can't drink for a whole swathe of reasons but sometimes I wish I could, lmao.
At this point I'm just trying to have homozygous scaleless birds at all, but then I'm torn on direction. I want to breed them down to near-or-matching serama size to make it easy for people to bring them indoors during bad weather, except they would rapidly stop making a good meal, but I'd still need something to do with the extras. Alternatively I could breed for good meaties, but enough folks treat meat birds as lesser and wouldn't be willing to consider extra husbandry needs leaving them extra prone to neglect, which is the exact kind of future for potential offspring I'm trying to avoid. I would say I could just breed something that is both, but as handsome as the cornish bantam is, I look at it as.. kind of a warning. Not healthy birds.
Either way I could always go for more NN hens. NNs are supremely unpopular in this part of TX for some reason. People'll have less reason to want to steal my ladies if they're showing some skin ;)
Originally Posted by DesertChic
First I just want to say, You CAN do it! I literally cried over the first few birds I processed, feeling as if I'd somehow betrayed them. Even now after processing quite a few birds, each one requires some mental preparation for me. As silly as it may be I still thank and apologize to each bird I butcher, and my son has commented that I tend to utter the same phrase each time, "I know baby, but it will be over soon. I'll make it quick." The physical process has become much easier as I've become more skilled. The real trick is to NOT psych yourself out. Our greatest barrier to performing any task is typically a mental one, and since it's your brain, you have control of what you want to think about all of this. For me the concerns I have about food quality in this country combined with my determination to do what's best for my family proved stronger than any apprehension I had about butchering a chicken. And once I ate one of the birds I butchered ther was no going back. Find what's most important about this for you, and focus on that.
Thank you for the luck! I will need it. I'm not in this because of food quality or family, it is vastly moral. I am trying to look at it as, it isn't as if I've never had someone else kill a chicken for me before. As long as I am eating chickens, I am killing chickens. I have just had the privilege of not seeing it in action until now. It becomes a matter of looking at how those chickens lived instead. Factory farming is disgusting, chickens are viewed poorly and treated even worse. Chickens aren't just my favorite food but my favorite animal and there are many chickens I hold very, very dearly as living things so that is an injustice I want to see stricken down within my life time. I'm not going to ignore the fact that factory farmed chicken, as the world is right now, is a cheap and necessary protein. I'm not going to be classist and condemn people for eating it because it is what they can afford... I just mean no one should be happy with factory farming as it is, everyone should want it to change for the better. I want to be part of the solution by educating, and supporting home production. I believe any food someone can reasonably produce at home, they should. It is better for the animals and the environment. I just gotta practice what I preach. That and I honestly think a lot of people who already practice home meat production specifically could do to be more humane about it, because not being factory farming on its own isn't enough. I have to set an example rather than just say that.
Just EEGGGHH... knowing they'll be scared.. and I'll have these birds for 18 - 20 weeks looking after them, knowing them, being as good as I can be to them.. it is like my fear of needles. It is less about the actual puncture and more about knowing there's hurt on the horizon. Once it's happening, I'll grit my teeth and muscle through. Not to mention I don't ever actually want it to become easier. I'm afraid of becoming someone who's numb to just how supreme an important but unconsenting sacrifice these birds are making for us to have a sustenance. I believe remaining at least some kind of tender to the process is part of it being humane.