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post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimG 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaLulaFarm 

How have you arranged harvest day to help kids get through the whole slaughter idea?  We have a 4 yo and a 2 yo, and I'd like them not to carry memories like my childhood ones of watching the headless chicken run around squirting....


In my experience, it is often the things that parents are worried about that kids pick up on and worry about; if a parent expresses apprehension and dread about slaughter day, kids are apt to pick up on this and understand that they should also feel apprehension and dread.  Even if a parent's concern is only about how their child will react, a child will pick up on the expectation that the child should have a special reaction.

My recommendation would be not to make a big deal out of slaughter day and not to have hushed conversations about what the kids will be doing when the deed is done.

This is not to say that you should not prepare them for what is going to happen.  You should explain to them what the process is and what things they can expect.  Let them choose whether they want to see some or all of it after they understand what is going to happen.

Too much to ask of a 2 year old, but your 4 year old is likely capable of deciding for himself (or herself).

I think it is also important to make the kids aware from the start that the chickens will be raised for meat.  Don't encourage them to be treated as pets and then surprise them with a slaughter.


Personally I agree.  But I will add that I thought one of the neatest things I ever saw as a young boy was a chicken running around after "the deed was done".  Like Tim says, if you explain everything (the how and why), your kids are going to be better able to help with processing in the future.  But this is just my opinion.


Edited by CARS - 3/21/10 at 8:37pm
Christopher Rathman

Self-Employed Automotive Restorer who should be working, not chatting about chickens
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Christopher Rathman

Self-Employed Automotive Restorer who should be working, not chatting about chickens
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post #22 of 29

+1 Olive Hill

We killed in cones.  It was silent, not very messy, and helped restrained the flopping that occurs after death.  I had not witnessed an animal death before, (besides putting down the family dog), and I was freaked out at first, but once they were gone, it was amazing how fast they just looked like any other grocery store chicken.  The death part passes quickly.

The compost is at my poultry buddy's place where we do the slaughter, so I don't directly know, but she has not mentioned any issues.

The youngest in our party was 16, and she was the only person besides the butcher who could handle laying knife to throat (although I will try next time). 

I agree with everyone here that children will learn how to react from the adults present.  Most experiences for them are neutral.  I have a friend who has egg birds (big flocks, commercial).  One day a rooster went after her 3 year old and she grabbed the axe and put an end to that permanently.  The other three kids (all 7 and under) all wanted to take turns cutting off bits of the rooster.  It wasn't sadistic or anything, they are just farm kids who are curious and want to mimic adults. 

Barbara Kingsolver talks in one of her books about pulling a carrot out of the ground and showing a 13 year old, who was convinced that she buried it there to trick him, and was grossed out by the dirt on the food.

For contrast, here's Herrick Kimball's son at 11 goofing around processing chicken:  http://thedeliberateagrarian.blogspot.com/2006/08/processing-chickens-with-my-son.html 

For people I know who had or killed chickens, they look back on it as something they had to do because of poverty, and have some shame.  I want my kids to grow up feeling how I do when I dress out a chicken - strong and capable, and looking forward to a luxurious, clean meal.

I'll tell you the honest truth.  Our first slaughter day was one of the brightest spots in my memory.  We had several generations, we were a little afraid, but all of us contributed.  We all felt close, and we drank beer and laughed the whole time.  It was a form of Thanksgiving and I am looking forward to having children so they can grow up with this tradition.

post #23 of 29

I'll be doing my first processing in about 4 months ya . What we've decided to do is as follows:
1. I'll do the deed outta sight since it will be my first time hide and I'm sure I'll be just as nervous as I was when I processed my first rabbit idunno.
2. Everyone else will pitch in with me on the plucking and the remainder of the processing woot .


We decided we'll teach the kids how to do the complete processing after I get one batch done fl so they will hopefully look at it more positively without having to deal with Mom (me) being all nervous, etc...th
I've already separated out the 4/5 roos that are 2 weeks old and explained to the kiddos that those are gonna be dinner thumbsup , they can play with the hens in the other brooder clap. All the kiddos love havin their "chickie time" especially my nephew who's 10 wee , it really seems to calm them down when they start getting hyper. Now I really hope I'm right on who the roos hide are because I don't need any more roos till I get some more breeding pens done fl .


Edited by quietheart - 3/22/10 at 10:21am
Mother of 2 girls and 1 boy and step-grandma of 8. Our house is a zoo with cats, a gsd mutt, a rabbit, fish, a goat, a Turkey, Guinea-fowl,  Silkies, Plymouth Rocks, Buff Orpingtons, Austrolorps, Polish, mutt chickens, and lots of chicks.
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Mother of 2 girls and 1 boy and step-grandma of 8. Our house is a zoo with cats, a gsd mutt, a rabbit, fish, a goat, a Turkey, Guinea-fowl,  Silkies, Plymouth Rocks, Buff Orpingtons, Austrolorps, Polish, mutt chickens, and lots of chicks.
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post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH 
Quote:
Originally Posted by terri9630 

I didn't count the cost of feeders and such when we figured out what our birds cost us since they are the same ones we used when our layers were chicks.   We raised 4 birds for 4-H in an unused horse stall and fed a 1/4 bag of starter (left over from our RIR's) and one bag of grower and butchered at 7 wks.  They were 4 1/2-5lbs in the freezer.  That came out to about $5 a bird which is about what they are in the stores here. 

I'd like to know where the other poster is finding chicken for $0.40 and beef for $0.99 a lb.  Hamburger here is almost $3lb and a 3lb chicken is $6.


I shopped at Savalot . The 10lb frozen chicken quarters are up from $4.90 to $5.90 this week so its 59 cents now [ the same at Walmart ] , but 5lb frozen hamburger is still at $4.95 so its still at 99 cents and both are cheaper than balogna at the same store , though one cheap brand of hotdogs was a little lower .


I wish we had a Savalot around here then.  I just paid $13 for 5lbs of hamburger meat.  I don't know about the chicken quarters here since we have been eating our own chickens for the past 6 months.  Wish I had room for a steer and hog.....

post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by terri9630 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH 
Quote:
Originally Posted by terri9630 

I didn't count the cost of feeders and such when we figured out what our birds cost us since they are the same ones we used when our layers were chicks.   We raised 4 birds for 4-H in an unused horse stall and fed a 1/4 bag of starter (left over from our RIR's) and one bag of grower and butchered at 7 wks.  They were 4 1/2-5lbs in the freezer.  That came out to about $5 a bird which is about what they are in the stores here. 

I'd like to know where the other poster is finding chicken for $0.40 and beef for $0.99 a lb.  Hamburger here is almost $3lb and a 3lb chicken is $6.


I shopped at Savalot . The 10lb frozen chicken quarters are up from $4.90 to $5.90 this week so its 59 cents now [ the same at Walmart ] , but 5lb frozen hamburger is still at $4.95 so its still at 99 cents and both are cheaper than balogna at the same store , though one cheap brand of hotdogs was a little lower .


I wish we had a Savalot around here then.  I just paid $13 for 5lbs of hamburger meat.  I don't know about the chicken quarters here since we have been eating our own chickens for the past 6 months.  Wish I had room for a steer and hog.....


I've found that prices vary between stores and regions , even within a specific chain . The closest Walmart grocery is just slightly lower on most meats than the one located just across the line in a state that doesn't have sales tax on grocery items , and the two carry different brands . We also have an Aldies that is nearly identical in price to Savalot , but several miles further drive . I live in the heart of the grain belt ; even day old chicks are a little cheaper due to the proximity of several hatcheries lowering shipping costs . On the other hand land prices are outrageous , and in this county they passed a law against selling land in parcels less than 20 acres unless they're already established . You can no longer buy the unused farm homes sitting on an acre or two without buying the entire farm .


Edited by SteveH - 3/23/10 at 1:21pm
post #26 of 29

Just had 22 large 11 wk old CX processed today.  Their dressed weight combined was 140.8 lbs (not including giblets).  Feed, birds, slaughter (couple bucks under $50), total cost $235.  Made a porta-coop to keep them in with misc. repurposed salvaged items, mostly as an exercise in creativity.  We eventually bought a cheap 8x10 or so size tarp, & already had some waterers & a couple feeders around.  

 

The cost doesn't include any labor... its mostly a hobby, due to our interest in learning some farming & sustainability skills.  We are both "city kids," but have had 30 acres, a barn, breed/raise cattle, chickens, organic heirloom veggies for many years now.  But its not as if we were planning on going "off-grid" here anytime soon.  We got a few chickens some years ago, & were hooked!  Soooo very entertaining & fascinating.... 

 

Also didn't account for the gas cost to transport to the processor.  We are very short on time, with demanding jobs, so chose to have them 'done,' vs. doing it ourselves (we can & have in the past).   

All considered, the cost came out to about $1.68lb for cost of birds, feed, slaughter.  Not bad at all, plus taste is amazing & I know EXACTLY what went into them!  To me, that alone is worth a whole lot.....

post #27 of 29

what do they chickens ~weigh before they are processed?

post #28 of 29

Don't forget the gas to go get the feed each time, too.  We also account for the portion of the mortgage attributable to the acreage we raise our birds on.

post #29 of 29
I know this is an old thread but hope someone can answer this. I do not raise broilers but have some girls who I will slaughter now that they are not laying. I will also slaughter this year my unwanted Roos. I think I will do this at about 6 months but here's my question. If I weigh my live bird what percentage should I expect of eight will be the slaughtered bird?
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