Exposing kids to butchering. Please take a second to weigh in.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Shikens!, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. Shikens!

    Shikens! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 2, 2011
    I'll keep this short and simple.

    I am going to buy a meat bird and have my 2 step daughters involved in the raising butchering and cooking. I think it is important that at least once in their lives they see where food comes from. I think it's important for a lot of reasons.

    My question is, when YOUR kid was exposed to this whole process did younger kids understand and except it better or do older kids handle it better? The last thing I want is more harm than good.

    The girls are 11 and 14. I feel like the younger the better but I have never done this before. Please share! I am especially interested in anyone that has done this with step kids. Please weigh in on how that went down.

    *yawn* I'll check this in the morning.
     
  2. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

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    I think it depends on the kid and your approach to it as well. My kids were about 6.5 and 8 when we raised our first meaties and now at 9.5 and 11, they help with every processing and are an invaluable part of our team. We have had older kids come watch or help and they did fine as well. But there are kids who really don't like it and certainly don't want to help. We have always been very matter-of-fact about it and our kids now have that same attitude. I'm sure my older nieces would want nothing to do with it but sometimes they surprise you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  3. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Overrun With Chickens

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    My oldest is only 6, but both her and my 20 month old watched when I butchered our chickens. Didn't make her participate, and she stayed inside while they were dispatched, but came out to watch the rest. She was curious, asked a lot of questions, but wasn't tramatized or anything, lol. Did make her more curious about where her food comes from. She asks about everything she eats now, what animal it came from, what part, etc. I watched my grandparents process theirs when I was around 9 or 10. Mostly all I remember was how bad it stank (they did around 100+ at a time, was a family thing with my great aunts and uncles, etc) I was ok with it, I'd come back to see how everything was going, but mostly ignored them and played with the bottle baby calfs.
     
  4. The Yakima Kid

    The Yakima Kid Cirque des Poulets

    It's a good idea to make sure they don't make a pet of the bird. Food is food; pets are pets.
     
  5. Urban Chaos

    Urban Chaos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All my children have been around butchering since birth. My oldest (11) dosnt mind it at all and even helps out, he's been helping as long as I can remember. Now, my 6 & 3 year olds are not interested at all in the process, dont want to see it or anything. In fact, they get mad at DH for hunting - until its on their plate. I think the important thing is that you offer them the possibility of watching/helping and give them an out if its not for them.
     
  6. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    Depends on the child. However I think you'd want to run this by thier other parent first. This may not go over well if she decides to make it an issue during custody matters.

    My 7 yr old will watch, the 11 year old is a softer soul, and while he knows we eat what we raise, he doesn't wish to participate.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  7. Shikens!

    Shikens! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well I couldn't sleep.

    It really seems like the whole ordeal is easiest on the kids the younger they are. I am kind of scared the girls are already too old to REALLY experience it and might be too closed off and opinionated at this age to truly learn the lesson.

    My whole motivation for this idea is that I think it is important for any animal eating another to experience the reality of what is taking place. Some kids are unaware and totally separated from the facts of where food is from. I think the girls could benefit from seeing what they are really paying for at the grocery store; meat of some sort PLUS the luxury of not having to kill the "meat". I want them to see that the cellophane wrapped chicken breasts at Publix really did- in reality-come off the bones of a REAL animal. This animal really was alive just like all of us and was there one minute and gone the next- for only one purpose; to feed YOU. Something has to die for us to live. I personally feel like it is impossible to appreciate and respect things you aren't even aware exist. And I feel like appreciation and respect are important qualities to nurture.

    Here is an example-

    Last weekend while watching"The natural history of the chicken" with the girls. A segment on a commercial chicken farm played showing 5-6 chickens in a cage being grown for slaughter. Then it panned out to show rows of cages stretched to infinity. The girls tuned out the commentary, ignored this segment and chit chatted about other things as if this segment had no truth to it and wasnt worth seeing. About 5-7 minutes later a rural hobby farmer is talking about his chickens and how they feed his family and all the benefits of raising your own food. The farmer was filmed walking towards a barn with a chicken, then the scene cut and commentary by the farmer explained that it's hard to do- but to eat a chicken, a chicken must die.

    Both girls were outraged that he "MURDERED HIS CHICKEN" how could he "KILL AN ANIMAL?" that man should be in "JAIL!". Somehow they were able to block out all the scenes about commercial farming and the billions of chickens we eat per year as if it's not real, choosing to focus on one "real" person killing one "real" chicken.

    This scared the crap out of me. So I want to try to help.


    OFF TOPIC NOTE FOR MOMS-

    *I feel self conscious posting about parenting my step daughters. I feel award and always worry people silently resent me for it any time I mention it. So I will say that I will be suggesting this to their dad who will handle decisions from there; as usual. Please dont feel like you have to post and "remind" me that I am not their mother and that parents need to make important decisions like this.

    Sorry if it was weird to say that...
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  8. Saltysteele

    Saltysteele Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i've grown up around it (butchering animals) my entire life. while i didn't want to watch the animals being killed, it did not bother me to see them being processed (speaking of when i was around 10 or so). my cousin, who did not see this all the time, was really bothered anytime he saw an animal killed.

    if they've never been around it, i wouldn't encourage them to watch the chickens being killed. they do not need to see that, to know where the food is coming from. from that point, i would leave it up to them to decide if they wanted to watch the processing (again, probably not encouraging them to watch the actual killing).

    if they want to watch, let them. if they want to help, let them (we used to love peeling the gizzards). if they don't want any part of it, don't make them
     
  9. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    Shikens! :

    Well I couldn't sleep.

    It really seems like the whole ordeal is easiest on the kids the younger they are. I am kind of scared the girls are already too old to REALLY experience it and might be too closed off and opinionated at this age to truly learn the lesson.

    My whole motivation for this idea is that I think it is important for any animal eating another to experience the reality of what is taking place. Some kids are unaware and totally separated from the facts of where food is from. I think the girls could benefit from seeing what they are really paying for at the grocery store; meat of some sort PLUS the luxury of not having to kill the "meat". I want them to see that the cellophane wrapped chicken breasts at Publix really did- in reality-come off the bones of a REAL animal. This animal really was alive just like all of us and was there one minute and gone the next- for only one purpose; to feed YOU. Something has to die for us to live. I personally feel like it is impossible to appreciate and respect things you aren't even aware exist. And I feel like appreciation and respect are important qualities to nurture.

    Here is an example-

    Last weekend while watching"The natural history of the chicken" with the girls. A segment on a commercial chicken farm played showing 5-6 chickens in a cage being grown for slaughter. Then it panned out to show rows of cages stretched to infinity. The girls tuned out the commentary, ignored this segment and chit chatted about other things as if this segment had no truth to it and wasnt worth seeing. About 5-7 minutes later a rural hobby farmer is talking about his chickens and how they feed his family and all the benefits of raising your own food. The farmer was filmed walking towards a barn with a chicken, then the scene cut and commentary by the farmer explained that it's hard to do- but to eat a chicken, a chicken must die.

    Both girls were outraged that he "MURDERED HIS CHICKEN" how could he "KILL AN ANIMAL?" that man should be in "JAIL!". Somehow they were able to block out all the scenes about commercial farming and the billions of chickens we eat per year as if it's not real, choosing to focus on one "real" person killing one "real" chicken.

    This scared the crap out of me. So I want to try to help.
    OFF TOPIC NOTE FOR MOMS-

    *I feel self conscious posting about parenting my step daughters. I feel award and always worry people silently resent me for it any time I mention it. So I will say that I will be suggesting this to their dad who will handle decisions from there; as usual. Please dont feel like you have to post and "remind" me that I am not their mother and that parents need to make important decisions like this.

    Sorry if it was weird to say that...

    I think you have your answer there. Watch food inc. See how they do. Maybe consider egg hens instead if it falls flat.

    Actually the other parent I was meaning was thier birth mother. I worked as a teacher for a few years, and you'd be horrified how often parents would look for something the other family had done "wrong" to bring up in court custody reviews. If someone raises heck because dad buys the kid a puppy after mom said no, make sure deciding to expose the girls to butchering isn't going to come back on you.​
     
  10. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Lol.. my mother didn't believe that.. we named all of our chickens and made pets of them.. and at slaughter she would mark the freezer packages with their names.. then when they became dinner she would announce at the dinner table who we were eating!

    to the OP.. I was 3 when I started helping with processing the birds.. i had several jobs.. one was to hold the heads down on the chopping block while my mother would swing the axe.. not something i would recommend.. especially when it's a tough old rooster flopping around because the first swing didn't go all the way through and ends up slipping and sliding around on a bloody chopping block.. i also had to help eviscerate since my hands were small enough to reach in and remove everything.. and i had to help with plucking
     

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