Feeling guilty - kids

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by lanaschix, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. lanaschix

    lanaschix Chillin' With My Peeps

    115
    4
    76
    Jun 21, 2014
    We just slaughtered our first chicken that we hatched from an egg. My boys (9 & 12) were excited to help and they helped in every part. Now I am feeling guilty like I traumatized them... Tell me they will be ok..
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
  2. torilovessmiles

    torilovessmiles Chillin' With My Peeps

    764
    90
    118
    Sep 19, 2014
    Central West Virginia
    Think of it this way. Every time your boys eat chicken, a chicken has to die. Now, they have seen what has to happen in order for them to enjoy their food, and they will learn respect for the animal's sacrifice. They can feel happy that the chicken never experienced cruelty like the ones in factory farms, too. Farm kids all over the place experience animal slaughter, and they're fine!

    We like to shy away from mortality, pretend it doesn't happen, so we don't have to deal with our emotions. I think what you're doing is preparing your kids to deal with that. This lesson, that something has to die to allow another thing to continue living, helps them to understand mortality and the circle of life. So when a close pet dies, or even a loved one, they will be able to handle it better because they learned how to deal with sadness when they helped slaughter that chicken.

    I hope that helps :)
     
    2 people like this.
  3. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    12,748
    5,692
    436
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    They'll be fine. Sounds a little more like you're not handling it well, though, and projecting your feelings onto the kids. We had custody of our grandkids. The week of my granddaughter's 6th birthday, I told her to start thinking about what she wanted to do for her birthday because it would be her special day. The day of her birthday, before sunup, a light tap on my arm woke me. I opened my eyes to see this adorable little 6 year old, already dressed and wearing her orange cammo. She leaned in close and said, "Gramma, I know what I want to do for my birthday." So she and I went deer hunting. She saw me shoot the deer, watched me field dress it, asking a million questions, and helped me drag and load it into the back of the pickup. When we got home, Grampa came out and helped us hang it.

    Later on I worried. Was that too much for her? Maybe letting her see a deer killed and gutted wasn't the brightest idea I'd ever had. I wasn't sure how to broach the subject without giving her the idea that she should have been upset. But during dinner that night, she was telling Grampa all about the hunt, the things we saw, how good the juniper smelled when we crushed the berries and rubbed them on us, and how good "her" deer was going to taste. Then she asked him when he was going to get the chance to get his deer, and could she go with him when he did? "I was really quiet, Grampa, and Gramma said I was a good 'looker'!"

    I think how they react has a lot to do with how you handle it. That little girl is now 22, married, and would still jump in the truck with me on a moment's notice to go hunting.
     
  4. lanaschix

    lanaschix Chillin' With My Peeps

    115
    4
    76
    Jun 21, 2014
    Yeah we are a hunting family. I know it is no different. Maybe just harder when you saw the chicken grow up. I know all those things about knowing where your food really comes from. Guess that's why I agreed to it. I'm trying not to project on them. They do seem fine already but it was a little intense.
     
  5. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    12,748
    5,692
    436
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Oh, I can sure imagine that it did get "intense". But it sounds like you are doing a great job, letting them see the cycle and understanding where food really comes from. I didn't mean to be rude when I said that about projecting - I knew that's what I was doing with Little Diane so I just assumed that's what you were feeling too.
     
  6. lanaschix

    lanaschix Chillin' With My Peeps

    115
    4
    76
    Jun 21, 2014
    Oh I totally agree that I am projecting! No offense taken and a good reminder that kids are often wiser than we give them credit for. Sometimes our modern culture is overly focused on emotion/sensitivity. I mean of course we want to consider the feelings of others but sometimes overly so. I think that tends to produce needy kids/adults rather than resilient ones
     
  7. birds4kids

    birds4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    443
    45
    101
    May 15, 2015
    My girls witnessed butchering a friend's 45 meaties at barely 5 and just shy of 3. The 5yo kept looking in the entrails bucket and asking what each part was or why one eye on a head was open, fast forward a year and I have butchered some cockerels we raised from chicks and she is naming organs as I remove them.

    IMO and in a much greater scale than farm life I think kids are traumatized by adults reactions and adults expectations than what they see. It was VERY VERY recently in human history that all protein was killed by a family member and heck childhood disease probably killed a sibling for a great many children.
     
  8. lanaschix

    lanaschix Chillin' With My Peeps

    115
    4
    76
    Jun 21, 2014
    I agree. I am feeling much better now and the kids seem fine. In fact, my kids are asking to get some Cornish and specifically raise them for meat. On the other post about processing day support, there was some really lovely post about our responsibility to our chickens that we love. They were very helpful. We all ate chicken pot pie and we did seem a little squeamish but after we talked about it some more and discussed that we loved our chicken and he is loving us by giving us healthy food, my kids asked for leftovers. [​IMG] I think it's incredibly valuable for my kids to see that meat comes from a real, live, living thing and that we can harvest it respectfully. It was comforting for them to know that their chicken lived a much healthier, better life and likely died a better death than any chicken they've ever eaten from the grocery store. Also, that it is OK to feel a little sad about it but that just makes us respect the sacrifice more.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by