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GEtting comfy with meaties?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by annabananaandfamily, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. annabananaandfamily

    annabananaandfamily Songster

    May 6, 2011
    My husband and I are really interested in raising a few meaties. The one thing that is keeping us from diving in is me!!! I totally have no problem eating meat, in fact I love meat! But I was raised in the city, shopping strictly in the grocery store with all the prepackaged meats. Now I find myself having a really difficult time with the idea of being able to put a face on my meal so to speak. I am soooooo very interested in finding a way to get over this! I would love to raise my daughters to have a more balanced outlook on it and eating healthier too! What tips/advice can you give me?

  2. turtlebird

    turtlebird Songster

    Dec 11, 2009
    Just DIVE IN! I think what helps me deal with the issue of looking your meal in the face is that by raising our own chicken, we know that they are treated humanely and respectfully. That is very important to me.
    People have been looking their meals in the face for a very long time. Only until recently has our food become so removed from it's source that our children don't quite know where it came from. I totally recommend giving it a whirl. You won't be disappointed with the opportunities for learning, the joy you experience while raising them, and they honestly taste SO MUCH BETTER! Win win win! Ofcourse there are a few unpleasantries that accompany raising your own chickens.....well, they are a bit stinkier (!) and a little more work than laying hens...and then there is the whole butchering process - but that is like a little anatomy course for the kiddos too.
    You get to decide what sort of diet they are fed and what sort of housing you will use (coop, tractor, etc).
    Good luck!
  3. trulyblessed

    trulyblessed In the Brooder

    Jun 4, 2011
    As far as your kids, we were very specific from the time they were chicks that "these ones we are going to eat and these (the layers) are our pets." I didn't want them or me becoming attached to them like pets. It's easy for me to explain to them that we are giving them the best food and healthy lifestyle unlike the ones we buy in the store because we want to eat healthy food for our bodies. At 3 and 5 they totally understand this.
  4. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    Quote:To add to this, I don't handle and I don't allow the kids to handle them unless they're being moved to the pasture or being collected for processing. They only get touched while they're alive 3 times prior to going to the cones (out of the box, to the pasture, and into the crates b4 butchering). It helps eliminate becoming attached to them.
  5. Noymira

    Noymira Songster

    Mar 9, 2011
    Chittenden County, VT
    Thank you for this post, we are also looking into some meaties, and turkeys, for next year. I am very excited, but also nervous about all that comes with them.

    I think it important to also process them ourselves, since I think that is necessary for self sufficiency to know how to do so. I'm finding some great information on this forum and can't wait for next year!

    We'd start sooner, but are still working on getting all our hens, pullets and chicks under one roof.
  6. Denninmi

    Denninmi Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    Quote:I know exactly how you felt. I posted three or four threads on here back in May asking the same kinds of questions. I had to place an order with the feed store by the week before Memorial weekend, and I was going back and forth, because I've never killed things to speak of, and the few things I have, like mice, a woodchuck, I have generally felt bad about. I'm really not "that kind of guy" especially when it comes to the thought of doing in something that I took care of from day 1.

    However, once I made the decision and placed the order, I felt a LOT better about it. Yeah, they're cute little chicks, but getting a little less cute at 2 weeks old. When I look at them, I don't look at them in the same way I see the three goslings I hatched out this spring, who are definitely pets. I look at these little meat chickens and think -- hmm, how big will they get in 8 weeks, will they be plump, will the dressed out bird look really nice? I want to impress friends and family with the "I raised this all by myself" dining experience.

    So, yes, when I actually have to "do the deed" it still might be a little hard for me, but face it, they're more or less genetically doomed, and just removing myself from the death process by eating meat that came on a styrofoam tray wrapped in plastic is just a cop out, getting someone else to do my dirty work for me.

    I think once you reach a decision about whether or not you want to do this, you will be more at peace, whether its a yes or a no. You will know what is right for you.
  7. pat3494

    pat3494 In the Brooder

    Mar 9, 2010
    Northern Florida
    It seems to me you have to think of them as livestock and not pets, right from the start. Don't name them, don't handle them like pets, but treat them humanely. Still, it will be hard the first time you slaughter one. I hunt, so it was a little easier for me the first time I slit a chickens throat. Even now it can still be hard, but I think it's good that it's hard, so we understand that something has to die if we're going to eat meat. Coming to grips with what it really means to be a carnivore is taking the high moral ground compared to those who say "I could never kill an animal" and still eat meat. A gardener has more appreciation of his vegetables than someone who only buys his produce from another. Controlling the diet of your birds and giving them a happy life has its own rewards too. I have learned a lot since I started raising chickens and I recommend it to others.

  8. showme31

    showme31 Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Moscow Mills MO
    This was our first year with meaties. We had no problem getting them butchered. Of course I paid someone to have it done (will continue to do so if we do this again 22 birds in about 30 minutes and I was on my way home). By the time they were about three weeks old I was counting the minutes until I no longer had them in the pen, but in the freezer. They were easy to not think of as pets, they drove me nuts with the mess. I was even in tears over their care at one point. It seemed no matter what I did they were always out of something, and that was with just 23 of them.

    We will be eating on of them this week and that will help us decide about whether we want to try again next year. We're going to make some changes to how they are raised, maybe that would help with my frustrations with thier care. But overall, not a problem with them heading to the freezer.
  9. discoveregg

    discoveregg Songster

    Apr 15, 2011
    Northern Idaho
    Quote:[​IMG] Me too! I really want to eat my excess dual breed chickens, but ack! I've only eaten eggs twice since I started raising chicks and I used to eat them all the time! I'm going to have my DH prepare the eggs, as he usually cooks breakfast on the weekends and hopefully the eggs will be awesome and I will get over my stupid [​IMG]
    As for meaties, I'm going to start with quail first. I bought some quail at a farmers market and it was delicious. I read a thread on BYC about processing them. You can knock them out first, then kill. I like that idea, that's what I do to the trout that I catch and eat. Bop them on the head with a rock or whatever, then they quick moving around and it's much easier [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  10. annabananaandfamily

    annabananaandfamily Songster

    May 6, 2011
    I knew you guys woukd be the ones to ask! you all had great advice and said things that make sense to me. I dont see us being rrady for meaties this year, but next year I think we will be ready to give it a go!

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