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I have a major concern.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by cpwhip, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. cpwhip

    cpwhip Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2011
    Maryland
    my apologies if I am posting in the wrong spot.
    I have a huge concern about keeping chickens, it's really my only concern.
    anyhow I know I'm jumping the gun because I don't have chickens yet but when I do
    I know there will obviously come a time to butcher and honestly I don't know how or even
    if I can so my question is 1st how do you do it and how did you feel about it the 1st time?
    does it get easier? what about guilt? I have a problem with getting attached to animals.
     
  2. Jschaaff

    Jschaaff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2011
    New Hampshire
    Hi there [​IMG] It really is a little different for everyone. For me, the processing/butchering part is easy, emotionally, and I STILL felt sad they were gone when it was all done. Some people can not do it at all, and send their chickens away to be processed. Its more expensive than doing it yourself, but is a great option. Some people process, don't bat an eyelash, and don't miss the buggers at all.

    You can even go into this with the attitude that you are going to process yourself, and then find 2 months in, that you need someone else to do it. That's okay. There is no right or wrong answer. I've known people that actually rehomed their meat birds right before slaughter, because they decided they were so attached, they couldn't even eat them. I personally think once you've done your first bird, it's all much easier from there.

    There are a lot of great threads on here from first timers, (like me) and how it went, and how they felt. Again, each story is a little different, and only you can decide what will work for you.

    Here's my story from processing last week, and I hope Itsy doesn't mind, but I'm linking hers too because it really helped encourage me that I could handle culling my own for the first time...Kind of, if this sweet lady can go through that, I can do this!! (Thanks Itsy [​IMG])

    Jschaaff: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=526012

    Itsy
    : https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=522835

    For
    the butchering part, we used Frugals sticky at the beginning of the Meat Bird thread to learn what to do. SOOO incredibly informative!

    Best of luck!

    -Jessa

    Edited because my grammar STINKS [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
  3. Avalon1984

    Avalon1984 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2010
    Muskegon
    It helps if you start with a rooster that makes you angry. Once you have done one, youÂ’ll be surprised how easy it is. I actually felt a great sense of relief for I saved my hens from relentless pecking, I learned something new and I was able to give the meat to a family that enjoys farm fresh produce- another customer the big industrial giants lost since I now have order for 24 broilers for the fall [​IMG]
     
  4. myhubbycallsmechickeemama

    myhubbycallsmechickeemama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 9, 2011
    Arco, ID
    We just butchered 19 meaties this week and I'm like you....I become very attached to animals. When we did the first one I cried my eyes out but after that I was okay. I still can't watch the actual deed being done but have no problem with the rest of the process. No guilt when you see 5 to 8 lb birds in your fridge and know that they were raised and butchered with love. [​IMG]
     
  5. stoneeater

    stoneeater Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 9, 2011
    Jacksonville, Fl.
    If your an animal lover and want to save every fuzzy thing in existense; then you probably won't be able to do it. I have around 7-8 roos that are going to live to a ripe old age with no worries from me. Just accept that your food will come from the grocery store wrapped in plastic. or find a local farm that raises and sells chickens locally. Then go get some chickens and have a great time with some really relaxing pets that give you eggs.
     
  6. RoosterGeek

    RoosterGeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 31, 2010
    Lebanon, TN
    Quote:X2. We had a Freedom Ranger Rooster that was very, very athletic and aggressive with mating. Eventually he started to strip all the feathers off of my wife's favorite hen. Oh Boy - that did him him. The day before Easter I rolled out to the yard with my processing supplies and took care of business and didn't bat an eye. He made for part of an amazing Easter dinner that won me numerous brownie points with my in-laws. [​IMG]:p

    As far as regular processing, it gets easier. I always thank the birds for providing for my family before doing the deed.


    Oh and [​IMG]
     
  7. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    I make a point of not naming mine. At least not any who someday will be destined for the table. I had to help with the processing of chickens since i could walk. Back then we named each and every one.. then my mother would write their names on the freezer packages.. and announce at dinner who we were eating.. Always made dinner a little harder to swallow. So now I make a point of not giving them names.
    Though my breeder rabbits are named (makes for easier record keeping).. I know sooner or later "Priscilla" will be in the freezer. But you can bet her name will not be on the package anywhere!
     
  8. chickenology

    chickenology Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 3, 2010
    Ohio
    Starting with a mean rooster is great advice. That's what I did, and I didn't have one pang of regret. My son helped, and even though he was angry at the rooster for tearing up his favorite hen, and I was angry about his (the rooster's) constant challenging of me, we talked about doing it respectfully and humanely and made sure the killing part was quick. After that it really isn't too bad, and you will have quite the feeling of pride feeding yourself or your family with an animal that you raised and treated well. But it is a lot of work, and if we are doing more than one I will use a processor. There is nothing wrong with that either.

    BTW, we name all of our meat birds. I call them all "Nugget".[​IMG]
     
  9. BigSkyChickens

    BigSkyChickens Free Bird

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    Apr 3, 2009
    Pleasant Hill, CA
    I started with egg layers which are my pets. I just love my little girls. [​IMG] And because I love my chickens so much, I started thinking about other chickens' lives.....like the ones I was eating all the time.

    Then I started lurking on the meat birds section of the forum reading, dreaming, and scheming. Thanks to everyone on this forum for sharing their experiences (I couldn't have done it without you!).

    I started with Cornish X chickens which are the fast-growing white chickens (and in my opinion kinda ugly) specifically designed for meat. So they looked and acted very different than my pet chickens. I named them "Delicious #1 - Delicious #7" and tried to remember everyday what they were destined for. I talked to them, petted them, and generally tried to give them respect. The goal of the experiment: know and respect my meat.

    D-day was not easy, and I did cry at one point, but the whole experience was empowering and skill-building. Good luck with your chicken journey, where ever it takes you. [​IMG]
     
  10. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2011
    New England
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I know - it's tough! No one would have thought I could kill anything - let alone a chicken!

    When I first got my laying chickens - I couldn't even EAT chicken for a couple months....then something kind of kicked in. I realized that I eat meat and I'm not going to stop. I also thought to myself that I could grow my own meat that was free of medications and funky stuff - and give THOSE meat animals a fantastic life. SO, you're really doing a service to yourself, your family and those chickens.

    It was tough for me. I've only done one, but I'm happy that I have and now I have a whole batch of meat chickens that are growing for food.

    It may help you to start with designated meat birds. They go in their own coop (or better yet, tractor) and you treat them like food. They don't get names and you don't dress them up in Easter bonnets. [​IMG]

    Good luck to you! The people of this forum section are VERY supportive and I'm grateful to belong to such a wonderful site!
     

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