Learning to eat my pets?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by bragabit, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. bragabit

    bragabit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2009
    Southern Utah
    We are new to this, we are raising 8 (1 year old hens), 1 rooster and 12 baby chicks. We are getting eggs from the 1 year olds but some of the EE are not putting out that many eggs. To me it looks like they are molting? I read that once they molt they don't give eggs very well, is that true? We talked about if the birds were done laying then they are not "paying off". If so we would like to "try" to eat them. We want to, but in real life will I be able to do it? I know you can't answer that, but I made the mistake of naming the birds and I have the hardest time imagining butchering them. Any advice or personally stories would be greatly appreciated. I have helped my husband butcher many deer and elk so I am used to turning my kitchen table into a butcher block.
     
  2. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    At only a year old, they haven't finished laying yet. They may be coming out of molt, they may have other reasons for not laying as much, but it's definitely too soon to think of culling them. Many hens will continue to produce decent numbers of eggs for many years. My sex links have slowed down, now that they're nearing their 2nd birthday, but after laying somewhere in the neighborhood of 700 eggs already they've earned their keep. My Delawares barely even got started till they were 11 months old. What to do with them after they stop producing is a conversation you have plenty of time for before needing to come to a decision.
     
  3. KanakaNui

    KanakaNui Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 28, 2008
    N.Central FL
    It's never easy. And each time time you decide to kill a livestock animal it's both personal and business at the same time. My habit is to say thanks to the animal for providing me sustinence
    and slaughtering the creature as quickly and painlessly as I can. And I try to use as much as I can without wasting. It make me feel like I'm being more respectful of the animals sacrifice.

    It does get easier the more you do it, but it's never "easy". I'm "lucky" in that my folks made me raise rabbits as a kid to teach me where my food came from. The responsibility of caring for the rabbits and breeding them as well as killing and dressing them.My brother and I both chose rabbits, my sister chose chickens.

    I raise ducks now as an adult and I find it harder than I did the rabbits as a child. I do admit that when I'm eating roast duck, or siennnese duck breast it seems a bit easier.

    That being said, I'd be inclined to give your birds a little more time to live up to your expectations.But, you're their caretaker and it's your decision.
     
  4. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2007
    Ohio
    EE are really not known for good egg laying abilities but I would still give them at least to their second molt before butchering them. A lot of people replace them every year but in your case it's not worth the hassle yet. Give them some more time.

    If your looking for something to pull their weight in eggs look into the red star, golden comet, red sex-links, or cinnimon queens... they are all pretty much the same bird but will lay mass amount of eggs for well over a year.

    If you have 12 of these hen you will get close to a dozen eggs a day and it will be worth your money.
     

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