Meat Birds and small children??

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by HaileyNJoliesMom, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. HaileyNJoliesMom

    HaileyNJoliesMom In the Brooder

    Jun 18, 2008
    Jacksonville, FL
    Hubby has recently decided he wants to raise meats birds along with my laying hens. Im fine with this, I think its great to know exactly whats going into my daughters bodies when they eat. The problem is with the kids.

    They name and get attached to every animal that shows up around here, from stray dogs, to wild rabbits, to toads on the back deck.

    How do I keep them from getting attached to the meat birds? My oldest thinks its funny when I threaten to eat my roo when he wakes me up in the morning, she askes "which part of Johnny are you gonna eat mommy" but she knows Im joking when I say that.

    Any help would be appreciated, They are 4 and 2yrs old if that helps.
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    I really don't have great advice, except don't let them see the actual dispatching of the animals. That's too much for them at that age, at least in my opinion.

    I grew up in a rural area and I know LOTS of people who witnessed farm meats and became vegetarians or reluctant omnivores. As parents, when you push your children towards a certain direction or train of thought, they naturally will go 100% in the opposite.

    So, I think learning where food comes from is something they'll need to discover for themselves in their teens or early 20's.
  3. Ang

    Ang Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    West Central Illinois
    Absolutely no names! Keep the interaction strictly to feeding and watering the birds. You will most likely have some tears this first round but your girls will soon understand that certain animals are eaten. Its a hard lesson to learn but they are very young and it will soon just be part of life. Most likely you will be more traumatized than they will.
  4. I'm a young at heart 53 y/o soon to be grannie for the first time and all my Cornishx's do not have names but when I go near the pen/coop, they RUN to me, I cannot lift a foot nor step it down without a few riding on it and the others all underfoot so its hard to feed and water unless I throw scratch first...
    (thought I'd hate chickens the first 52 years... Wrong!)
  5. nautical_bouy

    nautical_bouy Songster

    Mar 23, 2008
    Beaver PA
    Exactly, no names, the first two piglets we got my daughter aske what we would name them,,,, I told her Oscar and Meyer, soon to be weiners....
    End of conversation.
  6. blue90292

    blue90292 Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    especially if they are girls and are not used to seeing things die. i know several vegans also that lived on farms and couldn't deal with the deaths. my son is 6 and he says he doesn't want to eat any of our chickens even though he's seen them dead. but he does eat store bought chicken. i'm hoping he'll get better as he gets older since he has said he wants to go hunting with his dad when he gets older.
  7. Judymae

    Judymae Songster

    Apr 22, 2007
    Merit, Tx
    I just starting culling our meat chickens. Because of limited freezer space I can only do 5 at a time. Well my daughter has quit eating dinner. If it's chicken at all she won't eat. She is 11. I'm hoping by the time we get through all of them she will atleast try one.

    From day one we have told all 3 of our kids (14,11 and 8) that we would be eating these chickens. I thought that would help???
  8. Daycare Mom

    Daycare Mom Chickens, Cuddly and Delicious

    Apr 9, 2008
    Conklin, Michigan
    We are telling our kids also, no names and these chickens are different from our pet chickens. My kids (12,10, and 8) are fine with that. The little kids that I watch know that they are not pets. When they ask where they are I will tell them they went "bye bye". They are little enough that I can get away with that.
  9. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    One of my first memories is at 3 years old, watching my grandpa chop the head off of a chicken, and seeing it run around headless until it flopped over dead. I thought it was funny! I even got to pluck it. FUN!

    Little kids have varying concepts of death and what it actually means. It also depends on maturity. Since your kids are likely to get attached, don't let them participate in the meat chicken experience. I have three girls ages 4, 2.5, and 17 months. They know nothing about meat chickens or the butchering process. I tell them, "We're having chicken for dinner" and all they say is "Yum!" well, that is if they will eat anything at all for dinner. You know toddlers [​IMG]
  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I don't have kids but I think telling them that they are dinner before you get them is a good idea. No names, little play with them. They will grow fast, poo everywhere and not be as cute as layer chicks in no time. It will be a good learning experience for them to see where their meat comes from. Something so many children and adults now a days don't understand.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: