Not my backyard or my chickens in Tennessee


In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 4, 2013
They belong to the farm next door. But we are friends and sort of a small community, so I help take care of them. There are four hens a few (maybe 6?) months old. One of them just started laying. This is our first experience caring for chickens and consider it a test to see if we want a few of our own. However we are in debate, my husband wants them for meat as well as eggs. I, on the other hand, cannot hand feed something then kill it. Maybe if times get desperate, but even then I might just have to just eat veggies. So we will see what happens.
Welcome to BYC
Raising animals, or birds, for meat can be difficult, but farm raised meat is so much better and healthier than shop bought!
Welcome SheLaughs to BYC, glad to have you. This is a great forum for all things chickens so we're glad you joined!

Everyone has different philosophies and views on chickens for eggs, eating, etc. I'll share mine and hope that it helps you sort out what will work best for you and your husband.

I am new to chickens too and started my first flock with 12 straight run chicks in April. I got "hybrid" breeds meaning they are for both laying eggs and eating. You may want to research hybrids to see if this will work for you as it may or may not, depending on your objectives.

For me, I got straight run chicks because I know what happens to the cockerals when you buy sexed chickens (they often kill them outright) and I just didn't want to contribute to that. So, of my 12 unsexed chicks, 2 died as baby chicks so I raised 10. I named the 10 chicks, cared for them in a brooder in the house (it was really cold out). I built them a coop. I watched them grow from tiny chicks to healthy, happy chickens. Well, it turned out that as they grew, I came to realize that of the 10 chicks, 8 turned out to be cockerals and only 2 were pullets. I know, what terrible luck! Well... I always knew going straight run that I'd have extra cockerals. I suspected I would not be able to find them homes (which I was unable to, I live in the country and there are loads of extra cockerals). I had always planned on preparing the extras for dinner but I didn't think I'd have to do this to so many!

Now, I should probably explain that I am a girl who live traps mice in my house and lets them go outside. I catch spiders and wasps in the house and let them go outside. I catch snakes and release them way up the mountain on my property. So, I truly never kill anything if I can come up with an alternative.

I dreaded the day I was going to have to start preparing my extra cockerals for dinner bur I had also always known that day would come, ever since I made the decision to go straight run. I wanted to do it all the way, the right way and honestly, doing my own preparing for the dinner table has made a huge difference for me. It puts everything in a more balanced perspective. There is something wholesome about really participating in and seeing your chickens participate in the cycle of life. I cried every time I killed one, every time. But through the experience, I learn about myself, about farming, I learned about what life truly is and means and what it gives. It's not easy but it seems preparing chickens for the dinner table is an integral and important part of keeping chickens. I raised these chickens with love and my own two hands. I knew that for me, it was right to see it through because to me, I want to be this strong and I want to be the one to do it. Because I knew I'd do it with as much love and humanity as I could muster.

This is my story, my perspective. Perhaps there is a way for you and your husband to meet both of your goals. One other idea is for him to do the preparing for the dinner table part if you feel it's not in you to do it?

Hope this is helpful,
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Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan :D

At last you know the birds you raised yourself had a happy life. I do not name or feed by hand any bird that is intended for food - makes it easier to send them off to the processor ( I also do not do the final deed myself)
Welcome to BYC. There are pros and cons to raising your own chickens for food. For me, the pros far outweigh the cons. Welcome to BYC, and good luck with your flocks.
Thank you everyone! I am not opposed to this, just don't think I will be able to care for the ones that will be eaten. I will care for the egg chickens, he can do the others. :)

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