QUICK!!! What to tell the kids.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ginna, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. ginna

    ginna Hatching

    Feb 14, 2009
    I have a rooster that we never intended to be a meat bird that has become increasingly rough with the hens...I think he was stressing them out to the point that they weren't laying well. The time has come to relieve this problem and put him into the stew pot.

    I have 3 and 4 year old girls. The 3 year old is extremely flighty and would probably make a joke about it. The 4 year old is particularly attached to the chickens...not this specific one, but the flock in general. She says that bad, bad animals are the ones that we eat, like good cows are the ones that give us milk and bad cows are the ones that we eat---Daddy only hunts for bad, bad deer and leaves the good ones, like Bambi, in the woods. We've tried to tell her that Chaser is a bad, bad rooster that bites and pecks his favorite hens and knocks her rooster, Roscoe, off the roost. Obviously if we had planned on culling the birds, we would not have named them. She just does not want this to be the course of action.

    So here's my question(s). Have any of you dealt with this before and what were the lasting effects? I have very few problems with several of the options. We can have Chaser Chicken Soup and just not tell her that's what it is. However, we have always tried to give as much reality to the world as a 4 year old is able to handle. We can just tell her that's what we are eating, but I don't want her to be hung up on it weeks from now. I don't want her to question everything I give her to eat.

    Any personal experiences or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. shmooborp

    shmooborp artistic fowlism

    man oh man... thats a toughie... if i was a little kid and i found out that i was eating my "pet" i would be sad and slightly traumatized... it might cause a lot of distress.. so maybe chaser just.. um .. ran away ? [​IMG]
  3. nzpouter

    nzpouter Songster

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    so.. no telling her chaser accidentally walk into the oven and shut the door?
  4. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

    Mar 6, 2008
    Floresville, Texas
    I would just explain to her that Chaser has to go. Period. He is a bad, bad animal. I would tell her he will be "leaving" and when. I would then process Chaser, put him in the freezer for quite awhile and eat things besides chicken for a bit. By the time you eat him she will, most likely, never connect the two and not even suspect she is eating him. Seriously, I couldn't eat one of my pets now and I am 38 y/o. There is really no reason for her to know it is him she is eating.
  5. TC

    TC In the Brooder

    Feb 1, 2009
    La Grange, Ca
    Just a thought, but try being to the point, and honest. But don't harp on it.. Maybe after you butcher him put him in the freezer for a bit till the "Chaser senario" is not "on the table" so to speak. I have 3 small children and when I had to explain about rabbits. I was just matter of fact, non chalant and to the point. Maybe something like, We only need 1 rooster, because 2 roosters make the chickens fight. Since your rooster is a nicer bird to the hens and to the family we want him to hang around. I don' t know, but its something along the lines of what I would do/will be doing when mine are big enough to butcher.

    Good luck!!

  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    A four year old can understand where food comes from and it doesn't have to come from "bad" animals...who told her that one? [​IMG] Now is a golden time to explain about food sources and food chains and our part in it all. Kids are tougher than you may think! And they need to be....death happens to us all, pets and people and animals for food. The sooner that just becomes a fact of life instead of some traumatizing event, the better for her adjustment. I believe kids get their cues from the adults with whom they live...if Mom and Dad are matter of fact about things, the kids will emulate this. They want to be like their parents at that age....enjoy it while you can! [​IMG]
  7. sunshineinsc

    sunshineinsc Songster

    May 27, 2008
    Well, when I was little we had pigs and one day they were being loaded up on a truck and when I asked where they were going my mom said to a cold place.

    It was years later that I found out she was talking about the freezer.
  8. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

    Mar 6, 2008
    Floresville, Texas
    I think the fact that this roo is named and was a part of the family makes it quite different when teaching about the origins of food. It is one thing to have the meat animals and know from the start that they are meat animals. With this guy being a pet.....a mean pet none the less.....I think it was be awfully traumatic for a child to knowingly eat him.
  9. Brad7558

    Brad7558 In the Brooder

    Dec 14, 2008
    The poor guy just past on. It's not wrong to tell your children these things to make them happy. That's part of growing up when they understand down the road.

  10. obsessed

    obsessed Songster

    Jan 3, 2008
    Slidell, LA
    My 4 year old son is very non-chalant about eating our meat rabbits. He know what they are for. He is never around when we do the deed but he is ok eating it. He doesn't play with them though so he is not so attached. I would try to make it not a big deal. Kind of like the dog whisperer with positive energy. Other than that I got nothing.

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