Raising Meat Birds, Respect, etc

aclee

Songster
9 Years
Feb 16, 2010
295
3
119
Amesbury, MA
So I was discussing with my husband last night our 39 meaties in the laundry room. I named the exotic chick Petey (okay, its Petey Pot Pie, but I just call him Petey)...I don't even know if it's a he or not...if it's a layer, we wouldn't process it, we would send it to one of several farm I know that have layers. Anyway...regarding the 39 meaties. He insists that we not name them,and interact with them as little as possible to lower our connection and emotion to them. I've on the exact opposite page. If I want to be distant from my food, and not feel any pain at the loss of life, I'll shop at the grocery store. Yes, there is a quality argument too, and we can raise them the way we see fit etc...but isn't there also a quality of LIFE argument? Yes it hurts when they are gone and processed, but at the same time, I would rather feel that and know they were raised with love and attention and had a great life, rather than not do that just so I can save myself the pain of knowing I'm going to eat them.

I'm not sure if I'm making my point or not...but for me, I want to be close to my food, to respect it and treat it with love...if I can't do that, and my main concern is limiting my own pain and connection to an animal that will give it's life for me to eat, then perhaps I don't really deserve to eat that animal...
 

silkiechicken

Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
21,494
1,025
393
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
I make friends with all my meat birds. Play with them, have them running over for treats and such. If they are used to your interaction, when processing day comes, they will not be nearly as stressed out being handled till the end. They literally won't know what is coming, won't struggle, and pile up on each other in fear.
 

popcornpuppy

Songster
10 Years
Jun 19, 2009
850
7
131
Holland, Massachusetts
I agree with you. (All though my husband is the one who processes birds in our our home. I only pluck the feathers. He does all the "messy" work.) But I feel quality of life includes interaction. A happy chicken is a better tasting chicken. This is true of the eggs they provide as well as the meat.
 

jpace

Chirping
12 Years
Jan 10, 2009
49
5
84
SW Missouri
Quote:
We try to get them used to as much human interaction as possible. While I do not name the meaties, with exceptions made occasionally, I try to interact and play with them several times a day. I think it makes things easier all around if they get used to me. Considering the processing at the end, my way might not work for everybody...
 

Michele S

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 19, 2010
96
1
39
How can you possibly tell them apart to name them? This is coming from someone who has triplets, so I think I can genuinely ask that question.
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Olive Hill

Crowing
10 Years
Apr 19, 2009
4,203
129
253
We name all our meaties. One year they were all named B.B. (As in B.B.Q.), for instance.
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In all seriousness though, FWIW, the quality of life is one of the main reasons we raise birds intended for the table at all.
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Michele S

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 19, 2010
96
1
39
I cannot tell a single one of my birds apart. I took a good look at them tonight, and NOPE, not a one.
 

aclee

Songster
9 Years
Feb 16, 2010
295
3
119
Amesbury, MA
Really? Well I bought in two batches so I have 12 that are much more feathered in than the others, and I have the one dark one, but mostly it's the one's with the feathers that I can tell apart so far...a couple have dark feathers, some are always flapping their arms around, one other one is constantly stretching his back leg behind him/her in some kind of runners stance...one has a pecked spot by it's eye...

all the little babies look about the same though, but I usually still call them some name (Little guy...Peanut...something!) When I am holding them, but some do have their own names
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Or at least there are a few names that I might use interchangeably and think it's just one chick!

They are all really skittish around me still though!
 

Michele S

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 19, 2010
96
1
39
I have a totally different philosophy on this than you. Mine are four weeks now and they stink something horrible. I do not spend time hanging out with them. I take VERY good care of them. They have food, water, sunshine, shelter, and each other. I put down new bedding for them and keep their coop clean, so I know I am providing them with everything they need. As far as I can tell, they do not need human interaction for their quality of life. Of course, if you are inclined to give them human interaction, I don't think it hurts or helps. I just don't see a need for it and I am busy, so I don't.
 

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