So terrified of meat birds! :(

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by luvmychicknkids, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

    Mar 6, 2008
    Floresville, Texas
    I want so bad to start raising meat chickens. However, there are a few things I am afraid of. First, I am afraid I will get too attached. I don't kill anything. Ever. However, I eat meat so I feel a bit hypocritical. But then, I am a nurturer. I am afraid if I do manage to raise them and bring myself to the part of processing I will mess up and leave an animal terrified and in pain. This is something I could not handle. I have no problem with the thought of cleaning them afterward. I have helped process fish, deer, turtle...so no issues once it's dead. However, I also have no clue what to do with the extra stuff. The feathers, guts, heads...

    So anyway, is there anyone who has been THIS afraid and gone on to raise and process your own birds? Any words of encouragement would be much appreciated!
     
  2. M.sue

    M.sue Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2011
    Michigan
    Processing a bird is something I'll pay someone to do. They have the proper facilities & equipment to get it done fast & right. Growing up my GF raised chickens and when it came time to cull them he had his system set up in the barn....a production line that ran smoothly. As for the guts.....periodically he'd just throw a handful to the barn cats! They'd come out of no where....cats we've never seen before! lol. Yes, we as children use to get grossed out but became quite accustomed to it. As for getting attached to them, don't name them, treat them humanely and always think of them as livestock not pets.
     
  3. bj taylor

    bj taylor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 28, 2011
    North Central Texas
    i share much of your anxiety about killing them. i have dual purpose. in a few months i will face the issue. i've pretty well made up my mind that i will do this. i think it is my responsiblity rather than pass it to someone else who may not take care to minimize trauma in the last minutes of their life.
    i think the best people like you and me can do is have all the information/facts/video/etc. under our belt before the time comes, so we aren't acting in ignorance.
    hope you get some good advice on your thread so i can adopt it. good luck
     
  4. M.sue

    M.sue Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2011
    Michigan
    A Good Trained Professional Processor is skilled in minimizing trauma. I don't have the facilities or time to process mine when the time comes. That is were my research, homework & connections comes into play.....Finding that Right One who will do the job in a properly and humanely way.
     
  5. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    It really is a departure for most of us raised in a modern urban culture to come to terms with killing an animal, especially one we're not afraid of or threatened by or disgusted with, one we've raised from young, and to do it in order to eat it. But I now feel a sense of satisfaction & empowerment from being able to do it, and a greater appreciation for all the food I find on my table.

    It's somewhat like raising produce in your garden, you nurture it from its tiny tender beginnings, tending to all its needs, enjoy its natural beauty & attributes, take pride in its growth, and anticipate its delicious harvest.

    The obvious difference is that livestock are sentient beings. So I feel its my responsibility to make their brief lives as pleasant as possible, provide all the nourishment, refreshment, safety & care I can give them, treat them with kindness and gentleness. The final favor I can bestow is to make their end as efficient & humane as possible.

    You know all the awful things that can happen to chickens, there are far worse fates for one than to live a pleasant, well-cared for life, cross the road without fright, and provide nourishment for a grateful human family.

    It's not that difficult to learn to process chickens, there are lots of helpful videos and advice available. Best of all is to find someone in your area who already knows how to process, and work together with them.
     
  6. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

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    Well said Sunny Side Up. I said the same things to my girls about providing their 4-H market animals with the best care possible. :thumbsup
     
  7. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

    Mar 6, 2008
    Floresville, Texas
    Thanks guys. I really want to at least try my hand at processing my own. And yes, we just have to arm ourselves with as much information as we can. The idea of finding someone to join in that is used to processing them is a great idea. I am new to this area and don't really know anyone, but I could still probably find someone and maybe make new friends in the process! :)

    One thing I really want, however, and don't even know if it's possible, is to combine the killing cone method with head removal? Is this something that' even possible? I don't want them bleeding out alive but also don't want to be holding a headless flapping chicken!
     
  8. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Loxahatchee, Florida
    The cones are handy for holding the chicken in the right position, and restraining the wings. You can also use the sleeve of a long t-shirt or a leg from some leggings to hold the wings, and tie the legs together to hang from something. According to the experts the birds don't "bleed out alive", with that initial cut & loss of blood they are technically dead although their hearts continue to beat reflexively. Their wings will also flap for a while, but the chicken is already on The Other Side and doesn't feel it.

    But yes, you could also put them in the cones and remove the entire heads and let gravity cause the blood to drain.

    Keep asking on these forums for someone near to you to process with, or someone where you could go to watch/help them with this chore.
     
  9. new2chickens2011

    new2chickens2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I felt EXACTLY the same way as you! I was terrified that I would get super attached to them and not be able to go through with the killing. And also like you I'd never killed an animal. So I was very scared and nervous the entire time.
    But for some reason, and I don't know how to explain it or what it was, when it came time, I was completely fine! Happy that we'd given them a good life and knowing that their purpose was to be eaten and that they wouldn't live very long anyway. It felt good because if we are going to eat meat, we should at least familiarize ourselves with the process. And I was happy that these chickens had a humane life and got to run around in the sunshine unlike all the ones in factories. But I know it was VERY scary at first!!!!
    Here is a thread I started similar to yours before I got my meat chickens:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/587625/how-to-not-get-attached-to-meat-birds#post_7671231
     
  10. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

    Mar 6, 2008
    Floresville, Texas
    Thanks! Reading that thread helped some. It is really just good to know there are other people who truly feel the same I do. And I think I realized something else strange about me...I am almost afraid I will be able to, as well. I see myself as this. Person who held and nurtured my newborn children, who has helped stray dog deliver her puppies and raised them to find happy homes, who loves and cherishes EVERY life. I don't even kill pest animals. *sigh* So I think I am afraid if I can take the lives of these innocent birds, has my entire life been a lie? And I know that's absurd. I AM going to get past this! I need to! I have to!

    I do believe the cone combined with an axe is what I should choose. Seems the absolute most humane possible choice with no room for doubt!
     

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