Support needed - butcher day!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by SpringChickens, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2009
    College Station, Tx
    I am going to butcher my 13 week old Australorp packing peanut roos today, and I am having a more difficult time of it than I thought. I have killed animals before, but nothing I have raised.

    Any words of wisdom?
     
  2. dbjay417

    dbjay417 Chillin' With My Peeps

    239
    1
    129
    Dec 14, 2007
    eat the still beating heart of your defeated foes, it will give you courage.

    No, don't do that, its a joke from an adult cartoon.

    But this is the frame of mind I like to adopt before butchering. Imagine yourself a hungry savage, the only thing standing between you and food is a head, guts, and some feathers.

    Think about all the food they eat, every kernel and grain a drain on your already tight budget for chickens.

    Think about the alleviation of having one less roo around. I keep my excess roos locked in cages, and its depressing to have them around, so when i kill one to me its a bit of a relief. When i kept them in gen pop they were unduly cruel to my hens.

    My advice is to get into a primal state of mind. Forget about all the trappings of society, the philosophy, the ethics, the sentimentality.

    The one thing i don't throw to the side is my spirituality, I'm always sure to pray for a painless death and thank God, and the animal for its sacrifice.
     
  3. ChickBond 007

    ChickBond 007 Licensed to Cull

    1,855
    43
    181
    Feb 26, 2009
    Madison County, Iowa
    [​IMG]
    Farm life can be hard but it's worth it.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

    25,007
    68
    388
    Mar 16, 2009
    onchiota NY
    Im praying to give you strength--Im sorry you have to do it-Im in the same boat in about 10 weeks
     
  5. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
    139
    281
    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I think this is one of the most difficult issues for most of us in our modern urban culture, to calmly & intentionally kill an animal that we're neither threatened by, afraid of, or disgusted by. We've gotten so far removed from the sources of our food and thus have little awareness of or appreciation for the sacrifices, both animal & human, made on our behalf for the meat on our plates.

    I think this is one of the reasons for the problems that occur with mass-produced foods, the samonella & mad cow diseases, because as a society we push these unpleasant but necessary procedures to the margins of our awareness. We assume "someone" is taking care of everything on our behalf, and we just want to drive up to a building and obtain a hot meat sandwich for a dollar with a minimum of human contact.

    With my meat birds, I try to consider them like the produce grown in my garden. I've given them the best care from their earliest days, admired their natural attractiveness, taken pride in their growth, and anticipated their goodness upon harvest. I give my birds gentle handling and kind words right up to the end, something few animals receive before they're dispatched.

    I am glad to have mastered this basic human survival skill, to process my chickens by myself. I feel like the Tom Hanks character in Cast Away after he built his first fire by hand. Remember how he danced & sang around that fire, boasting to the world "I...Made...FIRE!!!" I don't actually dance & sing around the table, but I do feel a sense of pride. "I...Made...FOOD! Me! I made meat to eat!!!"

    And it certainly adds to the enjoyment of the meal knowing the chicken you're eating won't appear on the nightly news as the subject of a recall, knowing those birds enjoyed kind handling, healthy food, pleasant surroundings, and humane processing.

    Let us know how things go. How many are you doing? Are they big enough at just 13 weeks? I do my standard breeds later, at least 16 weeks, more like 18-22 weeks. Maybe you don't need to do them all right now, let some "ripen" a bit more.
    [​IMG] Enjoy your well-earned chicken dinners! [​IMG]
     
  6. kinnip

    kinnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    It was hard for me too. After I killed the first one, I cried for a minute or two, then I chugged a beer and finished the job. The biggest favour you can do yourself is to not think about it, just do.
     
  7. zippy11455

    zippy11455 Out Of The Brooder

    95
    0
    29
    Mar 31, 2009
    First one of day is always the hardest for me. I say a silent thank you to the bird before I cut the neck vein and let it bled out. Once the neck is cut it becomes no problem to process. After all, at that point the bird is dead and there is no going back. Would be a shame to waste all that wonderful meat. Once I get into the swing of butchering day the rest become rather routine. It's just the first bird of the day that I have to get past.
     
  8. gckiddhouse

    gckiddhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 9, 2008
    Desert Hills, AZ
    Wow! Sunny_Side_Up, That was so beautiful. I opened this thread because I have 5 extra roos that are 6 weeks old. At some point I will have to do the same. I am dreading it.

    I also have an unruly rooster that will have to be processed just to get him out of my flock. That one needs to be done right away.

    I have hunted all my life and never had such reservations about killing an animal, or processing it. But there is a huge difference between going out to the forest to kill an animal and killing one that you have raised and watched grow. You know its characteristics and behaviors and are fond of the animal. It trusts you and looks to you for care.

    I so appreciate your analogy of the garden. I do have a garden and do take such pride in growing it strong and beautiful and thus enjoy the harvest, the fruits of my labor.

    I will be keeping these things in mind as the time approaches.

    Thanks so much!
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  9. Chicken Fruit

    Chicken Fruit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Echo Homestead
    It is hard.

    Theyre just chickens, They have no concept of dread and finalization. Theres no resentment.

    Thank them for their existence and drop the cleaver. Go inside after the first one or two, cry like a sissy baby girl on the bathroom floor, have a cup of tea, and then go back to it again.

    lol. Thats my course of action.
     
  10. Giddyup

    Giddyup Chillin' With My Peeps

    153
    0
    119
    Oct 22, 2008
    Vancouver Island, BC
    [​IMG]

    We are lucky to have a local processing farm nearby. I'll have hubby drop them off and pick up in packages. I just couldn't do it and we have too many predators that may discover us with blood on our land.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by