Taking the step into meat

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by PinkHairGirl, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. PinkHairGirl

    PinkHairGirl Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 5, 2011
    South Africa
    I first got chickens just for eggs but we decided to do a sustainability challenge this year to see how much a normal urban family can do in a year. Having chickens and then buying shop chickens with a way worse quality of life seems to go against this. We have to be mindful meat eater. All that said this is a big step for a suburban girl.
    just wondering if it was hard for other people too and did you get used to it?
    how did your kids respond mine are 7 and 4 and are not keen on the idea.

    I am sure when the time comes I will need lots of advice and help.

    (to read about our challenge http://www.pinkhairgirl.co.za/2012/01/16/how-green-can-we-go/ and then my first thought on eating our chickens http://www.pinkhairgirl.co.za/2012/01/25/could-you-eat-your-own-chickens/)
  2. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    Hi PinkHairGirl. I was in a similar situation to you. I live in the suburbs and got my first chickens about 1.5 years ago. After the chickens I decided to get some ducks. About 6 months ago I switched from Runner ducks to Muscovy because I wanted to be more self reliant and Muscovy were a good choice for the space I have ( not a lot). Now, I grew up in farm country but left at a very young age, ten.
    I processed my first Muscovy for Thanksgiving. I read up on the process ALOT, gathered my supplies and caught the duck.

    The actual process was much harder than I thought. It took me about 20-30 minutes to actually do the deed. I was at the point of if I can't do this I need to let him go because this was suppossed to be a quick humane process.
    The hardest part for me was the killing, after that, I was fine.
    I processed 3 more a few weeks ago and it was much easier. I went from an axe to throat slitting (less traumatic for me). I would say try to find someone in your area that you can learn from. There is a thread on here that keeps track of who would be willing to teach.
    I don't have kids so I can't answer that but everything I have seen on BYC is that most folks kids are learning where their food comes from.

    Good luck. :)
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Good for you. It's a philosophical discussion isn't it?
    I can't say it was hard for me because we raised all sorts of animals for meat when I was growing up and I helped my father process the chickens. That said, it had been years, but like you my purposes grew over time.
    I've always been a gardener and had few bees visiting my fruits and veggies so I started hives.
    My local source of manure ended so I got chickens primarily for the compost and eggs.
    By the time I built pens and chicken tractors I figured I might as well have chickens for meat too.

    My problem is that no one in my family will help process the birds(even boil water) so it is a long drawn out process for me.
    It is an unpleasant task but a necessary one. If I have the ability to raise my own meat/eggs, I refuse to promote commercial agriculture by purchasing their products.
    I worked in the commercial feed industry, the mills that are owned by and supply the big agribusiness suppliers of eggs and poultry meat. I know that my birds are providing my family with superior nutrition even though it's more expensive.

    Perhaps it's best to tell your children that your birds will have a chance to be happy chickens with space to scratch in their garden for their brief lives. The meat you eat - if grocery variety - won't have as much fun for their equally brief lives.
  4. chickenpooplady

    chickenpooplady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2012
    My Coop
    If you get the Cornish Rock cross breed you will only have them for 6-8 weeks. So you will not have a lot of time to get attached to them. In southern Ohio where I live, there are processing places that you can take the chickens to at the end of the 6-8 weeks. That is how my family has always done it. You just drive up with the chickens in a dog kennel or something else to carry them in. The people that work there take the chickens out and process them. You do not even have to watch. The next time you or your kinds would see them they will just be meat in a cooler. I am not sure if they have processing places around you but you could look into it. It is much easier then killing them your self. Hope that helps!!! Good Luck!!! [​IMG]
  5. Kickin' Chickin'

    Kickin' Chickin' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2010
    Upstate New York
    We did our first batch of meat chickens last year and the first thing we explained to the children (ages at the time were 8,6 and 5 ) is that we want to raise happy healthy food for ourselves so that we knew for a fact what they ate and how they were treated . Surprisingly the children were all ok with it. Never named the meaties and even told them as they got bigger that "we're sorry that we have to eat you but mommy says you're food". I for one,and this is just my opinion, believe that children should know where their food comes from and just how it gets to the table (of course details should be age appropriate here). My children have responded very well and even take part in the processing of the birds now.

    Good luck!!

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