Why do I beat myself up about butchering a few cockerels.

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Mvan42

Crowing
Mar 15, 2019
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Ok so we butchered three 5 month old cockerel this morning. I feel bad. I hatched them and raised them. But with the virus I didn’t want to take them to the animal auction because of the risk although it hasn’t been reported in the area yet.. they were over breeding the hens, and fighting a little..


So please no harshness on this. I understand some are for food. I was raised on a farm and raising cattle for butchering is often what we did. I have a hard time with it when I get attached, this happened one year I refused to eat any beef for a long time. A calf had a hard birth and I took to spoil it. I begged dad not to butcher it.. he said suck it up.. lol. I just feel bad that animal trusted me and I go and kill it. Lol. Mind you that I am a hunter and go kill deer every year.
If it’s mine I have these crazy I feel bad feelings. If it’s not mine it doesn’t bother me..

I guess it’s different for me when raised.. its mixed feelings..

I know I am a weird-o
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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It's hard, period.
Especially the first time.
I hope you can see the good balance of it when you observe the peace in the flock and taste the delicious meat your grew for yourself.

because of the risk although it hasn’t been reported in the area yet
Huge Kudos!!
Not being reported means nothing.
Incubation is long and testing is way way behind.
Pretend everyone is carrying it(and they may be), including you, and act appropriately.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
10 Years
Nov 12, 2009
7,498
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western South Dakota
Sometime acknowledging it helps. I have even mixed it up with other meat, so I was not sure. The mind is a crazy place, and keeping it under control is a challenge for all of us. Sometimes knowing this can help.

When I am going to cull something, I start distancing myself as soon as that is the decision, I still feed and water them, but I don't watch them, talk to them extra.

As for feeling guilty, people get mixed up and feel guilty for the wrong things. An animal well cared for, and quickly culled, is good husbandry. Much better than an animal kept with strife and danger from the wrong mix of animals in the flock because no one can take care of the issue.

Mrs K
 

FowlerFamilyFarm

In the Brooder
Mar 21, 2020
3
24
18
I am also struggling with this process!
But I feel like this is a hill I must conquer before I can even start thinking about selective breeding my flock.
Love the idea of being able to use the meat for the family table and feathers for crafting, but the upfront and personal task seems daunting. Humane and still useable is the goal. Is there any good references anyone could suggest on the cull and cleaning process please?
 

Mtnboomer

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Mar 17, 2019
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It doesn't get any easier either. I have been a hunter since i was 6 yrs old. Every time i pull the trigger or release an arrow i pause a moment remembering that the life im taking is to feed and promote my life and the lives of my family. I do the same on butcher day.
My way of honoring the animal is to do the best job i can to make its death quick and painless and to utilize all parts that i know how.
Do not be ashamed or embarrassed that you have a heart. Most farmers, hunters, and fishermen feel the same way.
 

Mvan42

Crowing
Mar 15, 2019
1,576
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266
Garrett County, Maryland
Thanks everyone, I am glad I am not the only one who has these crazy feelings.. if this crazy virus wouldn’t have been here I would have just sold them. But that’s a risk I wasn’t taking..

One funny thing is my father in law got real excited he thought I was going to butcher a hen or two. His mom use to use the undeveloped eggs inside the hens. She made homemade noodles and cooked the eggs in the pot with the noodle (I think that’s what he said). When I told him they were all cockerel he lowered his shoulders and said “awww”..
 

BReeder!

Free Ranging
Mar 12, 2018
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Ok so we butchered three 5 month old cockerel this morning. I feel bad. I hatched them and raised them. But with the virus I didn’t want to take them to the animal auction because of the risk although it hasn’t been reported in the area yet.. they were over breeding the hens, and fighting a little..


So please no harshness on this. I understand some are for food. I was raised on a farm and raising cattle for butchering is often what we did. I have a hard time with it when I get attached, this happened one year I refused to eat any beef for a long time. A calf had a hard birth and I took to spoil it. I begged dad not to butcher it.. he said suck it up.. lol. I just feel bad that animal trusted me and I go and kill it. Lol. Mind you that I am a hunter and go kill deer every year.
If it’s mine I have these crazy I feel bad feelings. If it’s not mine it doesn’t bother me..

I guess it’s different for me when raised.. its mixed feelings..

I know I am a weird-o
Feeling bad is the right feeling. I have butchered many quail and a duck. It does get easier to manage the emotions over time, but I still feel for each animal. Knowing it's going to feed my family eases me a bit.
Also, keeping the cockerels around would have been bad for the chickens and somebody else may have paid a few bucks for them to just butcher them. Better you than somebody else.
 

Callender Girl

Crowing
Sep 18, 2018
817
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North Central Iowa
As someone who eats meat, there is no way I can criticize someone who humanely culls and butchers. Should there ever come a day when I can completely eliminate meat from my diet, then and ONLY then could I not be a hypocrite about someone else.

I used to be a newspaper editor and reviewed books for our weekly farm publication. One of the books, Barry Estabrook's Pig Tales, made me quit eating pork. He described how intelligent pigs are, some were taught to play computer games. I guess I'm lucky that the books on chickens and cows weren't as well written!!

I immediately name all of my critters so they will be considered pets, not food. But I still buy a lot of chicken at the grocery store. Guess you're not the only weird-o.
 
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