Butchering follow up

Here’s a picture of the rooster we butchered, just a few days before the butchering.

Mean rooster

Mean rooster

Here are the guys burning off the small hairs after the plucking was done.

Burning off tiny hairs

Burning off tiny hairs

We let the chicken sit in the fridge for two days, then Tom roasted it in the oven. It was tasty, but it was also weird as it was the first time I’d eaten an animal that I raised myself. In some ways it was really good because I know what he ate, how he was treated, that he had a good life with freedom to roam, and that he had a quick death that was as humane as it could be. All that was good, but it was also hard. It’s much easier to buy chicken at the store because someone else raised the chicken (probably in a cage), butchered it, gutted it, skinned it, and cut it up. It is easier because we are much more removed from the process when we buy meat at the store.

Anyway, I know I sort of skipped the Questioning vegetarianism post I’ve been working on. Obviously, I’m not quite a vegetarian anymore. I will post more about that when I get the time. Really I will.


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6 Responses to “Butchering follow up”

  1. Hot Belly Mama Says:

    I completely understand. It was tough for me the first time we ate one. I kept chewing it looking for something to be wrong whether it be the taste, the texture or even a gristle.

    It wasn’t until I made chicken pot pie with one of them and it was all mixed in that I could finally overlook the whole process. I think it will get easier as time goes by.

  2. Tina Cipolla Says:

    We have yet to do this. But we are planning on it. I found a local farmer who is willing to teach me how to do it the when he butchers his next batch of chickens. Wish me luck. I know it is going to be way more time consuming that the store bought method, but I am hoping to get past the sheer disgustingness of the task and realize I’m feeding myself and my children an animal that was humanely raised and well fed. The only upside of this entire thing is that I do actually have some chickens that are turning quite mean and they are getting nasty with the other birds so it will be nice to eventually get them out of the flock.

  3. Erin Says:

    I think this is awesome! I’m sure it is hard the first time you eat something that you raised yourself but it’s so nice to know your dinner had a good life before it became your dinner! I have helped with the process but never actually killed any of my own animals; I hope at some point I am able to though because it is more humane & compassionate than just purchasing factory-farmed meat at the store.
    We don’t have room for a very big flock of chickens but at some point I’d like to have enough that we can butcher our own…for some reason I don’t find the process disgusting or difficult (I’ve helped with sheep, goats & chickens) but I think the act of actually taking life will be very, very hard for me. Like, I will want to buy a rifle so I can kill a chicken without having to be up close & personal with it — but that’s pretty silly!

  4. Moon Over Martinborough Says:

    I know exactly how you feel! I haven’t done this yet, and don’t currently plan to as our chickens are for egg laying. But the other day I had to catch and treat our chickens for scaly leg mites (gross) and in the course of catching my favorite hen I hurt her — ripped her comb and made her bleed. It was horrible, horrible.

    She’s fine now, but I realize that if just that upset me so much, how would I ever kill one!?

    My hat’s off to you. I continue to buy store bought chickens that could have had hellish lives, all because I’m too afraid to kill my own. However, just raising chickens might make me go veggie.

  5. cyclingchicken Says:

    We tend to butcher several at one time. That way we don’t know who we are eating. I skin mine, so I don’t have to pluck feathers. The first time was really hard and that night we went out for dinner. It is also hard for us if we go a long while between butcherings. I still buy chicken nuggets at the store since I don’t know how to make them. 😛

  6. Looking Out The Window Says:

    I loved your post. What a great mix of the struggle we face when raising chickens. Finding that compassion, and honor in not only our own lives but the the lives of those animals entrusted to us.

    Your eating him, an not just “pitching him because you could not eat him” or giving him away where he might have lived out his life in a little cage or coop paid homage to his life. The fact that you are/were a vegetarian showed a great compassion to his role on the earth.

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