Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bittersweet Farm Rite of Passage

For those of you who don't want to hear about the realities of farming/homesteading stop reading now. If you're still with me, I'm not going to put any pictures in this post.  This evening, I harvested my first chicken. It was a youngish rooster I purchased at the livestock auction in a lot. We have way too many rooster. They pester our hens so much that we keep the hens in their own coop and have a separate area where we let them out.

Something needed done to reduce the rooster population. We've gone into this knowing that we were going to eat some of our livestock. We're not vegetarians. The thought of knowing everything that happened to the animal you eat is comforting. We make sure our animals have the best life that we can give them while they are in our care.

I've read somewhere that usually the first time you butcher a chicken, everything that can go wrong does. I sadly was not able to disprove this theory. The rooster escaped and took off running. He followed the ducks who started running because a chicken was running. The rooster flew right into the middle of the pond. Luckily, he could swim and I collected him when he reached the shore. I thanked him for the nourishment he was going to give us and set about the business again.

I'm not going to go into all of the grisly details, but the actual deed was quicker than I expected which I was thankful for. I was also thankful that I felt sad that the rooster had to lose his life to feed us. I think many of us have become detached from the realities of our food and that is turning into a very bad thing. Some say ignorance is bliss, but I think ignorance is shameful.

I'm very glad that I was able to do this. I also hope that it never becomes easy....


  1. No matter how many chickens I have processed..I always feel that little twinge of sadness.I think something would be wrong if I didn't.You have the right thought process for it though.You raised it to have a better life than a factory chicken and now it is fulfilling it's purpose as food.Maybe next time will involve less rooster chasing,lol!

  2. Thanks, Melodie. I hope there's no chase either LOL. I ended up making chicken and noodles. The only part of the meal that didn't come from the farm was flour, salt, and pepper. If that's what chicken is supposed to taste like, what the hell have I been eating? It didn't even smell the same cooking as storebought chicken! I can't wait to see what farm raised turkey and duck taste like.