Sunday, July 8, 2012

Vegetarian Homesteaders?!

 Last night we were invited over to the Remy Homestead for dinner, swimming, and a bit o'chicken slaughter.  (A great way to spend a sultry Saturday night if you ask me!)  We were unsuccessful in finding homes for the two roosters that I wrote about a few days ago and due to the fact that the roosters are causing a fair amount of havoc and unhappiness Christie and I decided we would butcher them.  I took that meat bird workshop at Jenna Woginrich's farm and felt like I had a pretty hard grasp on the concept.  After spending a fair amount of money and time on these boys, putting them on the table was an excellent idea so it seemed.


I was hoping for a little bit of back up from the Reluctant Farmers, however neither one of them was really excited about this adventure.  This was evident by the smug smirks and "I told you so" faces that I was given in this picture.  You see the look they are giving the camera?!  That is the look that only those two can give and it is usually in response to a hair-brained idea that Christie and I have such as: "Let's butcher chickens at a family dinner party!"  

After dinner, which was amazing, we had a few beers (Stewart's that is!) and it was time to get down to business.  The ax was secured and checked for sharpness.  The water was boiled.  A log was brought over from the burn pile.  The butcher site was set up!  We were ready.  

Dianna and Grandma Nancy were at the helm and ready to go.  Katzya went in to the coop and caught the first rooster.  Grandma Nancy and Katzya secured his feet and he was hanging upside down ready to go.  It was then that I noticed the huge crocodile tears streamed down Katzya's face.  I asked her if she was going to be okay and she said she would but I could see in her eyes that this was not a decision that she was happy about.  

She made the remark that this was making her sad because these were birds that were raised in our home, where they were loved and played with as chicks.  These were birds that she had named, and she really did not feel comfortable killing them.  She explained that she is okay with eating chickens that we raise for meat and because that is their sole purpose for being at our homestead, she looks at them differently. 

She at the last minute asked us to pardon the chicken and we did.  We don't have an answer as of yet, for what we will be doing with these roosters but we do know that we will not be eating them on our homesteads!  

Now I know many people will say it is important for kids to learn where their food comes from, and in our houses our kids do.  However, with that being said I thank every animal that is butchered for giving me the gifts of sustainability and nourishment.  I feel that animals are smart enough to sense emotion so you have to be in the correct frame of mind to butcher successfully.  I know that if we had just butchered the rooster with no regard to other's feelings we would have made a terrible mistake.  We would have killed the rooster in a negative mindset and Katzya would have been extremely upset. (Possibly to the point of vegetarianism!)  

We learned a few things tonight:

1)  The $1.65 fee to have a butcher prepare my chicken is money well spent.

2)  NEVER name and play with your dinner!

3) Whether it be people or animals, always live by the Golden Rule and treat others like you want to be treated.


  1. This sounds almost like our story! We had 6 roosters from a straight run batch. I took them to slaughter (a mom and pop operation down the road) and was horrified, sick to my stomach and cried all the way home. We still have the roosters in the freezer as I'm not ready to look at, touch or eat them.
    Now, we hear to a lot of crowing and chasing about the yard. I see no other way!

    1. Perhaps I should have added the 4th thing we learned last night was don't bring your 12 yr old daughter to the butcher festivities! Oops!