It was absolutely sweltering yesterday, but it was pretty much the only day I could arrange with my friends to slaughter the meat chickens.
Everyone arrived at about 4:30. I paced around the house with my heart in my throat for about an hour.
I’d never deliberately taken the life of another creature aside from bugs. I’ve cared for these chickens for the past seven weeks. They were now eight and a half weeks and bigger than my laying girls.
Crash declared that I would have to be the one to kill the first chicken. While I kinda hoped that Bubba could show me how to do the first one, it was fair that I do the first one – this was my project.
I wasn’t having second thoughts, I was merely nervous. But this was my burden. This is how I’ve chosen to rage against the governmental and corporate food machine.
Our timing was pretty good – my nosy neighbors weren’t home.
We rounded up the meat birds and put them in the dog crate. I had a pair of 5 gallon buckets with holes cut in the lids fitted for the gallon jugs The Architect fashioned for killing cones.
I’d bought a new pair of poultry shears I’d hoped would be up for the job of beheading.
I was wrong.
Crash held the first bird in the cone while I tried to cut through his neck. I succeeded in severing his jugular, and he calmly bled while I panicked that I hadn’t totally removed his head. Bubba rushed in with his knife and removed the chicken’s head.
I did the next four, and D did the last one.
Meat is not murder.
There was nothing cold blooded in what we did yesterday. These animals got fresh air every day and sunshine and fresh water and the best food I could afford. The most stress they were under was when I gathered them. When they were put into the cones, I petted them and thanked them.
The chickens were then skinned and gutted. We were done killing, dressing, and cleaning up in about an hour and fifteen minutes. Our nosy neighbors returned just as we finished cleaning up.
D & L and Crash and Bubba each got a bird to take home. The rest are sitting in the fridge in brine. I’m going to roast one tomorrow.
The whole thing was not nearly as bad as I anticipated. I didn’t cry (although I almost did when I couldn’t get the first head removed), and I never gagged (although I thought I would).
I will absolutely do this again, although I will wait until I have a farm so they have more room to roam, and I have a better set up to accommodate animal processing.