Recently I posted about having too many roosters. Today I wanted to elaborate a bit on that part between having too many roosters and new package’s in the freezer.
Bare with me it won’t be as bad as it sounds.
…it was time for all the roosters to go.
And so, in an activity not usually reserved for Easter weekend, John and I butchered the extra roosters while the girls watched. The kids said goodbye to the pretty ones and pointed out the mean one that should go first. They drifted in and out, asked questions, refused my offer to share in the plucking and before it was all cleaned up they even learned a bit about hearts and intestines, lungs and gizzards.
We have been butchering our own chickens (and deer and an occasional turkey, duck or lamb) ourselves for their entire lives and so I didn’t have any concerns with the older girls, they’d been through this all before. But this was Jane’s first chicken butchering experience that she was old enough to really take in so I kept a bit of a closer watch on her. Perched on a stool through much of the process she gave a few birds one last pet before I handed them off to John and his axe. She asked a few questions, played with a few feathers and eventually left to play with Ivy who had declared the whole process, “Boring.” Perhaps it was because she was introduced to the scene at the tender age of two or perhaps it was because the rest of the family was unfazed but Jane seemed to take it all in stride.
A few nights later Jane was having a bit of trouble settling down to sleep. And by that I mean she was popping out of bed like a Jack-in-the-box every 45 seconds with a new ridiculous request. Having exhausted my entire line up of lets-go-to-sleep-now tricks I tried to give her a little pep talk about everyone who was sleeping.Your sisters are sleeping, the dogs are sleeping, the cats are sleeping…
Me: “…The chickens are sleeping, they are good chickens. I said “night ladies” and closed the door and they aren’t going to get up they are just going to sleep in their coop all night.” (Yes, I know, look who’s being ridiculous now. It was ridiculous sounding and ridiculous to think it would work – which it didn’t. Clearly I was desperate!)
we used to butcher our own chicken, too, when we were growing up. of course, first we had to catch them since al of them are free range. those were noisy days and the smell of plucked feather was awful. yet, it was good to know where food came from. 🙂
Hot wet feathers is the worst smell, and it sticks in your nose the rest of the day, one of my least favorite parts of the whole thing!
It sounds like you handled this very well and she’s none the worse for wear for finding out where her food comes from. We live in the city, so this isn’t something we’d do with our girls, but they have uncles who hunt. At some stage I think I’ll likely use that as a springboard for “where your meat comes from”. Maybe with geese first rather than deer though. I haven’t really given it much thought.
Either way, I think kids handle stuff like that better than we give them credit for. They’re also pretty good at reading their surrounding – so if everyone else is okay with it (within the boundaries of reason of course), they likely will be too.
They do handle it very well. And like I said our girls have grown up with it as a part of their lives- it IS where their meat comes from. Now if we tell them we are having pork for dinner we’ll get a – “that’s pig right?” question from the oldest! 🙂
I think it’s great for kids to know where their food comes from. As for your little one, it sounds like she is a ‘thinker’.
She is a “thinker” which is great overall but at this age often results in her being a “stinker” ! 🙂
Though… But despite the rooster, if she Has trouble to sleep, the rooster processus won t change Much. Ours have trouble to sleep as well! And They have not seen That. Good luck With the sleeping.
Well I”m currently “standing guard” outside her bedroom door. So we’ve got more work to do with the sleeping, but I’m sure by the time she’s a teenager she’ll get the hang of it!