It Was Time For The Roosters To Go

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.

Roosty with hens

…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!)

Jane: “Then why Dad knock them?” (I’m sure you can see where this is going but it took me a bit.)
Me: “Knock them?”
Jane: “Yeah, why Dad knock them?”
Me: “What do you mean?” (A long day, it had been a very long day.)
Jane: “On the table with a knife.”
Me: “Ooooohhhhh! When Dad killed the roosters?”(Now that I’ve finally caught on I’ve immediately started to worry that perhaps she was not as okay with the process as I thought.)

Jane: “Yeah.”
Me: “They were naughty roosters.”(I’m still grasping at straws as well as panicking thinking that not only have I traumatized her with chicken butchering  but now she’s never going to go to sleep! What have I done?!?)
Jane: “Cause they were peckin’ me?”
Me: “Yup.”
Jane: “Those naughty roosters soup?”
Me: “You got it!”
Jane: “Okay.” (Phew!)
Jane happy with her answer curled up under her blankets and stayed there for three minutes before she came downstairs with a new problem.Jane with a question
I’m starting to despair that my two year old will ever learn to stay in her bed and go to sleep but I’m proud to say she knows just where her soup comes from.
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9 comments on “It Was Time For The Roosters To Go

  1. Imelda says:

    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. 🙂

    • Jessie says:

      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!

  2. Louise says:

    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.

    • Jessie says:

      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! 🙂

  3. Nicola Young says:

    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’.

  4. Hopeje says:

    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.

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