Sunday, October 31, 2010

Circle of Life

**DISCLAIMER** The following post contains images that may be disturbing to sensitive readers. Ask your pet chickens to leave the room. If you are vegetarian or think your meat comes from the grocery store, please come back next week and skip this blog post. This is reality and I have tried to be sensitive with the photos I chose. I hope you come back next week. *** It isn't horribly graphic (I will not post those photos), but there is blood and dead chickens.

Interlude while you decide: Cali proves she is not picky.
when I was a teenager, I raised calves by bottle and then either sold them for meat or my family used them for meat. I have always understood the circle of life.I know my chicken/meat does not come from a cellophane wrapped styrofoam package. I am also a big fan of free range chickens (for animal welfare more than my health) and was happy to be introduced to a local small farmer who was raising/selling some free range chickens. He just asked that people come help on the 'package/process' day. So we agreed. It was a beautiful cold morning.The boys round up the chickens.
I will be sensitive enough to not show the photos I got of the next step. But I understand it had to happen and it was humane. Obviously, Jason had a 'hands-on' approach. (the next two photos I struggled with posting..but I think it is a neat process and hopefully will help show people what happens..without you seeing all the nitty gritty. I truly hope no one is offended.)They were scalded (post-mortem) to loosen the feathers and then put in a 'de-featherer' which worked really well.Then they were gutted and packaged.
I enjoyed the process as it gave me a new appreciation for my food. I will really enjoy these chickens and use every bit..after all that work we are not wasting anything. The farm had some other cuter residents.
I like to post about the new and unusual things we do and do not want to offend so I hope everyone who made it this far appreciated what we did. But it was educational, hard work and respectfully done.


IHeartDogs said...

Very cool post. I wish more people would choose local free range for the benefits of humane treatment and the health of the planet. Did you give the chicken feet to your pups? :)

houndstooth said...

Pretty cool post! I grew up on a farm with sheep and horses, so I understood that circle of life early on. Plus, I was also the daughter of a deer hunter, so I've enjoyed the fruits of that labor as well. While I couldn't go out and kill them myself (well, I'm not in a position where I have to) I do enjoy my meat and knowing that it did not come from a styrofoam package!

gyeong said...

I'll have to get in on that next time. I buy as much local produce and meats as I can, but you took it to the next level.

IHateToast said...

I know a few people who keep cows to butcher. I find that's more humane (and safer) than grocery stores that buy too much and waste heaps.
Mark and I buy from local butchers who cannot afford to be wasteful.
I don't think I could participate until after they are dead, though. I can't watch until it's done. Same with giving blood. I can't watch the needle go in, but once in, I'm set and can watch them move it around and everything.

I think free range tastes better. chickens need to eat bugs and roam, not be in cages in their filth.

IHateToast said...

Oh, and how is Jason handling learning that he's not so special after all?