Our house sale is still going through at the moment, there’s a tradesman coming round to assess what needs doing on our house and then hopefully it will still go through. So, thought I might write on something slightly different today.
If you are a sensitive animal loving, no kill type, please look away from this post now. It is about killing a chicken to eat, although it is not a graphic description in any way.
Before we knew we were moving I hatched three chicks, Light Sussex ones. This is one just after it had hatched.
I don’t really like putting this photo up with what the content is about, but I want to face reality, not run away from it.
When we didn’t get the chicken’s accommodation sorted in time and then decided we were moving too, friends of ours took them (thank you!). However, at that point it was not obvious whether they were hens or cockerels. Then over the past couple of weeks it became obvious that one was definitely a cockerel. Therefore, we said, if that happened we would take him back and deal (dispatch) with him (if no other home could be found). I know some people have very strong feelings on this, but my feelings are, I eat chicken and I think it is fairly hypocritical of me to eat it but not to want to face the process of actually seeing or doing what is involved. Also, with the lifestyle we will be going for on the croft (hopefully) of aiming for self sufficiency, it will be necessary to do such things. However, reality doesn’t always go along with how you decide things will be.
I fetched him and in the morning despatched him by pulling his neck and then bleeding him. I found this process fairly harrowing to be honest and in the future I think it’ll be either bolt stunner or air pistol all the way maybe combined with using a cone, in which you place the chicken upside down, which apparently puts them in a more relaxed state too. Although you still have to bleed them. I guess you become used to it. We’ve looked at bolt stunners and they look the simplest, safest way to us.
Although I found the killing to be a bit traumatic, I didn’t have a problem with the actual plucking and cleaning up and preparation of the bird. I actually found it really interesting. Especially looking at the organs and what they were, there was a bright green bile sack attached to the liver, you have to be careful not to pierce it or you colour the chicken green. I would think it would probably make it taste really bitter as well.
After preparing it, we roast the chicken and had it for dinner last night. It was really nice, but it was so so strange knowing that I had killed it and that it had been alive that same day. I have never, ever, killed an animal before, never mind killed it and eaten it. It was also weird that I kept questioning whether I had done it correctly and whether I might poison my family! When we get them from the shops we think that they will be absolutely fine despite the fact they have probably been kept in much worse conditions. We are so weird sometimes us humans. We have twisted what should be normal i.e preparing your own food into something abnormal. I do feel that doing this has made me appreciate the animal more (weirdly) and that I will think more carefully about what I eat and not just eat meat because it is there. This is so strange and difficult to explain! I kept thinking about it last night and how it went.
Our children did not see the killing, but they did see the preparation. The toddler was just really, really interested, it didn’t seem to bother him in the slightest. We talked about it and discussed that we only do this when absolutely necessary and he ate some breast meat for dinner. So, onwards and upwards, I have learnt some lessons from this one and hopefully will be a little more prepared next time, if there is one.