The meat bird experience

ImageYesterday I killed my first chickens. I would say animal but I have killed fish so I count that. I did two Cornish Cross roosters. The first one I did was the one I was slightly attached to, the only one out of the 11. I thought that would be the best way to proceed. Unfortunately the cone I have is too small so I have to hold the bird after I have killed it to make sure it doesn’t pop out after it’s dead. I was surprised how little time it took and how fast the chicken died. I felt ok about this because these animals are raised only for meat and not longevity. This chicken had a wonderful life with attention while it was a chicken, shelter from the rain when it got older and usually three meals a day. It foraged for a lot of it’s food and ate bugs and grass. Some say the Cornish will not forage at all because they are stupid and just want to stay next to their food all the time. I did not find this to be true just that they were a little lazier than my adult hens and sit down more to sunbathe or enjoy the shade.

At 3 weeks I felt like I was doing a great job with these birds but then my husband said I wasn’t really “doing” anything just feeding them. After that phase I did a lot with them and for them. I spent the night on the couch the first night they were out in their shanty shack in case a raccoon came by. I wanted to be close enough to run out if I had to. Fortunately we haven’t had a raccoon problem in a couple years. I had thought about keeping some of the feathers but honestly the feathers were pretty ugly after the processing and I decided against that. They weighed dressed at 2.5 pounds which was shocking to me because they looked and felt bigger. I am letting the others get a little bigger with feather weight (ha ha) until I do them.

I cooked my first chicken in an herb encrusted fashion with salt and pepper and a little butter. The flavor was fabulous and my daughter who doesn’t normally eat a lot of chicken ate all of her’s and asked for more.  I had a little moment before I sampled it and remembered the rooster from which the meat came and felt good about giving it a very good life and partaking in eating it with gratitude and appreciation really.

I am selling 6 of the 11 to friends and family to get back a little profit out of this (after chick and feed costs). That is also almost legitimizing the project for me as I made money off it and also provided a wonderful food item to people that they can’t get at the store down the street and they don’t know where or how it was raised.

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