|In Memory of Rooster Cogburn "Senior". 12/31/11|
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Senior is no more...or...Killing a chicken to eat
I honestly never thought I would be writing this when we began this chicken endeavor. I truly thought all my chickens would live to a ripe old age and die a natural death at which time we would bury them in the woods and say goodbye. However, reality set in and you realize that you can't just keep feeding these chickens for 15 (!?! did you know chickens could live 15+ years) years and not get anything in return. At least not and continue to eat ourselves. So after having hatched out 9 roosters this year, we began talking ourselves and the kids into the fact that they had to go. We continually spoke of how much better it is to eat a chicken that has had a good life, been well taken care of and loved and fed healthy foods than that stuff you get at the store. We spoke of how this is a "farm" (of sorts) and how each member has to contribute and this is the roosters way of contributing (because believe me, our poor hens don't need but one of them contributing in the other way). We said these things, repeatedly, but we didn't feel these things. We were just trying to convince ourselves. Don't get me wrong, I do believe that stuff but let's be honest here...we are just not killers. We weren't made that way. We love, we nurture, we enjoy...we do NOT kill. Do you know the lengths we have gone to to save baby squirrels, birds and racoons? Many a person would say, "There's enough of them there things in this world, just let 'em die." That's not us. We love this earth and we love the little gifts we've been given and we feel it is our obligation to take care of them the best we can. Even so, we killed a chicken. It was horrible. It was nauseating. It was horrible (did I say that already? Well, it can't be said enough, as far as I am concerned). We are out of the chicken killing business. I couldn't eat it (I say "it" but we have referred to the dead chicken as him since his demise...such as, "I need to put Senior in the freezer." "Can you go get Senior out of the freezer?" "Senior is on the cooker." "I think I am going to have to put Senior in the crockpot." "He's getting tender now.") I couldn't eat him. I know, I know, all the blah, blah, blah, loved, healthy food, blah, blah blah. I don't care. I had a relationship with that bird and just the thought nauseated me. I have made sure not to develop relationships with the baby roosters we hatched out this year. I think I could eat them, but not if my husband kills them. There's just something about it. He was traumatized by "doing" Senior and I guess it's the whole "one flesh" thing but if he's killing, I'm not eating. So we are going to have to figure something out in that regard, work out a deal with someone because I would love to see a return on my investment (chicken feed is not cheap!) but it's got to be on my terms! So long Senior. It was good while it lasted!