Butchering Our First Rooster
Chickens, Homestead Reflections

Butchering Our First Rooster

There are moments in this lifestyle that are so high. Like you’re walking on clouds. Like nothing can get you down. Moments with fresh strawberries, and newborn baby goats, and fresh cheese. Those are the high times. And yet with this lifestyle you live so close to the earth and the animals that when there are hard times, they tend to really hurt.

I put everything I have into our animals. From raising the small little baby chicks to scrubbing goat water buckets every night; they get more of me than I do myself. They have names because that’s just how I roll (although next time any roosters are going into a chicken tractor to live out their days so I don’t get quite so dang attached). They are alive and are worthy of, if not love, at least respect; even the ones that are heading towards providing the farm with their life.

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Eating meat is not something we take lightly. I was a vegetarian for years, and causing an animal to die so that I can live and gain strength through their sacrifice is not something that I look forward to. But it is life. Things die so that others can live. I choose to eat the very animals that I raised from tiny little babes to adulthood, who have names and personalities, not because I am some sick twisted person who sees a life as something that I have control over, but rather because I would prefer to have a hands on approach during the last moments of their life. I would rather eat meat that played in the grass, and dug in the dirt, and sun bathed, and climbed on my lap, because they truly lived. They did not live in fear or torture or unclean conditions. They lived as naturally as possible and that is what matters the most to me.

It would be so much easier to turn a blind eye and buy from the grocery store. It would be so much easier to trust someone else with the quality and cleanliness of my food. But over and over again the large corporations providing the very meat we buy from the stores, have proved to be undependable. Not just in the treatment of the animals, but in the diet and in the health of the animal, in the cleanliness of the factory, and the disposing of animal waste. The system is broken, and people are being failed in their health from the very food that is supposed to increase their health.

And so today is a low day. I am burdened with the weight of what I have done. Did I cry? You bet. Will I give up? No. Because in the lowest of times is when I am reminded why we are doing this. If it didn’t hurt so bad then I wouldn’t be doing it right, and that does bring some sort of comfort. He went fast, and he was loved, and he knew it. I held him and told him what a good boy he was, and then Hubby and I prayed over him and thanked the Lord for this provision. The deed was quick and done as swiftly as possible and just like that he was gone. By the time the feathers were off he looked just like any other chicken you would buy from the grocery store.

…..and then we chickened out on killing the other rooster. He gets to live for another day at least. Lucky guy.

I’m hardly skilled enough to write a post on the process. Maybe once I’ve done it several times I’ll be more qualified. But I have crossed the line; like a right of passage. The line has been drawn in the sand: vegetarian or farmer? I chose farmer.

The greater my wisdom, the greater my grief. To increase knowledge only increases sorrow.
– Ecclesiastes 1:18 

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