We killed the roosters this weekend.
Finally! I've been waiting to do in these roosters since they first showed up on the farm. (Yes, it was my fault that I ordered the chicks incorrectly and ended up with all of these roosters, but still...).
We're farmers. We believe in raising animals humanely and eating them when the time is right. I have total respect for my vegetarian friends, but as a family we enjoy healthy local meats, particularly when they're born and raised on our own property!
But here's the thing: I don't like processing chickens. Frankly, it's gross. I mean there are some beautiful parts—one can idealistically paint a poetic picture of this creature's peaceful sacrifice as part of the full circle of life. Also, their feathers are beautiful and remarkably easy to pull. The various colors of red are striking—the lungs of a healthy chicken are vibrantly red, the blood from the neck is deeply, darkly red, the membrane holding the windpipe is a pale weak red, the gizzard is a rich purple red. This may seem a bit morbid, but this spectrum of color is a reminder of the beauty and complexity of life that we often take for granted.
The smell is horrible. I'm not a weak lady—I deal with a lot of rotting gross things. But the smell of the inside of a chicken is just not good. Particularly, if like Alex (and me), you have big clumsy hands and rupture the intestines while trying to pull out the whole gory gut mess—yuk.
Fortunately our foray into butchery was accompanied by my very experienced and accomplished parents. So, the whole episode really went off without a hitch; the birds met a peaceful demise, and I believe there will be some good chicken dinners in our future.
That said, one thing is pretty clear: I don't think Thornfield Farm will be getting into the meat chicken business anytime soon! Here's a hearty thanks to my local chicken farmer friends—keep up the good work. I promise I will happily pay whatever you ask in exchange for your chicken labor!