Sunday, 3 October 2010

New Chickens

In a terrible turn of bad luck it seems out of the four chickens we originally bought we got 3 roosters. Yeah that's right, two of the remaining 3 were roos.

You caught the past tense huh? This mornning was an early one for us here. Gregory met his maker. It feels odd to be so blase about it but it's just part of life I guess. I took a bit more of an active role in it this time and held Gregory while Spadger did the deed. I'm not squeamish but I expected to get a little upset by it all and was quite surprised that I didn't. I'm not sure if it was that I never really took to Gregory or just that I feel quite pragmatic about where my food comes from. Again I was in charge of plucking and it went much easier this time. Instead of hanging him I just laid him on my lap on a couple of towels. Being able to change the angles I was plucking at made it so much easier. I managed to get away with only one tiny bit of bruising on a wing.

Boniface is still with us for the moment. We're not up to processing two birds in one day so he will be dealt wih next weekend. That leaves only Pius from the original batch. How unlucky are we?

So what's with the title I hear you all cry. Well we decided to go and get replacement chickens today. The lady we buy them off had some that were not ready to lay yet but which were much older than the age we bought the first lot at. In fact they are the age we first started having our suspicions about Cornelius. They are fairly certain to be hens this time. Fingers crossed. I have no problem with the slaughter and preparation of my own chickens but I'd rather not have to do it too often. I will introduce them properly later on in the week with pics.

It's been a touchy subect of late for me. When I told all my colleagues that we had a rooster and were going to have to get rid of him this news was met with outrage. There was much "I don't know how you can", "I couldn't" and my personal favourite "you're cruel". For their information the dictionary definition of cruel is:
adjective, -er, -est.
willfully or knowingly causing pain or distress to others.
enjoying the pain or distress of others: the cruel spectators of the gladiatorial contests.
causing or marked by great pain or distress: a cruel remark; a cruel affliction.
rigid; stern; strict; unrelentingly severe.

Now I'll admit that the roosters may have been distressed. They may even have been in pain. But I get the feeling it is the second meaning that people are trying to apply to me. At no point during the processing of either bird have I enjoyed any possible pain or distress. We have tried to make it as quick and painless as possible. Being called cruel by people who eat meat really offends me. Were the statement made by a vegetarian it would be a totally different matter as their beliefs are different. Heck, I've been vegetarian so I get it. My beliefs just changed. But for someone who eats meat to say it really does anger me. They wouldn't call a farmer, butcher or supermarket cashier cruel but they are all closer to the death of their meal than they are. It seems to be the fact that I am so close up the chain that bothers people, the fact that I have know my food while it was alive. That I have seen it scratching around, fed it from my hand and seen it's personality for myself.

Suffice to say it came to a bit of a head this week and almost decended into a full blown argument. I'd just had enough. Ah well.


  1. I'm sorry to hear you guys ended up with another rooster - they most definitely would have been cruel to each other, though (not to mention the one poor hen) if you hadn't culled them.

    Listen to all my big talk - I've been putting up with attacks from my mean, sharp-taloned, kung fu master rooster because I can't bring myself to take him out. He's got tasty-looking drumsticks, though... I'll try to get over my squeamishness soon. :)

  2. someone once said to me : 'UGH how could you eat ...... eggs from chickens you KNOW?!'

    I now proudly proclaim that 'I do not eat meat I have not met, and if you are not a vegan, I am not interested in your opinion on the matter!'

    (If you are a vegan, settle in for the long haul, since while I respect your moral position, I think if everyone took it, the eart would die.)

    If people ask you how you can eat meat you have met, just ask them how they can eat meat they HAVEN'T?!

    And here's a talking point: