A toddler’s introduction to butchering

by Jessie K on June 11, 2012

This weekend, Jake and I processed fifty chickens. That’s the politically correct way of saying we butchered, bled out, gutted and bagged fifty birds we raise ourselves and sell locally…


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Ginny June 11, 2012 at 12:40 pm


that’s the big question – will she be ok eating roast chicken? sure hope so! I probably would not make a point of saying that dinner used to be running around in our yard. she may not have put 2 & 2 together yet. might be best if that happens slowly.
we get our meat locally, although we have yet to help with the processing. We do watch those animals grow up … anticipating dinner soon. it’s kind of odd to me in a way – such a cute calf! oh – it’s a male? (meaning – ain’t gonna grow up to be milked, since they are Jersey). the meat is so much better then Food Lion meat!

Janelle June 11, 2012 at 1:00 pm


50 chickens in one morning?! After we did 50 for a neighboring farmer, I told my husband 20 is the limit. It’s quite a difficult task and I don’t particularly enjoy it.
Oh, and there’s no way I’m eating chicken for dinner on slaughtering day.

Jessie K June 11, 2012 at 2:53 pm


You gotta get a Scalder and a Featherman (a machine de-feathers for you)….it makes processing bearable.

Melora June 11, 2012 at 11:38 pm


We did butchered lambs this weekend (and enjoyed some for dinner) and my 4 year old was there the whole time. We are two years in on this program with friends who graciously host a farmshare and I love that she is aware of where who food comes from. Meat or veggies, it makes her and her parents more thoughtful eaters. We used to keep her separate during slaughtering but accidentally missed one earlier this year and see no reason to have here leave if she wants to be around for it now. Usually she is occupied elsewhere, but if not she gets some basic anatomy and awareness. Each kid is different though, if it freaked her out we would keep her separate.

I have major plucker envy…

Melora June 12, 2012 at 12:03 am


And please excuse my terrible late day/idevice grammar…ugh.

Kirk June 12, 2012 at 10:32 am


Last fall my then-10 year old daughter pitched in and did most of the scalding. I think the best thing we can teach them is respect for the living being and for their food. A clean purposeful death is part of that.
The plucker is a must-have!

Molly O June 13, 2012 at 9:54 pm


A couple of years ago a friend’s 3 1/2 year old daughter informed me at the dinner table that “A chicken had to die for us to eat this…and that’s kind of sad” as she ate her chicken. It was so darn cute.

Jessie K June 14, 2012 at 10:05 am


Ha ha ha ha!

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