It’s been a terrific holiday with all my little chicks at home. We’ve eaten great foods, shared stories of what we’ve done since we last got together, and on New Year’s eve we watched the entire fourth season of The Big Bang Theory.
But now it’s time for the chicklets to get back to their schools and for me to get back into my routine. This being a new year, I have some exciting plans and some new goals. I’ll be sharing these with you as we go on because after all, the best way to be accountable of your actions is to declare to others what it is you hope to accomplish.
Before we get to my first goal, I need to make a small digression. Some of you may remember the fuss I made about chickens not being fully represented at nativity scenes. I went on (and on) about how there were very few chickens and never any roosters. One of my gifts on Christmas morning was this lovely little collection:
The fact that the rooster is absolutely huge in comparison to the lamb and the Christ child just begs for a really obvious non-delicate comment (which trust me, all four of my teenage boys each quickly figured out) but let’s just say that as one who, although not entirely convinced it exists and yet who is not willing to take the chance of forever burning in hell, I’ll just leave it at, “who knew that baby had such a big male chicken.”
Okay, now that that’s done with, I have a call into our local Police department (and it has nothing to do with our family being completely sacrilegious.) Two of our chicks from our incubated eggs this spring are roosters and as we all know roosters, like fences, do not make for friendly neighbors.
Over the years, many of my readers have asked me how to dispose of unwanted roosters (a flock does not ever need more than 2 roosters even if your goal is to hatch chicks), my usual responses include Craig’s list, emailing a “chicken list” of like minded friends offering it to them, and finding a slaughter house. I also point them to this video which shows how to ethically harvest (kill) a chicken.
To be honest, I have not been able to watch the entire video (who are you kidding, I still cry at Old Yeller) but Marc and Trevor have. Trevor is our outdoor woodsman who sees no problem hunting and trapping animals for food. When done with respect and for a purpose, he sees the killing of an animal as a natural process.
Trevor and Marc want to ethically kill the roosters (we have a neighbor who is willing to take the body to cook – there is only so much I am willing to allow.)
The question though, is whether or not this is allowed. I don’t want to write about ethically killing a bird and then be reported for animal abuse (which I could be if I tried to“ethically” kill a dog.) But then chickens are considered livestock and not pets (but don’t ever tell Simon and Morganne that) so there must be different laws on the matter, right? Even though this entire discussion is turning my stomach, as one who writes about and holds workshops on chickens, I think that I should have the answers to some of these questions.
Which is why I’m waiting for the call (and to our town police – you can take as long as you like in getting back to me.) If you are going to raise a flock of chickens you are going to have to some day be prepared for either an ethical death or a harvest. I’m willing to find out the information and how to proceed on it and Marc and Trevor are willing to actually preform the act (while I stand in the bathroom, fingers in my ears going la,la,la,la,la.)
I’ll be keeping you posted on this one.