Lesson 713 – Eating “Clean” Chickens

I gave a chicken workshop recently where I admitted that although I have slaughtered a few of our birds, I haven’t eaten anything from our birds other than the eggs they give us.

Yup, I prefer instead to go to the local supermarket and purchase an antibiotic, hormone filled piece of decaying meat which I then serve to my family.

I know it doesn’t make sense. After all, one of the reasons we have chickens in the first place is so that we never have to buy another lifeless (in the true sense of the word) eggs, ever again. It is only in having chickens that I’ve realized what a real egg is supposed to taste like. Why wouldn’t I extend that thinking to their flesh?

Part of the reason I don’t eat our chickens is because I spent 7 years of my life being a vegetarian. The thought of something dying for my meal, still creeps me out. While I do eat meat now (several pregnancies where I craved nothing but meat solved that) there are still types of meat I do not eat.

I won’t eat organs, lamb, frog, veal, and rabbit, in fact, pretty much the only meat I eat is chicken, fish, ground beef, and a steak tip (from the grill) every now and then. So you’d think if I’m going to have meat, I’d have the best there is, right?

In theory that sounds good, but when I would end up paying about $6 more (almost $9 when it’s on sale) per chicken, I usually end up with the grocery store brand, especially when I’m buying food for 8 people.

The other thing is that I’ve named my chickens, some after New York Times best sellers to whom I gave a promise that their chickens would never be eaten. (Search for “Good Egg Interviews”)I’m a writer and a believer in karma and I’m sure not going to go back on that promise.

Then there are our chickens who act more like puppies. They run up to us. They jump in our laps and want us to stroke their backs. They converse with us while we sip a drink on the back porch. They have become our friends.

And then, of course, there’s Charlie.

At the workshop, I had said that my goal was to eventually eat one of our chickens.

If it were a life or death situation, I’m sure I would be able to. Go ahead and bring that zombie apocalypse on.

But until then, especially after writing this and remembering the good times with my flock, I think what I’ll do instead, is save my change in a jar and then bring that extra money with me to cover the difference so that I can buy the clean chickens the next time I go shopping.

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I write about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact me at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even  a recipe or two.

7 Comments

Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Personal, Points to ponder

7 responses to “Lesson 713 – Eating “Clean” Chickens

  1. It’s a touch job, being at the top of the food chain. But somebody’s got to do it.

    I am sure if one of our hens were 6 feet tall, and I were the size of a mouse, I would squeak up to them, “Hey, it’s Stephen! Remember me. Remember how I used to throw you organic oats and worms?”

    No doubt Lucy would say to Big Mama, “That was a yummy little critter, if odd looking. Have you seen any more like that in the chicken run?”

  2. “Tough job” I meant so say.

  3. You’re missing out by skipping lamb, frog, and rabbit (OK, you’re not missing out on much by skipping frogs)!

    But the price thing is true. We’re thinking of doing broilers for the first time this year, but it’s a hard choice. I figure it costs about $8 per broiler just in chicks and feed to get them to 6 lbs live weight, and that’s before you take into account all the work raising (and a day spent processing the flock), or any losses. But for $5 at the supermarket, I can get the same-sized chicken, slaughtered, plucked, cleaned, and even roasted!

  4. Rose

    It is cheaper in the store but nothing tastes as good a fresh home raised chicken in soup (older ones are good here for stock) and chicken fried. I usually skin mine and not worry about plucking them as I had to as a child.I do love my chickens but some times you have to thin them esp. when too many roosters were hatched that year.

  5. Jen

    Interesting. I too was a vegetarian for about 7 years. I eat just about the same meat as you do except I do eat venison as well. I don’t kill my chickens and buy store bought meat although my hubby wants to raise broilers this year. Still gonna send them away to be processed. I’m not a big beef eater but we raise our own cattle and I can barely bring myself to eat meat out somewhere, except for a nicely cooked steak, my weakness. I also loooove bacon which is probably why I’m not a vegetarian any longer! I enjoy this website. I never knew there was so much to raising chickens!

  6. Pingback: Homeschooling Chickens - The Homeschool Scuttle

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