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F is for Foul, Fowl!


The Daddy bought several live chickens at a time from a local chicken farmer, and he and the Mama would slaughter them in the backyard.  I was 11 or 12 when the parents decided it was time for me to help with the slaughtering. Like I really wanted the experience. I suppose they figured a day would come when I would need to slaughter a chicken for survival. Yes, it would definitely be an asset if I were to be chosen for Survivor, the reality show. But, that's if I didn't get kicked off before my team won a challenge that rewarded us with chickens. I digress.

My part in the slaughter was simple.  I only needed to hold a chicken firmly down on a block of wood while the Daddy slit its neck. On the day of my rite of passage, I watched the parents do the process a couple of times. Then it was my turn. I kneeled behind the wood, and the Daddy put a chicken beneath my hands, face towards him. He did not let go of the chicken until he was sure the bird could not get away from me.

"Ready," said the Daddy.

"Okay," I said, leaning forward a little more to maintain a better grip on the bird.

The Daddy did his thing quickly. The chicken squawked and fidgeted madly under my hands, but I kept it steady so its blood drained into the pot beneath it. Then, it happened.

SPLAT. SPLAT. SPLAT.

The chicken performed it last (to put it politely) bathroom act.  All over my face, arms, and body!  Yeah, go Eeewwwwwww because I'm sure I did.

I was good helper though. I held that chicken until its spirit completely left it. The Mama took the chicken and I ran into the house to clean up.  The parents were good. They waited until I was in the house before they broke into laughter.

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Comments

  1. I have so many responses to this, because to participate in the killing of an animal even for food, is difficult. Most people eat meat and enjoy it, but don't want to kill or butcher the animal. We want someone else to do it. This attitude or desire to not be part of the process of where our food comes from allows for the existence of huge chicken facilities, inhumane conditions of raising chickens and other animals, so they are suffering during their lives. Egg laying hens suffer some of the worst conditions. Also, there are humane ways to kill chickens and non-humane ways. The worst way is to chop off the neck and the chicken's body runs around and spews everything with blood. My husband has a really funny story about killing a chicken during his hippie days. Getting pooped on... well, that was like the chicken's last word to you! I've definitely had my share of getting pooped on. Thank you for sharing your experience.Maui Jungalow

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    1. I agree, Courtney. We all need to regain our consciousness about food. I'm fortunate that my parents wanted to raise their own food. Along with always having a vegetable garden, they eventually did raise a few chickens, pigs, cows, pigeons, and a sheep now and then in the backyard. I'm more skittish about eating factory raised livestock than I was helping them slaughter the animals for food.

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  2. My mom too had to take part in slaughter chickens as a kid for their family business, which is the reason why she became a vegetarian when she grew up. I am a vegetarian and nearly a vegan most days of the week, but this is simply a choice I made for myself. Truth be told I would never want to slaughter a chicken, and I used to hate handling raw chicken back when I ate it over a year ago. I have since become full vegetarian because I am just not comfortable with it. I think it is fine if people like me want to be vegetarian, but I do see what people are saying about how if you want to eat chicken, beef or what have you, that you should be willing to find out how your food is produced.

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    1. I experimented with vegetarian eating when I was a young thing. It was okay. My body just felt like it was missing something. We eat less meat and poultry than before. We do our best to buy organic, and all the good stuff. Thank goodness, every year, the options are getting better locally, so we don't have to drive miles away to purchase food that's good for us. When we first moved here, we thought it was ironic that in this rural area, there were few organic choices.

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  3. Hilarious! A serious episode and you made it so easy for all. Not many can withstand blood. It takes courage to even hold down the squawking chicken! Great prose Su-sieee!

    Hank

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    1. Thanks, Hank. I'm glad to hear it wasn't too queasy of a post to read. :-)

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  4. Hilarious! A serious episode and you made it so easy for all. Not many can withstand blood. It takes courage to even hold down the squawking chicken! Great prose Su-sieee!

    Hank

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  5. Good write up. I seriously pity these beings whose fate is to end up as our food. But I love chicken though.
    Hilarious experience there.

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    1. Thanks, Preethi. Yes, I thank the animals that feed us, too. :-)

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  6. I would help out at the neighbours when it was time to kill the chickens and geese. I never had one go oopsy on me but I let one go by mistake and watched it fly all over the place. The sick part of me giggled...what did I know? They had to have laughed once you were in the house:)

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    1. Yeah, I'd probably have laughed too at the bird flying and seeing someone get pooped on.

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  7. We butchered all of our meat when I was a child - a matter of survival - never had that happen though. I guess you were truly blessed by the Gods. :)

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    1. Yes, I was and am. I'd have no problem slaughtering a chicken today. The Husband doesn't know if he could. But I'm sure he would, if it has to be.

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Thanks for the good cheer. :-)

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