Back in November, we saw an ad from a lady whom was selling chickens. I spoke to her with excitement about eating fresh eggs and had the kids pick out their favorite chicken! I went home with what I thought were 5 "hens" in hopes that when spring came, we would get lots of eggs.  Lucy was white, Little Red is, well, red of course and the other three were big black ones which looked nearly identical so we just referred to them as the trio. We put them in an existing shed that had previously been used as a coop and set up a run.

Then we waited. And waited. And waited.....For eggs of course.

There were none, but we had fun watching our funny new creatures. 

Then, one morning while laying in bed I heard a strange crowing noise outside, coming from our coop!
It didn't take long until I was convinced that we had some ROOSTERS on our hands!

 Patrick, however, was in denial that their immature crows were the real thing.

When he got to work, he did his own research and e-mailed some links. See for yourself:

PatrickJan 5
It seems that sometimes hens can crow.
                 Jan 5

Really? Who says? :)
              Jan 5

Some say one way and other say the opposite.
The sound does not sound like a standard rooster noise so that also makes a difference.
do dominant hens crow? - Cornucopia Forum - GardenWeb

Urban Chickens Network blog: odd sounds from the coop: can hens crow?

It was only a short time before their crows matured and we both were certain we had 2 roosters!

Lucy had to be renamed Lucky (ironically.)

The big black rooster just stayed part of his trio.....
When asked, our neighbors hadn't even realized we had chickens to begin with and hadn't heard crowing, but over a week ago, when they both started fighting and crowing frequently, we  made the decision that something would have to be done since we live within city limits. We are also hoping that the Little Red Hen doesn't also turn out to be The Big Red Rooster!

We could give them back to the lady we got them from and possibly change them out for hens or give them away, but we decided to do something we have never done before.

We would butcher them, just like we had read about in a Mother Earth News magazine. It was something I had always considered being willing to do, but it was really personal now. Lucky's lucky streak was about to end, and that was very hard for us to admit. It would have been much easier to find another home for them, but we wanted the experience.....AND I had paid good money for their organic soy and corn free feed!

When we finally stopped being so chicken and got up the nerve to do it, I did what any modern-day city girl would do:

 I did a Google search....
And we got a You Tube education!

Our family Friday night videos were all about how to slaughter and butcher a chicken!?!

It was fascinating to us and the kids, whom were surprisingly comfortable with what would soon happen...

Then, early Saturday afternoon, we set everything up, said thank you and goodbye to the chickens,  said a prayer and got to work.

We soon realized it was harder then they made it look on the video (duh), but we worked together and figured things out.

It was a very spiritual experience to take the life of another creature. I have a more profound appreciation for the food, particularly chicken, that we eat on a regular basis without even having a passing thought about where it came from.  I feel like I have been changed for the better.

We all now know for ourselves that plucking a chicken IS a tedious job!

Once the animals were "gone" and my tears were dried, we processed, dissected and studied the chickens and learned an incredible amount!

I hadn't really given enough thought about what a fascinating creature a chicken is!!!

AND we had some amazing FRESH, yummy chicken tacos for dinner tonight.

We feel so lucky to have had such a wonderful experience with the big black rooster and Lucky.


Lacey said...

Jon has mentioned wanting to raise chickens to eat, and I wasn't OK with that, but then I was looking and I've thought that raising and butchering our own chickens would be an eye-opening experience. We are really disconnected from our food, in how it's raised and then slaughtered, and I think doing it yourself brings a new appreciation. It will probably be a year or so before I do this, but I find it a nice coincidence that this has been on my mind as we discuss getting chickens for our family.

MOM said...

Wow!!! You've done something that I've never done or even seen done. I need to watch those video links. Charlie has seen his mom and dad kill and prepare chickens a lot as they raised them in their backyard and on their grandparent's farm. Charlie says it's a difficult, smelly process. That's special that you made this a spiritual experience. Don't name any of your future pets Lucky. As always I love your blogs. I love my Sweet Julie!!!!! Love, MOM

Becky Norris said...

Glad you had such a great experience. You made getting fresh chicken sound much better than I remember it from high school. Troy says the best way to get the feathers off is to put the rooster in boiling water.


Emily said...

Love this post and love you guys! Miss you! :)

Michelle said...

Wow! Good for you! Carrie says the same thing about butchering a cow... that it is a spritual experience. What a great thing for your kids AND you! I am proud of you guys for doing it. :)

Larae Taylor Merritt said...

you are better than me Julie. remeber those chickens we had to kill for a youth conference? I couldn't eat them. But I'm glad this was such a great experience for you family!