Tuesday, November 8, 2011

When Zombie Chickens Attack (Part 1)

Vegetarian and vegan friends and readers, you may want to skip reading this post.  Don't worry, you won't hurt my feelings on this one.

Hey, meat eaters, where do you think you're going?  You need to stay here and read this.  If it icks you out too much to think of your meat as being dead animals, you probably should get over it or stop eating meat.  Because that's what meat is: D-E-A-D A-N-I-M-A-L-S.  I've long held the idea that people who eat meat should, at some point in their lives, either observe or, better yet, participate in the process of turning living animals into food, specifically animals you intend on eating personally.  I find the disconnect that so many people have of meat just being meat extremely disrespectful to the animal that gave its life for human consumption.  After all, how can you be grateful for its ultimate sacrifice, if you can't even acknowledge what it is?  Not to mention that if you think animals come in nice, clean, pretty packaging in the store, how do you know under what conditions that animal lived and died (hint: it was far, far worse than what I'm going to describe here if you are buying factory farmed meat at the store!)?

drawing by Patricalynn of Allure of Hearth and Home
This past weekend, on my birthday, I was given the opportunity to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, and to help harvest the chickens that the relative I get eggs from no longer wanted or needed in his flock.  Since I've felt like I have about really knowing where your meat comes from, and because I was offered a share of this meat for free for my assistance, I jumped at the chance.

When I first got there, I didn't know what I was doing.  I quickly discovered that I was glad not to be the person actually killing the chickens, not because of any sort of moral dilemma, but because the method being used was to poke them in the brain before slitting their throat, something that my sensitive stomach churned at, even though it is supposed to be a more humane way to do it, since they are braindead by the time they bleed out or something.  My mom was also helping with this project, and had some prior experience with chicken butchering, so she was taking the lead on showing me what to do.  In the meantime, when she was working on the first chicken, the owner of the chickens, who was doing the actual slaughtering, handed off the next one to me, by the feet, so its head was down by my thigh. 

I was watching my mom and trying to learn what I was supposed to do, but my mind sometimes wanders.  If you ever have seen the television show Scrubs, that's the kind of mind wandering I'm talking about.  I was just contemplating zombie chickens and half expecting the chicken I was holding to come back to life and bite my thigh on its way to going for my brains (since it didn't have any brains anymore.  See how that kind of makes sense?), when the zombie chicken attacked for real!  Okay, so it didn't really bite me or go for my brain, but you know how the expression "running around like a chicken with their head cut off" is based on reality?  Well, this chicken couldn't run anywhere, since I was holding on to its legs, but it sure was trying to go somewhere!  It was flapping like crazy!  You know the expression "that scared the crap out of me?"  Okay, in this case, it really was just an expression, but it scared the something out of me!  It took me a good long while, and another zombie attack, before I could finally came down enough to hang it up to be processed.

This post is already getting quite long, so I think I'm going to save the rest of this two day adventure for another day, if you are interested, that is.  Would you be interested in reading a Part 2 of When Zombie Chickens Attack?  This was all in the first half hour of the adventure, so there is plenty more I could share!


  1. awww man thats all we get for today? Hehehehe.

  2. First, yes I want to read more. :) Always always always!!

    Second, we have been processing our own meat chickens for years now. Our largest batch was about 150 chickens in a weekend, although that was with a lot of help from friends who had pitched in on costs and care. Last year (we didn't do a batch this year because of the move) we had a bad time of it, having started with 100 chickens and ending with only 36 (thank you fischercats *sigh*). Still, we did a pretty quick job of butchering them. In the space of four hours, hubby and I had killed, beheaded, dunked, defeathered, and butchered all 36 of them, and they were in the house getting sealed into those baggies that the air gets sucked out of. We've become rather blase about it LOL...

    Despite the cost (yes, it costs way more to raise chicken than to buy it), it's completely worth it in my opinion. I'm allergic to penicillin and that's what they put in the feed of all but the most expensive organic free range chickens. Eating store bought chicken is like playing Russian roulette for me. :(

    And nothing prepares you for the flavor of home grown and raised chicken. It's completely different from the largely tasteless stuff you get at the grocery store. The texture is more firm, the flavor meatier, and the meat is much higher quality. You know exactly what's in it (the feed you bought, some bugs, oyster shells, and maybe scraps). And you get the joy of raising them through the cute stage. *grin*

  3. OMG, I can so meet you on this one. The last time we helped cull a friends flock of the evil roosters we had one get away. My dad's method was the chop head off and drain variety.....and the chicken with its head cut off got up and ran around our yard. Thankfully we lived in the country (enough) that no neighborhood children were permanently scarred in the butchering and mayhem that ensued.

    I agree with you that we need to teach our kids where meat comes from and how it gets onto the plate. I've butchered my fair share of rabbits I raised myself, evil roosters and roadkill (fresh-we're on the call list for the PD) and my husband had turkeys and pigs as a kid. Definitely way better tasting than what I end up getting from the grocer to keep on budget.