Why I Include Killing Chickens in My “Getting Chickens” Workshops

| 2/20/2013 10:52:07 AM

Tags: Wendy EN Thomas, chickens, backyard flocks, roosters, culling, Wendy E. N. Thomas,

I’ve killed a chicken. Well, actually, I haven’t done the killing, I stood by while my husband and son did the deed but I was there to read the instructions out loud, watch, and to record the event.

A tiny but very loud rooster

You see, I teach local workshops on starting and maintaining backyard chicken flocks. And there are three reasons why I decided to include a section on culling a chicken in my workshops.

1.       Although I don’t raise my chickens for meat, I acknowledge that there are people who do eat their birds. And good for them, it’s a healthier option than eating some of the meat that can be found in grocery stores. (Heck, my mom tells me stories of going to the backyard and picking out the bird that would be used for Sunday dinner.)

I realize how silly it is to have good birds with clean meat living in our backyard while I go to the grocery store to buy a pre-packaged chicken. My goal is to eventually eat one of our flock, it’s not something that going to happen today and probably not even tomorrow, but perhaps it will someday.

2.       One word roosters. When you have a backyard flock, no matter how careful you are, roosters are bound to get in the mix. Sometimes they come in as wrongly identified pullets. Sometimes, they arrive through an incubation hatch. Sometimes people get roosters mistakenly thinking that they “can’t be that bad” with regard to noise. And then there are those who think that you need a rooster in order to get eggs (don’t laugh, I get asked about that at *every* workshop.)

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