Thursday, 17 May 2012

Have roosters - will slaughter?

Andreas and Rene getting plucky
Having to deal with too many roosters is tough at times, but when one buys chickens for the purpose of eggs, and self sufficiency there are some factors which one needs to consider.

We initially chose to get Koek-Koeks seeing as we had heard how hardy they are in a farmy setup. And for the large part this is true, they don't mind rain, and  for the most part can scratch anywhere to find food. But... the downside is that the hens do not get broody, so even though they are moderately good egg layers, we would have to get an incubator in order to grow our, at the moment, very meager chicken population which consists of Kleintjie our one and only hen, and Mr. Rooster, her partner, and then 4 extra roosters, of which there are now two left.

One pluck, two pluck, three pluck, four..
I have ordered a new lot of 10 unsexed chicks from the Red Barn in George, and assume that they farm with Bosvelders, which we have heard are excellent scratchers, layers, and they go broody. Our end goal is to be able to have a hen or two, and actually let them hatch their eggs. By doing this we will have a steady supply of chicken as well as eggs. It has really been a learning curve having the chickens, but even though its been more error that trial, I don't think we will go back to not having them.

Rene is almost done with his chicken

Our experience on the homestead over the past 3 years, has been nothing short of amazing. Our boys have shown that they can live this lifestyle without moaning and groaning too much, and we have managed to do things that we probably never would have dreamed of doing if we had stayed in the city. For that I am grateful, and also for the knowledge that our boys will grow up with this experience to take with them. :-)

I want our kids to learn that although living in the city is cool, and you have everything you could possibly want and need right on your doorstep, there is another way of living too - One where growing your own food, and living in harmony with the Earth, showing respect in knowing where your food comes from, and the effort it takes to live sustainably, and trying to leave as little a footprint as possible behind in everything that you do. Conscious living, living with thought. :-)
Andreas loving to do his bit. :-)

In short being able to slaughter our own chickens has been such a valuable lesson. And of course there are people who think that we must be such barbarians because we slaughter our chickens. I don't see it that way, as its more barbaric and ignorant to buy the shop chicken, knowing that the chickens who dies to put perfect drumsticks and thighs in our shops have had miserable lives.

What we do is very "cerebral", we have raised and cared for our chickens, given them a good life, and therefore when we slaughter they can give back. I am really ok with the thought of growing our own meat, or buying from the local farmers in the areas who we know treat their animals well. In my opinion there is almost some sort of karma involved in living the way we do. :-)

Mr. Chicken-claw-man
I mean think about it this way: We look after our land on the homestead, and the animals, trying to keep things as organic as possible, and in turn the land looks after us by providing food for us.

That being said we slaughtered two of the four superfluous roosters, and it was a team effort for Jan and the boys. The only protest we got was from Rene who said to not post the photos of him on FaceBook... lol.

And although the two chickens were plucked and done in record time, fun was had by all who took part. :-)

Three men and a chicken... or two... :-P

1 comment:

  1. I certainly don't think of you as a barbarian for slaughtering your own chickens. I just couldn't do it. But then I have issues even cooking meat for my animals.

    I actually believe that if you cannot kill something, you shouldn't eat it. I eat seafood and have caught and killed plenty fish so no guilt involved.