Bittersweet Beginning

If you’ve been following my chicken saga, you are by now well aware that three-quarters of my flock turned out to be of the illegal crowing variety.   So, now what??  Well, the roos have to go.  There are, I suppose, several options.  I could try to sell them.  I could give them away on Craig’s List or Frecycle, or maybe even take them to the humane society.  Or, I could butcher them. 

Butchering was always our plan.  From the very beginning, the children were told that if any of the chicks were roosters, they would be dinner.  And, that when the hens stopped producing, they would have to go too.  Mr. Hippie was researching guillotines months ago when we first started thinking one or more of them might be roosters.  He never got as far as actually building a chicken guillotine, but he was pretty intent on building one for a while.  However, the city ordinance that allows four hens and bans roosters also prohibits the (outdoor) slaughter of chickens in town. 

So, I put in a call to Olds’ Farm.  I get a lot of poultry from them and have purchased everything from their maple syrup to their ground beef.  In addition to produce and ethically-raised meats, Olds Farm also offers poultry processing.  I’ve got a call in to them to have my roos butchered.  As soon as they get enough birds scheduled, they’ll call me back to let me know the drop-off date for my three.  It’s sad, but I’ve come to grips with the omnivore’s dilemma.  I’ve arrived at a place that every conscious omnivore must reach.  If I can’t raise and eat my own birds, why is it okay for me to march into the grocery store and buy an already slaughtered chicken?  If I can’t eat those three roosters, I don’t feel justified consuming meat.   Granted, there is still a separation between me and the actual slaughtering of the birds.  I’m not quite There yet, but I think I will be eventually.

With every yin there is a yang.  When one door closes, another opens.  Whichever idiom you choose, good and bad seem to go hand in hand.  This time is no different.  I may be losing three roosters, but now I have the opportunity to raise chicks.  Day.  Old.  Chicks.  Fellow blogger Tony of TC Bok Bok is ready to start his adventures in urban chicken farming and we’re ordering our chicks together.  This will mean safer, warmer transport for the young chicks, and shared shipping costs. 

I’m paying a little more for them than I did for the last “girls”, but the chicks from My Pet Chicken are guranteed to be girls so as Tony says, the extra cost is hen “insurance”.  Plus I got to pick the varieties of chicks that I wanted!  The order is in and I’m getting three chicks  the last week of March.  An Easter-Egger, a Dominique and a golden-laced Wyandotte are on their way to keep my soon-to-be lonely Rhode Island Red hen company.   I can’t wait to meet them!

2 Comments

Filed under urban chickens

2 responses to “Bittersweet Beginning

  1. Angie

    Your first little taste of what it would be like to be a self-reliant homesteader…

  2. Pingback: Look Who’s Here! « Notes From a Country Girl Living in the City

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