How do you prepare yourself & the animal for slaughter?

Discussion in 'Breeding, Raising, Feeding and Caring for Animals' started by Grahame, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Hi folks,

    When it comes to slaughter time (which is usually a surplus Rooster for me) I am often at a loss as to what to say to the animal, how to thank it for it's service to my family's stomachs and further more, how to prepare myself emotionally and mentally.

    I don't like doing it (who does?), but I accept it as an important part of our permaculture lives (i know it's not for everyone). My heart starts pumping the adrenaline as soon as I decide today is the day. In the early days I would decide on the spot, go grab the bird and do it quickly, before I could freak out.

    More recently after more experience, I decide ahead of time; go get the bird the night before as it is sleeping; place it in a small cage for the night and then do the killing in the morning. This way, the other animals don't get spooked when I am catching it; the animal is less distressed because I haven't just chased it around, etc. I make sure I have my equipment ready well in advance...

    But when it comes to actually take the life I would like to say something, a prayer if you will, give some respect to the animal. Does anyone else have a ritual?, a prayer? that you would care to share with me?

    Thanks in advance
    Grahame
     
  2. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    Like you I always put the bird in a separate small coop or carrier the night before. In the morning, I hold the bird, in my case lately - rooster - gently, tell him he's a good chickie, and thank him. I make sure I'm calm, because that helps calm the bird.
     
  3. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    :y: I am fairly sure chooks do not really understand the words we use so as long as you act respectfully - which you obviously do - then it seems fine to me.
     
  4. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    They get the gist of 'Chook Chook'. Although I suspect they understand more about the fact that the white bucket carries food than they do about the funny noises the dirty looking man makes as he brings it to them.

    Thanks PP, yeah, I guess it would be more about me feeling better than the the chook feeling better. After all, what could someone say to you that would make you feel better about them slitting your throat or chopping your head off! :sweat:

    I know they don't really understand, but I always remember to thank the girls for their eggs each day. It's just good manners :)
     
  5. Spidermonkey

    Spidermonkey Junior Member

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    I had to kill a chicken one time that had been attacked by the others. Her wound started to smell bad and she was limp and could not stand.

    I also have an Aquaponic system and kill fish to eat from time to time.

    Dispatching the chicken was an act of mercy as she was already dying and was very ill. The fish I just try to clear my mind, consider the animal as a food source that is due to be harvested and concentrate on doing the deed as quickly as possible. I never dispatch an animal within sight of others and my ritual involves setting up a clean area with clean rags or old towels, the appropriate tools, a recepticle for the waste and a bucket of clean water.

    I think that we feel bad because we are the only species that shops for its food. I don't enjoy killing but I now see it as killing prey just as any other animal that kills to eat.
     
  6. TheDirtSurgeon

    TheDirtSurgeon Junior Member

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    My personal preparation involves being hungry.

    Your thanks to the chook is feeding & housing it and giving it a happy life. Before the stew-pot.

    Dammit, now I'm hungry again. You gotta stop talking about food here!
     
  7. permasculptor

    permasculptor Junior Member

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    It took me ages to come to terms with killing my first lot of rosters.Id had a bad experience with a chicken and a blunt axe and a raincoat covered in blood after a failed attempt at breaking its neck as a boy. In the end I asked a very experienced permie to come and hold my hand which she did and showed me the hows and why,s.It made it a lot easier.
    I thank the bird but I find it difficult to look it in the eye when doing so.
     
  8. adiantum

    adiantum Junior Member

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    On the practical side, it's always good to isolate and fast the critter concerned for 12 to 24 hours before doing the deed. This gives the digestive tract a chance to empty somewhat which makes dressing easier, in that turgid full guts aren't as likely to break open while butchering. This is especially true of the crop in poultry.
     
  9. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    I've noticed a lot of people actually stun the chook now before cutting its throat. They have these little chicken stunners that sit nicely on the head, then the bird doesn't even move. I was thinking if it is compassionate for sheep, cows and pigs, the chook deserves it too. Haven't seen any for sale though.
     
  10. permup

    permup Junior Member

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    I finally killed my first chicken last weekend. 4 of our girls are too old to lay now and they need to go into the stock pot. I thanked her for all the eggs she has given us. I told her I hoped that she had enjoyed her life, and that I was proud to be able to offer her a good death. She didn't have to undergo transportation or stress. Remarkably, I didn't cry afterward. I felt far more peaceful than I would ever have thought possible. Take a look at my site for 21 April 2012 to see what she became! www.facebook.com/permup.
     

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