/ 27.2.10 / 5 Comments / country living , family , From the Heart , poultry raising
"A Happy Meal!" but it's not from McDonalds!
..from two years ago, in the spring.....
You will find, as your children get older, that each one has a special dream. Jacob's is to hunt. He has finished his hunting safety course, and has his own gun now, and he's studying very hard, but the real question was...could he really do it..or would he be afraid to take the life of an animal to put food on the table? He doesn't want to get 'the big buck' with lots of points, but he has a strong desire to be a 'hunter/provider". ( Is his last name "Pearl"?)
So how does a mom help make a dream like this come true? Well, she says YES when he asks her to 'please buy one meat chick".
And she helps him scald and pluck and clean and fry it when it's time to do so. I wasn't sure we would have the courage to dispatch a live chicken we had raised, but unfortunately, meat chickies (rock cornish hens) are bred to grow fast and will die of a heart attack if you don't process them by a certain age.
(Mrs. Happy is the White Hen on the Left)
Last week, after much searching on the internet for how to do this humanely and correctly, Tim, Jacob, and I took the plunge and dispatched "Mrs. Happy". She was not happy at the time as the weather was getting hot and she was miserable due to her huge size. I have to say God prepared me for this, because my daddy was an urbanite who wished he was a farmer. So I had already helped dispatch and pluck many and many a chicken. I don't like it..but I can do it.
We entered the 'pioneer' era of Little House on the Prairie...and processed our first meat chicken. Tim and I were very proud of Jacob that he handled the situation with fortitude and no squeamishness. It wasn't easy, but he took a little step into manhood in bearing up and doing what needed to be done. Mrs. Happy is in heaven now(if chickens go to heaven), but we all enjoyed the gift she gave us. (Except Andrew who is our 'nurturer' and to whom every animal is a pet.--he had mashed potatoes and gravy for dinner.) Honestly, it was pretty hard for me to. All of my chickens have names...all 35 of them!!
Next time we will buy five white chickens and nobody is going to name them!! Tim feels confident that Jacob will be able to help him take care of processing other animals once he begins to hunt. He will only be allowed to hunt for the purpose of bringing in food...but we know he will be able to handle the work required. (We once had a friend who named a goat "Goat-burger". It didn't work--when they moved to California, Goat-burger retired to a neighboring farm.)
We will certainly have to 'cull' some of our flock later on as we can't feed 35 chickens who aren't laying eggs, and I know I will be able to count on our little man to take care of it for me. What a guy! (I should think raising girls would be so much simpler! Sigh...)
PS. Yes, the chicken tasted delicious!