Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Meat Chicken Debate

To raise meat chickens or not to raise meat chickens, that is the question. Do we want to do them or not? I have been considering this for years. I might be ready.

 I am the type to consider things for a good long while before jumping in. Not all things, but some things. If I decide I don't like the way the living room furniture is, I will re-arrange it right then and there, whether I have help or not. If I see a new book I must have, chances are I will order it right that second, before I can feel guilty about buying yet another book. I am weird like that.

Getting to the point of deciding to get laying chickens was easily a three year process. First, I checked out every book I could find at the library. Next, I had lots and lots of late night discussions of pros and cons with the husband (pretty sure he was sick of the subject after the first week). Then, I talked to every single person I knew who had chickens and asked every question I could think of. After that,  I ordered a couple more chicken books to read.

 And then one day we just made up our minds to do it and placed an order for a dozen chicks.  I did have a brief moment of panic, but mostly it has all been good. I can't make up my mind about the meat chickens though!

Pros- or why we should get meat chickens!

1.  We eat chicken. So why not raise our own? It seems like the right thing to do. We will know where they came from. We will feed them what we want. We will give them good lives, much more humane than supermarket chickens get.

2.   It seems like a major step in my little homesteading project- to raise meat. Different than vegetables, or getting eggs from chickens. Kind of humbling, I guess. More solemn. In a good way, if you know what I mean.

3. We would have chicks around more often. And chicks are just plain fun:).

4.   I have three out of four kids, plus the husband, in support of the venture. Majority wins?

 Cons- or maybe this is a bad idea??

1.  We will eventually have to part with the chickens. Not sure how that will go, even if I specifically try not to allow attachments. I don't want to scar the kids for life! Will they be?

2.  Raising chickens for eggs, raising vegetables and fruit...those seem like such happy little projects. Raising chickens that we will later kill.....I don't know. Not as happy/warm/cozy.

3.  My kids tend to be a bit sensitive,  okay, a lot sensitive about such things. No matter how much I explain that the chicken on their salad is in fact an actual chicken, will they even eat the chicken they remember as a fluff-ball? Or will I have a freezer full of chicken and a table full of crying kids?

4.  One of the four kids has zero interest in this project. He is seven. He is sensitive. He's a sweetheart. I do not want to upset him. It may be better to wait a couple years and see if he becomes amenable. I don't know.

Conclusion, or not

So in conclusion, I really just do not know what to do! I would like to decide soon though, so I can get in order in for early May, giving us time to get them processed before our late summer vacation.

 Decisions, decisions:) Aaargh!


  1. We did meat chickens last year for the first time. They were not at all like our laying hens and we were ready to put them in the freezer. Funny, our youngest said he would watch from the upstairs window but was helping with the whole process when it began. Check out my posts on meat chickens. I bet it will encourage you.
    So glad you stopped by my red farmhouse!

  2. Thanks! I will stop over and read. I have been reading so much about this my eyes are going buggy. I think I am at the point now where I just need to get over it and place that order!