Our family (Moe, the daughters, and their husbands) engaged in a common ritual last Sunday in which we harvest the chickens that Moe (my lovely bride of 37 years) had been raising for the last nine weeks.
We take part in this process multiple times per year.
You may be asking why, in the 21st century, in the land of the free and the home of the brave, in the most prosperous and food-rich civilization in human history, we would go to the trouble to purchase live chicks, tend and grow them for 8-9 weeks, fend off predators and inclement weather to keep them alive, and go to the trouble and messiness of harvesting the critters.
Is it a cheaper way to eat chicken? No way.
Is it easier than going to the market and purchasing chicken? Not a chance.
Is it cleaner and more convenient? Get real, dude (or, dudette).
Is it a great way to spend family time? Not so bad, really.
Here are some of the reasons we raise and process our own chickens:
- It just feels right to raise our own food.
- It is most comforting to know that the chickens were raised humanely, fed naturally, and provided free range on which to chase and eat bugs/grasshoppers/worms and the like.
- Chickens are a wonderful substitute for garbage disposals (as they eat the same kinds of food that we do), thus none of our food scraps go down the drain or into the landfill.
- Knowing that respectful and grateful hands have processed the meat makes it seem even healthier.
- Optimizing the carcasses for our consumption, that of our guard dogs, and the land on which the birds were raised seems sustainable both in process and in effect.
- Chickens are superb fertilizer creators and fertilizer spreaders.
- Eating clean chicken that is 100% guaranteed to be antibiotic free, pesticide free, hormone free, and preservative free is down right invigorating.
- Acknowledging as a family that our food is our medicine and that we are irrevocably interconnected with it and interdependent on it has the feel of sacredness.
- Home grown chicken simply TASTES GREAT!
Time to order new chicks, Moe...