A Time To Kill
It is past time for me to cull some of the chickens. I have two Cornish cross roosters that are about as big as turkeys. They need to go soon.
I’ve been asked by some how I can kill a living creature. My answer is, “I just think of it as the Aflac Duck and that makes killing real easy.” In actuality killing is never easy for me. I don’t hunt and I no longer go fishing. I, like most Americans like leaving the dirty deed to others.
The last time I killed chickens I used the old hatchet and stump method. The chicken is generally terrorized and you can see it watching you. One chop and the chicken runs around headless as it bleeds out, drawing the attention of the other chickens in the yard.
Today, the kinder, gentler way of killing chickens employs the use of a killing cone as pictured above. A chicken is placed head down in the cone. The cone cradles its body, and being upside down seems to confuse them just long enough for a very sharp knife to end it all, quickly without any running around or added trauma to them or the rest of the flock.
There is a certain somber reverence that is employed on killing day. Everything needs to be as swift and as precise as possible. It is always best to never name the animals destined for the freezer. It makes it all a lot easier.
It seems that Americans have become very disassociated with the animals we consume. When was the last time you saw a hog or a steer on the hook. Years ago this was a common sight in butcher shops, but now all we see are individually wrapped portions on foam trays under cellophane that is plastered with bar codes, labels and sales stickers. All we see is the red color of the meat and some white fat or bone.
I don’t think people that have removed themselves from this essential link to the food process fully comprehend the chain of events. It is important to consider and reflect on the meat that we consume. When one does consider the entire process there will be an appreciation for the food and less waste which will translate to more food for all.