Since we live on a (small, hobby) farm, we came to think of our kids as future work force. To that end, we try to include them into various farm work to the extent to which they are able to participate.
Today, for instance, was chicken butchering day – something they actually wanted to be involved in.
Due to our run-in with some predation problems this summer, we didn’t have very many left to butcher, so instead of borrowing a chicken plucker, like we usually do, we just up and plucked them by hand.
I don’t think my kids ever hand-plucked chickens before, but it is actually a nice job for them – easy and not bloody (all actual killing is currently done by daddy).
If you are curious about the breed, these are Freedom Rangers, so their feathers are nice and red.
You can tell Cyrus is very intent on learning.
An anatomy lesson from grandma – always a bonus!
(Many thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law for coming out to help butcher despite a sore foot – and for buying pizza for lunch!)
This is the part where they pull the innards out of a chicken – it can be kind of tricky, because you don’t want to pierce any intestines for obvious reasons. I think daddy took over at this point. But Josie still likes to try to do it. I think that’s great.
Gotta start them young!
P.S.: If you plan to involve your kids into butchering, be sure to warn them not to put their hands in their mouths while they are at it – like with any raw poultry, salmonella is always a risk. If you have little kids, watch them closely, since they are not so good at remembering this type of instructions. Be sure to wash their hands thoroughly afterwards and to change their clothes.
If you are interested in butchering your own chickens or waterfowl, below are the links to my detailed poultry plucking and butchering photo-tutorials: