Monday, October 24, 2011

chicken keeping



Carbon is the primary chicken keeper around here. It's his chore to go out first thing in the morning and collect the eggs and feed the chickens, and to go out after dark to lock them in for the night, safe from predators. He needs a bit of monitoring, but mostly he does a good job at this chore.

While I was away the kids got to stay with my mother on her little hobby farm, and she has a much bigger flock of birds. It happened that she and my brothers were going to be slaughtering some of the flock and putting them up in the freezer for the winter. After getting my permission (and really - I think kids should know where their food comes from if they're going to eat meat), they all included Carbon in the process. He watched the killing, and he plucked birds, and he was proud of himself for being helpful. Now he says he's ready to be a "real farmer".

Meat-eating is not a given, and I absolutely respect those who choose not to eat it. I agree with the argument that meat takes more resources (so vegetarianism is a bit lighter on the environment) and that most animal-farming is horribly unethical in how it treats these poor living creatures. But when I was a vegetarian I got pretty sick, and I've come to the conclusion that I'm not up to the task of managing my genetic anemia (it's a rare type) without eating meat. So ... I'm really happy to find ways to be a responsible meat-consumer and be connected to the animals.

And I'm proud of my little boy who wants to be a "real farmer".


  1. What a great experience, and I think it's great your son wants to be a "real farmer."

    We don't eat meat, but if we ever decide to add it back into our diets, I'd love for us to be connected to where it comes from.

  2. I can't wait to be a chicken keeper. I can't do the proecessing part (at least I don't think I have it in me) but I love, love, love any chicken that gives me her eggs.