Life Skills

WARNING: Don’t scroll down if you’re easily grossed out!
Today we discuss chicken butchering and there are photos.

After picking up the chickens from the processor on Wednesday, Madeline helped me load them into the freezer. “I’d like to learn how to butcher a chicken,” she remarked. As it turns out, we had 3 that escaped us by hiding under the shed when we were loading up. So I told her if her dad would help her, they could butcher those 3 chickens. I don’t know the first thing about butchering anything but Matt’s foster parents butchered 200 chickens at a time each summer, and butchered their own hogs as well.

Matt is all over anything his girls want to do that’s not “girly”. When I got home from church Sunday morning, they had a pot of water boiling in my new portable fire pit and were headed out to the pasture to round up the tres hombres. Madeline held their feet while Matt chopped off the heads.

After a dunk in the water they were ready to pick feathers. Madeline picked an entire chicken by herself.

Matt singed them over the stove and I got the duty of “gutting and cutting”. We fried all of the legs and thighs for supper and froze the breasts for later.

Chicken butchering seems like one of those things that probably used to be considered a life skill. Not so much these days, but maybe it will come in handy for Madeline someday. Right now, at age 9, the career tracks she’s considering are singer / actress / supermodel or veterinarian. Hard to imagine her using her chicken butchering skills if she winds up in NYC or LA. Matt reminds her that even in those career paths she can still farm on the weekends. We shall see.

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9 Responses to Life Skills

  1. Zanne says:

    I’m glad your daughter is learning how the chicken leg gets to the table…or the pork chop…or the steak. Most people in this country are dangerously removed from their food sources. Know what I mean?

  2. Zanne says:

    I’m glad your daughter is learning how the chicken leg gets to the table…or the pork chop…or the steak. Most people in this country are dangerously removed from their food sources. Know what I mean?

  3. Pablo says:

    I remember helping my grandparents butcher chickens as a boy, 40 years ago in Kentucky. (I’m not sure how much help I was.) Even if your daughter winds up somewhere urban and cosmopolitan, she’ll have more awareness and confidence than her insulated companions who think chicken breasts come already breaded at the fast food store. Good for her!

  4. Rurality says:

    Hubby butchered a couple of ours but I didn’t want to watch the first time. Your daughter is very brave and very smart!

  5. I like eating chickens so that didn’t gross me out. Plus we actually lived in the country when I was little and had chickens which I saw my dad butcher.As far as a life skill, I don’t know although knowing where your food comes from is a good thing.

  6. Janice says:

    I think it’s great your daughter is learning this skill. We are going to be teaching our boys how to do this too! We’ve got about a dozen to butcher this fall.We’ve butchered some of our own rabbits last year.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Good on you for letting your daughter do this,and good on her for having the courage to help slaughter an animal,at least she will know what shes eating.

  8. Mary-anne says:

    Good to see children having an interest about where there meat comes from. Our Daughters have just helped us Butcher our two pigs, and devide up all the lovely home grown pork.

  9. MARK says:

    WHAT A RARE PICTURE! I’M SURE THAT THE POOR CHICKENS COULDN’T GET OVER IT! CONGRATULATIONS FOR MADELINE. I’M SURE THAT WOMEN ARE MORE CRUEL THAN MEN! IS MADELINE ABLE TO BLOOD THEM NEXT TIME? I’M SURE SHE WOULDN’T BE AFRAID. LET HER DO AND STAY NEAR HER TO MONITOR.