Wednesday, January 5, 2011


{read at your own risk, and the risk of your dinner table – graphic pictures and descriptions below – don’t yell at me if you do not heed this warning, I warned you}

my BIG boys

….it was a crazy day for me.  Lots of excitement and lots of driving. 

Our first stop was to take our chickens to be processed (which Jennifer prefers to killed – she is hoping she is processed at the end of this life instead of dead).  This was an experience. 

First, you get out the car and you KNOW you are in the right place and it has nothing to do with the address, your GPS or the sign.  You know you are in the right place from the smell.  It does not smell like anything else you have smelled, unless, well, you have done this before, which I had not.

Then I wander in looking completely out of place – looking for anyone who can offer me a clue.  Finally some young man has pity on the lost woman – and offers to help – but without speaking, since we do not speak the same language.

First he assumes I am there to buy their chickens, although I keep pointing to my car and trying to explain I brought my own.  Remember, he does not speak English.

Next we figure out I have some chickens in my truck, so we start with the Dog carrier that has 4 in it – and then he assumes we are done and indicates I need to pay.  It takes a bit longer to relate that I still have 8 more in the BIG box in my truck that we need to get.

Eventually he gets all my chickens, I pay and the wait begins.  You do not leave, there is no waiting room with ripped chairs and a tiny tv.  There is not a Starbucks on the corner to grab a cup of coffee.  There is a big room where you stand and watch your chickens get “processed”.  Did I mention everything is wet & made of stainless steel?  Yeah, it is.  And did I mention it smells?  Inside and out.  Not the same smells though.

And while you wait for him to finish the chickens you get to see the pig across the room being “processed” and the many goats in the adjoining room with the BIG open doorway.  Yeah.  Lots of meat parts – enough to make you choose salad next time.

So here is what my chickens went through -

1.  Pulled out of the carrier/box by 1 leg and thrown into a plastic crate like thing.  Not handled with care like we did it…

  phase 1

2.  Taken out and put into a cone (if they were lucky).  Throat cut, and allowed to drain upside down, I avoided watching this – it was not so pleasant and very REAL

2. (b) – the not so luck ones – well they were tossed, after the throat thing, into a big plastic trash can while they thrashed about and allowed to drain

3.  Finally they were dipped into so hot water and then thrown into the de-feather machine – this spins them and their feathers come out  (I think)

post phase III


Everything still attached – but very naked and now starting to look like what I am used to seeing a chicken look like, still a bit REAL though

4.  Moved the chickens to another area now where they will be cleaned out


Phase IV


5.  Next he cut them open, cleaned them out – cut off some parts I did not want.  Starting to look much more normal and a lot less like my white fluffy chickens.

post phase V   

6.  Lastly moved over to a cutting saw table when they cut up each chicken into parts and I (YES I) put those parts into ziplock bags.  Then into a cooler and Done.

So that was our chicken-processing experience.

Next we did our rounds, Library to stock up on GOOD books, half-price books to look for a few treasures, a friend’s house to get grain, another friend to get 3 bookcases she was getting rid of, a stop at the dentist for sealants in two kids, and then Sprouts.

We did make one small stop for frozen yogurt with a friend and that was a much needed break in my day!

chicken day 2011 010

Can you tell the sugar high has started?

So, what a day.  In a way I cannot believe what happened.  My daughter keeps asking when the chickens are coming back.  :(

But this is life. 

This is reality.

Well, this is our new life and our new reality anyway.


  1. I can say with a fair amount of assuredness I will NEVER EVER have this experience!!!! I hafta not do that. I am, however, very proud of you!!! Your experience will somehow make you better.

  2. oh how mt heart was breaking for those poor chickens. i know it's's the circle of life...but it's the same thing in me that can't watch an animal being killed by another animal on the Discovery channel. i agree with renee, i'm sure this experience and journey will make you better for it. and i'm sure when you are able to come around and eat em they will taste great:)



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