Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Farm Fun- Thanksgiving and Christmas

Growing up a farm kid you learn early on, that while you treat animals with respect and take care of them, most likely at some point the animal you fed and pet will end up on your plate.

When my brothers and I were still in grade school I pushed to have rabbits. Dad built a hutch that held four rabbits; three does and a buck. It was our job to feed the rabbits, clean, the pens, and have the animals breed. With the growing number of bunnies, when they were the right size, my dad and older brother butchered the young rabbits.

I knew the butchering process and while I understood the necessity for us to eat, I wasn't a fan. Every year my parents bought 100 chicks, raised them up, butchered the roosters all but two, and filled the freezer. I hated chicken butchering. The smell of wet feathers and insides always made me queasy.

We also have beef and swine that we raised and had butchered.  Butchering your own animals you know the conditions the animal has been raised in and the meat always tastes better than in the stores.

One year when our children were in middle school and high school, my husband bought six turkey chicks. Three white and three brown. We ended up with one white and one brown one living to their full size. We named them Thanksgiving(brown one) and Christmas. I told our girls who were in high school that I couldn't stomach the smell of wet feathers. So they took upon themselves to kill and clean first the brown bird for Thanksgiving and when Christmas came along the white one. And to make their adventure even more fun, the younger of our two daughters, who went to college in Long Beach, CA,. had a grand time telling the other students about Thanksgiving and Christmas the turkeys she butchered and we ate.

I think if more kids were raised in a rural setting they would have more life skills, have more of an appreciation for where things come from and a better work ethic. But then I'm just a little bit biased.


Liz Flaherty said...

LOL. I grew up on a farm, too, though the only butchering I helped with was chickens and I hated it. I'd have loved to see your daughter's friends' reactions to how she sent her winter vacation!

Great post, Paty.

Paty Jager said...

Thanks Liz. My daughter loves telling that story, both to city people and the reactions of the kids at college. said...

I remember my mom and aunt chopping the heads off chickens. Us kids had to dunk them in scalding water and pluck them. Pee-Yooo! I'm glad I didn't have to do the head chopping...

Paty Jager said...

Yeah, my grandpa was the one who cut off the heads on the chickens. then Grandma and mom scalded the feathers and we all plucked.