Cast and Crew

Monday, July 5, 2010

Long Live Rusty

Friday night we butchered Rusty. It was very difficult for me. I cried and shook while holding the axe in my hand. I never really knew just how hard it would be, and it left me with a lot of emotional conflict.

Ultimately, this experience was necessary for me, for us as a family, perhaps even for our neighborhood. I don't have any regrets, but I do have a lot of respect. Raising meat birds is a goal I've had in mind for a while now, and Rusty gave me the chance to see if I could really follow through. I don't know the answer to that question just yet, but at least I have a very clear picture of what slaughtering looks and feels like now.

Here are a few of the highlights from our Rusty weekend celebration:

  • Plucking feathers is long, tiring work.
  • When the books all say to deprive your meat chickens of food for 12 to 24 hours, they really mean 30 hours. Ew.
  • A sharp knife would have been a godsend compared to that axe.
  • Chickens don't bleed near as much as I thought.
  • Rusty had some iridescent bluish green feathers. The base of them, in his skin, had this funny bluish dye.
  • Entrails brought out the science geek in both of us.
  • Dogs drool over gizzards, hearts, and livers.
  • Heritage breeds have awesome legs. Really. Wow, Rusty. His little manly breasts weren't shabby either.
  • The flavor of Rusty's meat tasted like.... well... grass from the backyard. It was sweet and tender, and it took the herbed butter well. The barbecue wasn't bad either.
  • We haven't been woken by a ruck-a-roo in three days.


  1. I know exactly how you feel. It's hard for me to kill ANY of our animals. But, our animals taste better than any from the grocery store.

  2. I know how you feel. We all have those birds that we`re close too yet we know they have to be culled. Truly our home-grown meat is FAR better than anything found in a grocery store isn`t it??


Shout out to the peeps.


Related Posts with Thumbnails