***Warning: Full Details of Chicken Slaughter – Only Read if Able to Handle It***
As I took a deep breath, I counted… one, two, three. Then came that unforgettable crunching sound. I stood still while I processed the fact I had just killed a rooster with a hedge clipper.
Our group challenge today was to butcher three of Dev’s meat roosters. Before we did anything, Dev asked us what we felt comfortable doing. Jack, Max, and I felt comfortable with the act of killing the roosters. Seraya felt comfortable helping the process. Jill did a great job trusting her self to leave the situation but still observed some of the process. So then we chased the roosters. It was difficult to herd them but eventually we caught the three roosters.
I slaughtered the first rooster. Then Jack slaughtered the next and then Max the last one. Each time a chicken was slaughtered, there were at least four people. One held the hedge clippers to butcher it. Another held its wings. The next one held its feet. Also, each time our mentors Dev or Marion would supervise. You know the saying, “Running around like a chicken with its head cut off?” Well, it is based on truth. Even after decapitating the roosters, their bodies would continue spasm. That is why we all had positions, in order to stabilize the chicken before and during its death.
All three roosters hung from a tree for a little while before we submerged them into the water. We put them into the boiling water in order to make it easier to pluck their feathers. Afterwards, Dev showed us how to cut, gut, and clean the roosters.
Feet first! We cut the feet first and then officially decapitated the roosters. Next was taking off the neck. The weirdest part was cutting a hole around its butt to get to the guts. Seraya was very careful not to let the sac of poop explode but Max and Jack weren’t as lucky… it was a gross mistake to say the least. So all of us had to literally put our bare hands up into the roosters’ butt and pull the guts out!
Next was cleaning the rest of the chicken and bagging them. Also we cleaned all the equipment and the butchering area. It is difficult to imagine, but we pulled this off in about 3 hours. During this time period, I learned a lot about death. Dev explained how we would know when the energy has left the rooster. Now I understand because I felt when the life was drained from the roosters. It may sound strange if you haven’t butchered an animal before, but I am content knowing I killed an animal meant for consumption in the most humane way possible.
Not only did we learn about the butchering process and the anatomy, we learned about one of the hardest things in life: death.