We are set to process our current batch of meat chickens this Friday, so I suppose it makes sense that I have broilers on the brain. When we decided to try raising meat chickens last summer, I had no idea the how much I would enjoy (almost) the whole process! It has truly been a humbling learning experience for the whole family, so here I present you with my top 10 reasons to raise meat chickens.
Top 10 Reasons to Raise Meat Chickens
1. You know what it ate.
When you raise your own meat chicken, you know what kind of diet it ate. Contrary to popular belief, chickens are not vegetarians! They are omnivores, and are much happier and healthier when they have access to bugs and worms, not to mention grass! (Note: now would not be the time to get me started about companies that brag about their chickens’ vegetarian diet!)
2. You know what kind of life it lead.
When you raise your own meat chickens, you know how the animal was treated. The pictures and stories that come out of the commercial chicken industry are nothing short of horrifying. By raising your own, you are opting out of a corrupt system and ensuring that your meat was raised ethically and humanely.
3. Feeling connected with your food.
When you raise your own meat chickens, you feel a true connection with your food. This used to be normal, but these days there are honestly people walking around out there who think meat just comes from the grocery store. They have no real notion that an animal lived and died to provide their dinner. I never want to forget where my food came from.
4. Understanding the sacrifice.
When you raise your own meat chickens, you truly understand the sacrifice that went into your dinner. Personally, understanding that really keeps the waste down in my kitchen. Something died so I could have this food. The least I can do is get every ounce of goodness and nutrition out of it. And yes, we pray before processing chickens.
We often stretch a single chicken into 3 or even 4 meals by using leftovers and making broth. Not to mention the chicken foot broth I make on processing day.
5. Watching your birds grow from tiny, fluffy chicks to dinner is simply amazing.
Not only is it great to have our children see the life cycle of a chicken, it is wonderful to watch your birds change practically day by day!
6. Home processed meat is cleaner than factory meat.
By virtue of it’s automation, it is impossible for factory chicken processing to eviscerate a chicken as carefully as one would do on a small farm. This leads to fecal contamination and results in chlorine baths for our meat to make it fit for human consumption. Um, no thanks! More information here.
7. Processing your own birds is an excellent biology lesson for your children!
My kids would rather dissect a chicken than a frog any day!
8. Knowing what’s for dinner!
Not that we eat chicken everyday, but having a freezer full of tasty chickens helps answer the “what’s for dinner” question I get asked every. single. day.
9. Endless Possibilities!
Roasted chicken, fried chicken, chicken-n-dumplin’s, chicken pot pie, chicken fingers, chicken cacciatore, chicken spaghetti, chicken gumbo, chicken chili, chicken noodle soup. . .
I’ve become the Bubba Gump of chicken!
10. Home-raised chicken tastes great!
The bottom line is, when you raise your own meat chickens, you truly end up with a product you can feel good about serving to your family and friends!
Have you ever raised your own meat chickens?
Please visit my other posts on raising meat chickens!
If you like this list, you might also enjoy my “For the Farm” Pinterest Board! And don’t forget to sign up for Beulah’s moooooosletter! Get all the farm news from the cow’s point of view!
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