A couple of weeks ago I killed a rooster. Because they fight and are too hard on the hens if we have more than two, if a chick grows up to be a rooster, he eventually becomes food for us.
I’ve blogged often about how much I hate that part of farm life so I’ll spare y’all another post about how unpleasant it is to kill animals. Instead I was thinking this morning about that bird’s life leading up to the day I killed him.
The rooster I killed was hatched on our farm, from an egg laid on our farm, which was fertilized by a rooster on our farm. A healthy free-ranging hen sat on the clutch of eggs until they hatched. We don’t own an incubator.
The rooster was a natural breed (Rhode Island Red), capable of reproducing. It took him much longer than 10 weeks to reach maturity and when he did he didn’t have a grotesquely oversized breast. He was free-ranging. He ate a natural diet and was able to flap his wings and crow. He will taste like chickens are supposed to taste.
These things are extremely rare on farms these days.