Common decisions to folks of the past, decisions that probably took very little deliberation, are often novel considerations to the modern American. The one we recently faced was: what to do when the rooster gets disruptive to the peace and harmony on the farm? I'm trying to be polite about this issue, and sensitive to different approaches, but that just added to the debate in my head that lead me to the inevitable age-old solution: eat him.
This was our first time to kill and consume our farm raised animal, and was not an easy thing for us. Howl was getting aggressive, ostracizing the other rooster, upsetting all of us with his chasing, squawking and overdoing crowing, even disturbing the hens-- some of whom are starting to lay eggs. I sent out an email to the Willamette Women Farmer's Network, to see if anyone was interested in a rooster, but was not surprised by no response. Over a few days when we had heavy rainfall so that the chickens were more cooped up, I could see the situation would escalate. So, we took him out when roosting, as chickens sleep heavily, put him in a cat-carrier for the night, and butchered first thing in the morning. He was plucked,cleaned and like a store-bought bird in the fridge by 6:30 am, not entirely done smoothly. We read how in Raising Chickens for Dummies, but one has to learn by actually doing it.
I grew up eating home-raised meat. I couldn't eat the animals I knew the best, that were my pets. Then I became became vegetarian for many years as I felt uncomfortable with not knowing how my meat was raised, and uncomfortable with knowing that if I knew the animal, if it were my pet, I wouldn't want to eat it. Later I started eating meat again, mostly from sources I think might be a bit more humane and healthful. It feels most honest to eat an animal you are willing to kill.
Anyway, our Christmas eve dinner was delicious, and balance and calm are restored in the barnyard.