Cornish Hens, or a Boy's First Pets?
As Mothers we are always looking for ways to help our little ones achieve the life skills and moral lessons that will help them grow into loving and compassionate adults. One of the earliest lessons in the Zimmerman home has always been, care and responsibility of an animal. This has ranged from feeding the family flock of laying hens and gathering the eggs to feeding and watering the dogs. Oh, and I am not gonna pretend that these chores always get done without reminders! But it's the Mama's thought of a life lesson that counts.
I have been talking to 'Big Blue' about it being time for 'Little Blue' to have some such responsibility. He is a bit younger than the girls were when they were given the responsibilities of caring for living creatures, But it seems the God Given desire to rule over the earth and the things in it in my 'Little Blue' is already in action! So I was thinking that putting him 'In charge' of his own little domain (pet) would help curb his desire to dominate his little (and big) sister! But what pet to get a 3yr. old boy who has NO interest in animals, no, Never wanted to touch them! My older children all recognized animals of all kinds at a very young age, But not 'Little Blue' he called all 4 legged animals 'Cow' until he was 2 years old!
Yesterday a neighbor called and asked if we'd like to adopt 4 baby chicks! Perfect! Of course, Chicks, they don't eat much, are quiet and easy to take care of! We happily told 'Little Blue' about HIS baby chicks and we waited with excitement for them to arrive!!!
He LOVED them!! No, he didn't want to touch them, but everything that a mother hopes to see in her little man was there. Compassion, ownership, caring!! He felt so important and worried and fussed when his baby sis came to close! My heart was so warm watching him!
Image the shock to my system when I learned that they were 'Cornish Broilers'!! Wait??? weren't broilers the butchering chickens??? The ones the you EAT???? OH dear!!!!! You CAN NOT eat a little boy's first pet!!! How traumatic!!!
We go to the hardware store to buy food and the guy who helps us has no Idea that I am keeping a secret from 'Little blue'. He grins when I tell him that I have 4 Cornish chicks and I don't really want a 50 lb bag of chick starter. He says, as he hands me the smallest bag of chicken food, "Well since you will be eating them in about 6 weeks this should be all you need." he then proceeds to tell me how delicious they are when they are butchered at 4 weeks as Cornish game hens. 'Little Blue' seeing the look of distress on my face quietly assures me 'It's OK Mom," he says, "we can come back for more food when MY CHICKS eat this all."
Oh dear!!!! the plot thickens!!!
'Little Blue' proudly shows HIS CHICKS to his big sisters and Daddy! he checks them every 20 minutes to make sure they are 'Happy'.
'Big Blue' learns that the baby chicks are Cornish Broilers and he gets this look in his eyes... the 'Foodie' look! My heart jumps and I quickly shoot him the look plus pinch his side in time to stop the words Grill and Delicious from escaping his mouth!
so now I am off to google what happens to Cornish broilers if you never butcher them???
Any suggestions on what to do about this dilemma are greatly appreciated!!! :)