Thursday, November 10, 2011

Turkey Day...not for the faint of heart:)

Logan, Joseph, and Levi holding a big turkey they caught.

 *Note:  There are chicken/turkey pictures that might be disturbing, just so you know.  But I left out the really gross ones!*

My older two kids plus 4 of their homeschool buddies went to an outside science program that was turkey butchering and anatomy.  I was worried that some kids might freak out so I asked Grandma to babysit and took the kids myself and stayed for the program.  This was an amazing program.  They divided the kids into 3 groups.  One group did the catching/butchering first.  The next group did bird clean out and organ identification while the third group did bird anatomy and how and why birds are built the way they are.

Tyler proud of his's still alive though it looks like it's headless.

 First, the kids went out to the pens and caught chickens and turkeys.  Natalie  caught a chicken on her own and Levi caught the BIG turkey with 2 other boys.  They loved this part!  They carried the birds upside down and they were so calm.  I was amazed.  The kids laid their heads on the chopping block and the birds just laid there.  It was quick and hopefully painless.  The kids were thrilled when the chicken and turkey bodies ran around and flapped with their heads cut off.  This may seem disgusting, but I was really impressed on how calmly and almost reverently was done.  We said to each bird how thankful we were that they gave us their bodies energy so that we could continue to live.  When the bodies calmed down, we then dunked their bodies in boiling water to make it easier to pull out the feathers.  This was quite a big job.  I think there were about 8 birds in all!
Joe caught a chicken by himself and was oh, SO proud.

Bird clean out going on here.  A little bloody, but very interesting.
 Second was the bird cleanout.  This was actually the first place my group went and I was amazed at how willing all the boys were to stick their hands in, pull things out, and inspect all the organs.  I had to chuckle after all the organs had been pulled out and our teacher said it was done, Ty says, "But where's the organ?":) The staff here keep all the birds and organs for eating throughout the year. 
The girls just kept saying, "Eww, gross!"

Cute pics of boys before we went outside. Ty's face showed how he felt before he went out.  About halfway through the process, he turns to me and says, "I LOVE this!!!!"

Had to have a picture of the girls too.  Kailey on the top, Sophie on left and Natalie on the right.
The last part of the butchering day was learning the anatomy.  This was done by a lady who knew her stuff and it was fascinating.  She talked all about why birds had this and that and what it was all for.  The highlight for the kids was when she pulled on the tendons of a foot and made the claws move.  Natalie cleaned out the gizzard on her bird.  That girl is not grossed out by anything.  I believe that she looks for the gross parts!  Maybe she gets it from me?  I didn't watch the chopping, but I was extremely interested in all the rest.  The blood just doesn't bother me. 

By the end, I was so impressed with the staff and the facility.  This was a great learning experience that the kids really want to do again next year.  And I want to go with them:)