(Photo by Daniel Pippenger)
This Cornish Cross hen was brought into a nearby high school by a student as a joke and subsequently escaped to the garden. They were about to call animal control but at the last minute I went over and got her. She's dirty and missing some feathers but healthy...parasite free. Her poops look normal. I went back to check on her today since it's about 100 degrees out which breeds like her have a hard time tolerating. She was barely moving when I got there but perked up when I put her in the car with the air conditioning. She's currently resting in a large crate with cold water and feed in my basement until she cools off.
Question is, do I eat her or do I send her to a shelter? She's a meat bird. It was her fate to become food. It's what she was meant to be. She would have most certainly met a more cruel end if she had been left where she was taken from. I can at least guarantee her a comfortable few days, a swift death and make from her a meal that honors her sacrifice.
I'm not a vegetarian so this isn't a moral dilemma...I suppose I'm more curious about whether or not she'd be safe to eat.
It's just dawned on me how strange a question that is to ask. More often than not, these sorts of birds live in filthy, dismal conditions but we don't think twice about ordering processed parts of them in a drive-thru, but here I am obsessing over this birds comfort and health and questioning whether or not it would be safe to eat her.
So, got any advice, readers?