July 17th, 2012
You may remember that I have some friends close by who keep chicken. A couple of weeks ago it became clear that three of their chicken were growing up to be cockerels, so Mandle tried hard to find them homes. Cockerels and Dartmouth Park don’t go well together, once they start to crow, they wake up the neighbourhood! That’s not the only problem either, cockerels are territorial and will fight each other to death. Sadly, in spite of very good breeding, nobody in London wanted a cockerel, so I was asked round to kill them as humanely as possible.
I don’t have any qualms about killing chicken, but I do take the job very seriously. These birds have been very well looked after, they’ve had a lot of space to run around and they’ve been fed organic food. Mandel handles the chicken on a daily basis, so they are all very tame. The birds were removed from the run, one at a time and I took them out of sight and sound of the others. Amazingly they were very calm and showed no fear – there was no crowing or panic. I dislocated the necks and it was all over very quickly. I did my best to make the whole process as painless and stress free as possible.
I took the three cockerels straight home and plucked them. This is easiest when the chicken are still warm, as they go cold (after an hour or so) the wax holding in the feathers sets and it’s hard to get them out. See here for my guide to plucking and cleaning.
Kiki did the daily egg collection while I was there – 14 from the chicken and 3 from the quails. I was lucky, I was given some eggs to take home too!