This post contains pictures of dead animals and may offend some.
Please don't read if you feel that it may upset you as it's not my intention to offend anyone or be controversial. I only want to give a fair account of my lifestyle and the way I'm trying to live. I use this blog as a diary and a record of what we've achieved here and I think this is an important part.
|The cockerel is the light coloured chick by the hen.|
This Sunday I killed a cockerel for our dinner.
This has been done for thousands of years and yet when I tell people about it they think it's somehow "odd". My wife's friends at work can't believe that we do it, but I can think of little better than caring for something it's whole life that we're going to eat.
This cockerel was largely free ranged most of his life, hatched with one of our chickens, from one of our own eggs back in July. He' had a good life, fed well, was looked after and cared for, with a nice patch to roam as he sees fit.
He was always destined for the dinner table though as we can only really keep one cockerel at the moment and he started to become aggressive towards my girls, trying to attack them when they're in the garden.
|Tail feathers removed straight away|
|Hung to drain|
|Plucked whilst still warm|
I plucked him whilst he was still warm and found it much easier than normal. He was a good sized bird but the shape of the carcass is so different from the birds you buy in the supermarket that you wouldn't believe they were the same animal. They don't lie flat on the roasting dish and have much, much more leg meat and much less breast meat. There was also a lot more fat on this bird due to the natural grain I've fed him compared to concentrated feed he would have had on a commercial farm.
|A real difference between leg meat and breast meat.|
I roasted him for an hour and half, whilst he was roasting I also dug up parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes and leeks and got a few squashes from the shed. The only thing I didn't grow for dinner was the potatoes which came from an organic farm a few miles away.
The leg meat was a bit tough in all honesty but it was perfect in a curry later in the week.
A chicken raised how we wanted on our own little homestead. Meat for two meals, bones for a stock and feathers for compost.
Almost a closed circle. I need to increase how much food I produce for the chickens on our own land and grow quite a few more of them.
Anyone else raised any meat birds lately?