Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Chicken Business

Our first batch of little chicks grew up..... into five roosters and one hen. We couldn't keep all the roosters so they were destined for the freezer. Their father, our main rooster, also needed dispatching, as he is now directly related to most of the hens in our brood. We also have received roosters for eating from a couple of local friends, so Nath has spent the last few evenings killing, plucking, and processing chicken meat. Tonight will be a big night - Nath and a friend have the last of them to get through, nine roosters and a drake (which will end up on the Christmas table). We'll have enough chicken meat to see us through a few months I would say.

Killing our roosters left us with a role to fill. We selected one of the roosters we had received from friends to fit the bill of our new head rooster. He is currently terrified of us, and wary of the chickens, but he has been working his way up the pecking order, one by one, so I am sure he will settle in at the boss spot soon. He's quite a pretty little thing, too, so different from the Plymouth/Australorp roosters we have been used to. Eventually I will get another big meat breed rooster, and maybe run two pens of chooks, but for now this new fellow will do. He is a Rhode Island Red/Isa Brown cross. Hopefully he throws more girls than the last boy did!


  1. It's a big job and not a particularly fun one, although the time spent working with someone can be incredibly pleasant despite the job. We recently sent all our roosters to freezer camp too although we have several drakes that need to be dispatched too. Milly and Molly are our 1st 2 drakes and are a little aggressive to the girls but I must say they will be missed by us as they're lovely to see plopped down on the lawn (when they're not chasing each other around - randy buggers). My husband is having trouble with the idea of processing a duck too and I'm not game to say I'll do it never having culled a bird (or any animal) before but we're down to the last 8 days before Xmas so time to get a move on I guess. Any tips?
    By the way, I read somewhere that chicken feet make the most amazing stock so I gave it a go. You boil the feet for a few minutes which helps to get the skin loose to peel it off. Chop off the nails and bung them in a pot of cold water with a dash of apple cider vinegar. Simmer for 24 hours (if you can) and then do all the rest of the normal stock prep stuff. It doesn't taste as rich as a carcass stock but it gels in the most bouncy of ways so it's full of goodness. :)

  2. Thanks for the stock recipe! Will try that next time!
    Question: I am struggling with the fact that Nath does the killing, feeling like if I don't do the whole process then I shouldn't really eat the meat. It's actually not the killing bit that really bothers me, it's the processing afterwards. What are your thoughts? Feel free to email


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