During Roy’s last break home I gave him the task of dispatching our one too many roosters. For those of you who are a little squeamish this may not be the post for you, so don’t look at the pictures either – just in case.
Leading up to Roy’s arrival we had two sussex roosters that were clearly full of testosterone and were harassing all the girls. There was fighting between the males and feather plucking. It seemed cruel and I didn’t want my girls who are just about to start laying to be put off. I have fed them for five months I want eggs. Since the two boys were clearly roosters I had my eye on two others that I was just not too sure about. Though one was crowing like a rooster – it has been said that females too can crow. So not having the same physical characteristics as the two boys I decided to leave them for the time being.
Chop day: Roy’s mate Julian from down the road came over to lend a hand for the morning. Isla and I stayed up at the house until the birds were dead. I still got tears in my eyes when I popped down to visit the boys during plucking. Hormones are at 150% when breastfeeding. Ok back to the birds. The boys discussed methods to help with plucking and the most humane way to kill a bird. After making a decision they came up with a plan.
Roy had earlier put up a funnel to help hold the bird in place on a tree. The tree would also aid in helping pluck the birds by hanging them from their feet. It’s now called the Kill Tree. The method the boys used was to pierce the brain with a metal skewer making for a quick and painless death. Then they would slit the throats to let the blood drain. After they plucked all the feathers, then cut the heads & feet off and gutted the birds. I just realised I don’t even know how they got the guts out. Hopefully Roy can fill you in with more details if you want.
After the job was done, the bird who I thought was a girl was mounting a girl – so he too was a rooster. A few days later the other bird I was not sure about was doing the same thing. Testosterone had set in. Before Roy left he did our other two roosters and did a couple of our neighbours. We now have a few birds in our freezer waiting to be cooked up on the BBQ.
We still have Berk the Rooster for breeding purposes as his temperament is very gentle. Though he is very protective of his ladies, he recently has taken to charging me when I approach to feed them. I am not sure if it is because of the roosters who were testing him and keeping him on his toes. I want soft and gentle Berk back. Each afternoon I am now hand feeding him again to reacquaint myself with him, so we get back to where we use to be.
Do you think you could kill a chicken? or in our case a rooster.