I apologise for our radio silence, things at our end have been a little crazy over the past few months!
We woke up on Friday morning to the dulcet tones of one of the cockerels showing off his newly-learned trick of crowing. Being that it’s still dark until lunchtime, it was 8.30am and so shouldn’t have woken the neighbours up but still – if one is crowing then the rest are going to follow suit quickly so Bob dispatched two of them (the crower and the biggest) on Saturday morning and we had one for dinner last night.
It’s an interesting experience. This bird really tasted different to a chicken you’d get in a supermarket and whether that’s my ex-vegetarian or just the part of me that’s been controlled by capitalism over the years, I find it quite difficult to eat. I couldn’t touch the dark meat although the white meat was nice enough – there’s a lot more flavour to it. The kids wolfed it down.
I think we have five cockerels left, could be wrong (I can’t see their pen from here) and I think that although it’s been a valuable experience we probably won’t go down the route of raising more table birds in the future. The space could be better utilised (in my opinion) for veg and fruit plots which pricewise will save us more money in the long run. By the time we tot up the feed prices we’re probably spending more per bird than we would buying a free ranger but there’s the benefit of knowing exactly where our food came from and what it consumed etc. So, once the last of the cockerels is done the run will be coming down and we’ll be planting a couple of trees (pear, apple, cherry) and some fruit bushes that we’ve had sitting around for a while. We’ll probably start growing seeds at the end of the month so that we have time to build the raised beds in time for the last frost.