This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Just two days left until freedom.

This has been a funny week.  The biggest cockerel from the school chicks was crowing constantly and was teaching the others to crow too.  It wasn't quite the full penetrating cockadoodledoo of the average adult male but it was getting there.  And I didn't want any more complaints from the neighbours.  The "chicks" are just ten and a half weeks old so they really shouldn't be crowing so well at this age.  I would expect them to be at this stage in 5 to 6 weeks time.  I felt obliged to call "time" on them so three of them have been eaten.  There was not much meat on them because they were so young which is a shame.  Two were made into a curry and the boys whose experiment it was, had a spoonful each this lunchtime along with some homemade flatbreads.

The whole initiative was for them to see food from the start or seed stage to being on their plate. They have grown some fruit and veg and now some chicken.  Hopefully they have some understanding of just how much effort goes into providing food for the table.

There are still two more chicks.  One might be female but I'm not sure so I've kept the smallest cockerel to keep it company until we are sure.  Then we have more decisions to make. Hopefully the smallest cockerel will wait a bit until he starts crowing. 

I feel sad about their end but they had a better life and certainly a better death than any factory-farmed animal that ends up on the supermarket shelves.  One of the cockerels went to somebody that I know who taught in Zimbabwe some years ago and married there.  The husband knows what it is like to have been hungry in the past, as do many people in Africa.  Our chick was killed and just about every possible bit was eaten - no waste but the feathers.  The feet were scraped like scraping the scales from a fish and boiled, as were all the intestines and the head.  Even the stomach tubes were washed out and cooked and eaten.  To be honest, I don't see myself going that far but I do use a lot of the insides in stuffing or in the gravy or liver pate.  I see it as being respectful to the animal whose life I have taken.  I applaud thie gentleman from Zimbabwe even though I don't want to emulate everything he does. I think that hunger has taught many people in other countries to be less squeamish and therefore less wasteful than we British.

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  • At 4:04 AM, Blogger Jo said…

    I know I couldn't raise birds or animals for the table, I'd get too attached to them. I do love meat but I couldn't supply my own. I think it's great that kids are shown where their food comes from and they're aware of such things, it will teach them to be more respectful.

  • At 12:51 AM, Blogger Jo said…

    Thanks for your comment on my blog. I get very fond of my layers but know that I MUST not get fond of the others but just give them as good a time as I can. My husband does the deed. I'm not sure that I could although if a hen were very ill, I think I might be able to. I'd rather have these than the ones in the supermarket although we've only done it 3 times so far.


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