Lulu arrived at 2:15 armed with a small but very sharp knife. She had come to kill the ‘prisoner’.
First she asked me to heat up some water and have a bucket at the ready and then we went up the garden.
She waited outside the run while I went to fetch the condemned cock but he was very suspicious and wouldn’t come out.
I’m too big to get inside the enclosure and he wasn’t taken in by my invitations to come out.
Lulu entered the fray and banged with a stick on the side of the cage.
“Don’t stand too near the door” she said but that meant that when he did come out I wasn’t quick enough to catch him. Off he ran among his friends and we soon lost sight of which one he was.
We waited to see if a fight broke out but it didn’t.
“Oh well, should we go for whichever one we can catch?” sighed Lulu.
There was general confusion among the birds but I managed to grab one eventually.
We carried him out of the run and took him behind the greenhouse.
There, Lulu asked me to hold on to his wings firmly while she dispatched him.
I have to admit I closed my eyes but didn’t feel any struggling or hear any noise. However, when we got the bucket of hot water to dip him in to make plucking easier he did appear to struggle. I’m hoping Lulu was right when she said he didn’t feel anything but that was the worst part of it as far as I was concerned.
By the time we had plucked him (and it was easy with the hot water method) I had got used to the idea of eating one of our own birds.
Then it was a lesson in cleaning a chicken. Lulu did it all very deftly as she used to run a chicken farm in Alsace. She told me the chickens were too well fed as there was a lot of fat inside and also that the meat wouldn’t be very tender as they had been ‘running about too much’. And to add insult to injury this bird that had appeared enormous had become a small scrawny object now that he had lost his fluff and feathers.
So that puts paid to my hopes of home grown roast chicken for Christmas. We’re going to be having an awful lot of coq au vin if the remaining cockerels are to be killed off before winter sets in.