Restoring balance to the hen house


While it’s never a pleasant task, it’s one we are committed to doing here at Edgefield, that is, humanely despatching with excess roosters and preparing them for the pot.

Poor Dirk, our spunky but rather light-framed rooster, was beginning to show signs of stress. This was undoubtedly caused by the three robust young New Hampshire cockerels that had recently begun to crow and frequently display their “roosterliness” by fighting and trying to dominate the flock. Dirk had his work cut out for him. The poor fella’s getting too old for these sorts of shenanigans. The pecking order and his position as Top Cock had to be reaffirmed and he needed a little helping hand to do that.

Admittedly, I played only a small role in yesterday’s killing of the three cockerels as Jeff gallantly let me off the hook. Although, it definitely takes two people to hold them down pre and immediately post chopping off their heads. But without going into grisly detail, we now have three freshly skinned and gutted carcasses, cut into pieces, which are “resting” in our freezer ready for a tasty winter casserole.

I’ve got to say, the act of getting so close to the raw, visceral and mostly hidden end of food production feels pretty good. However, I must admit, my super-sensitive nose does struggle with the smell during preparation of the carcasses. Blergh!


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