It’s a rather wet and grey day here in southern Tassie so it’s an inside day for me. Last night we had gusts of wind up to 1ookph which saw the guinea pig pen go flying – luckily the guinea pigs were safely sheltered inside.

In a way it’s nice to put some distance between myself and the garden – currently the hothouse is occupied with the young roosters from last year’s hatching. They’re happy in their dry, warm new space – and busy cleaning out the remains of the basil, tomatoes and lots of weeds that grew over the summer. It’s idyllic for them really – but I know it’s a stepping stone to their end days in a few weeks.

I have friends who used to have a specific outdoor run for their young chooks destined for culling- they called it ‘The Green Mile’ – a way to make light of the fact they were on poultry death row…. so now I think of my hothouse as a mini ‘Green Mile’ – and I’d rather I was going there to pick some herbs for pesto than providing a last supper.

I’ve ‘culled’ many chooks over the years so you’d think I’d be used to it – but I still dislike it.  Now that we’re suburban farming I can’t keep any roosters so I can’t avoid it, and the meat we get from them will be the only chicken we have to eat this year. It’ll be done humanely and with as little stress to the chooks as possible. See this post for my method using a killing cone – or watch Gourmet Farmer Season 1 (SBS)  in which I demonstrated it to Matthew Evans. My kids will help pluck and dress the birds and they’ll be popped in the freezer for slow cooking at a later date.

It’s just another seasonal job that has to be done – I’ll be glad when it’s over – and in the meantime I can guarantee they’ll be spoilt rotten in their final few weeks.



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