10 December 2013

My chicken, his curry

I tried, I really did, to keep my old brown shaver going. We've had her for about two years, and she's been the most magnificent layer, giving us almost daily eggs even through her second winter. But a few months ago, her egg shells began to grow thin, then petered out completely. Her shell gland had given up the ghost, leaving us with sloppy egg innards in our nestbox. After three or four such messes, the eggs stopped altogether.

Her big red comb shows she's still hormonally fine to lay.

(Yes, I had supplied extra grit, and I saw her eating it, but it was to no avail.)

She was chicken number five in a coop and run that was straining to cope with the number of greedy, pooing chickens. She was giving us nothing in return for her keep, and worst of all she was a bully to the three young brown shavers. So I made the call.

A friend works with a Fijian Indian man who had said he was happy to take chickens off our hands - for the table, you understand. I phoned him and quizzed him. Yes, he knew how to kill chickens quickly and humanely. Yes, he would butcher and eat her. He can't bear our bought chicken meat - it's bland and watery, he said, and is no good for currying. The old, strong, slow-grown meat is far preferable, apparently.

So I delivered her on the day of slaughter, in the finest eco-packaging (i.e. tucked up in a cardboard box). I was relieved not to have to do the deed myself this time, but still felt quite shaky knowing I was catching and transporting her to go to her death. In the event, he was such a nice chatty chap, picking me a bag of fruit from his home orchard, that I wandered out of there without a second thought!

I'm glad she's met such an environmentally friendly end: the curry pot. Apparently she tasted great.

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