Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Last day of the year.

It's cold here, just above freezing and the wind coming in from the east.

The chickens are happy today though one of them sounded like it had swallowed a bagpipe. Each breath in and out it wheezed, however it has stopped now, probably sneezed out whatever was stuck.

Have a good evening, no drink driving please, and bring in 2009.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

First blog - don't read if you are squeamish about killing animals.

Here we are, 30th December 2008 and Christmas is over and done. I have to share the turkey story with you.

We bought 3 turkeys at the farmers market in August and grew them quietly in the garden until November when the first had reached ‘size’ for our friends. It was dispatched humanely, plucked and gutted with no particular problems.

Boy and girl turkey who were left continued growing quietly in the field. Got all excited watching the goat kids, then got equally excited when we got 3 pygmy sheep. They ran up and down their run saying ‘ooh sheep’ then back to the other end saying ‘ooh goats’.

Our other friends arrived on the 18th Dec. and we organised to dispatch the two birds and pluck them later that day. We had a friend as well ‘helping’ so he, OH and I went to the very muddy turkey pen with a bright blue tarpaulin to put on the mud.

Our chosen method of dispatch is a pellet to the back of the brain. To do this one person sits over the turkey with its head coming out from between their knees, then the person with the gun shoots the turkey. With chickens they twitch for 2-3 minutes and then stop moving. This is reflex and the bird is dead as soon as the pellet enters its brain.

Well I chose the bigger boy turkey and moved him very quietly and calmly onto the middle of the tarp. Sat on him and held his head for OH to shoot. Bullet hit the spot and I was off on a bucking bronco! I sat on him with all my weight ( and I am not light) and still he managed to move us both across the tarp and onto the mud… No one could help… I just sat on a giant feathery space hopper, hopping until 2 minutes later ( which seemed like eternity) he stopped.

For my pains I have a lovely set of bruises and scars on my right leg where he scratched while hopping. Some might say it serves me right – perhaps it does.