If you're squeamish about meat or you have strong views about vegetarianism then I suggest you don't read this post! Hit the back button on your browser or move quickly to another post... Look away now...
Why all the fuss? Well today dearest husband and I dispatched our first chicken... and I have new-found respect for poulterers because it took us almost an hour and a half to kill, pluck, gut and hang the bird, and it probably takes a professional about 15 minutes.
I can't say that killing our chickens was ever high on my list of priorities, but we were given an extra rooster by friends whose four eggs turned into four roosters instead of four hens, and he was so noisy that even darling daughter expressed the view that she was looking forward to eating him! Dearest husband grew up on sheep and cattle stations and isn't sentimental about animals. Moreover he made his pocket money ferreting, so he's dispatched goodness knows how many fluffy bunny rabbits in his time... He did the killing, and we both did the plucking and gutting. I've now had my hand up a chicken's backside and it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be!
I don't feel bad: if you eat meat, which we do, I think it's far better to eat meat you've raised yourself. Our chickens are organic and they are loved and well-fed, so I can be confident that we're eating good meat. Rocky the rooster had a good life, a GREAT view, and a very quick end. He's now on a plate in our cool room, waiting to be turned into roast dinner on Friday evening when dearest husband gets back from Sydney.