As I have gone over, this past year I’ve been taking care of some ducks and chickens. I had originally set out to get just egg layers, but over the course of getting birds and raising them, it seems that a few males snuck into the group as well. Since they were vastly outnumbered I decided that I would let them stay, as it is cool to have a slightly more diverse group wander around.
Well for a while all was going well in bird land. Everyone seemed to get along with each other and while there would be some random squawks and bird sprinting about the yard it seemed that no one was hurting another bird. Then one day in the yard I noticed a rooster was trying to mount one of the pekin ducks. Now, at the time I thought the rooster was just confused and let it go at that. Sadly in the following days, the activity continued, but it seems that the roosters had a bit more malice in mind.
The poor pekin ended up with a bloody head. Both pekins where then moved into the garden as the first course of action so that they would have a place to stay without being attacked and then I had to do some research. It would seem that the roosters determined that this duck was a threat to the pecking order and were going to go after it. From what I found at this point if they were all left together the story would end in death.
So I decided that the rooster lease had run out. I’m not looking at breeding birds right now, so the roosters weren’t really needed. They went from neutral running around looking neat to a food eating attack bird. I picked up some supplies and planned out a time to harvest the roosters.
I won’t go into all the details of harvesting yard bird, but I will say that I skinned them instead of plucking and carefully cut off the breast meat, the legs and thighs without gutting the bird. Sure this means that I wouldn’t have the carcass for stock making, but being my first outing with this adventure I thought I’d take it easy.
That night we had some fried chicken. This was a bit of a mistake, since the roosters where a bit older they were tougher than store birds. I think that for the last one I’ll be looking more at a stew. But the experience wasn’t terrible and I might be open to doing some meat birds next year.
And the ducks have moved back into bird land and the one’s injuries seem to be healing up. Bird land is once again a tranquil (well mostly) place.