Blogging the High’s and low’s. WARNING: Contains a tale of poultry death, but not images.

The subtitle to this blog has always been ‘blogging the high’s and low’s of growing, foraging and making my own food and drink’, but so far I have only shared the high’s – largely in the form of recipes and images of said recipes. Today that changes.

It started a few weeks back with one of our laying hens being so badly ‘beaten up’ by the other girls, she was almost dead. I put her on her own, in the shed. Where she made a full recovery.

Unfortunately the shed is not made for keeping chickens and the issue came of what to do with her. We couldn’t risk a reintroducion to the other girls, thats best done in even numbers. She had stopped laying completely, so, having served her purpose for us, we decided we would eat her. Not alot of meat on a layer, but enough for stock and a soup.

Although we aren’t massively experienced with this kind of thing, we have raised ducks for the table before, so it wasn’t completely new.

We dispatched her quickly, using the broomstick method, removed the head and wings and plucked her. Now for the innards.

Something was wrong, but we didn’t know what. A wobbly jelly like belly, which ended up leaking water and feces everywhere, so we had to give up and dispose of her.

Some research later we have discovered she had an illness called ‘water belly’ – quite common in older layers, which she would eventually have died from.

So thats the end of that tale. No happy ending, but at least she was put out of her misery as a sick hen. We still have chicken for dinner, only its bought from the shop.

In future we will need to keep a closer eye on the older layers in case they get it and need dispatching sooner, rather than later.

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