We culled a couple of the cockerels at the end of August, leaving the one that looked as though it conformed best to Ixworth breed standards.
I know that this is a subject that can upset people, but we chose the Ixworths because they are a utility breed, and so they’re for meat as well as eggs.
We’d been on a course so that we understood how to despatch the birds humanely, and how to pluck and draw them properly. Thanks to Alison Wilson at Hook Farm.
Because this was the first one that we’d cooked, we roasted it very plainly, with just a little rub of olive oil. It was absolutely delicious – chicken as it used to be. Some people think that home-produced chicken can be tough, but thanks to Alison’s instructions on letting the bird rest before drawing it, this was just firm, but not at all chewy.
A real success, and a real treat. Next year I might try raising some special purpose meat birds. We’ll have plenty of laying hens by then.