I finally got it done. My dear friend Helen came around early this afternoon and assisted/watched me dispose of the two young cockrels here at Whitelees. I had three crowing boys earlier and now we're back to having only one. The place is 2/3 quieter.
Before Helen got here I set out the tools needed for the afternoon's work:
Bucket for blood to drip into
sharp axe (I can never kill them by snapping their necks - I just don't have the knack)
string to tie the legs up
Lots of hot water - makes the plucking easier
We got them killed and plucked outside. Its a pleasant sort of day. There was a light snowfall yesterday and today is clear and bright. We worked in the poly-tunnel outside for the killing and plucking. We cleaned them inside at the kitchen sink where there is plenty of running water. Clean running water is important.
Now I'm just waiting for Helen to phone me to say that she's ready for me to go over and help her with her slaughter. She has less to kill today than she had yesterday. They had a visit from a fox last night and it made off with four of their hens.
I think if you're prepared to eat chicken, you really shouldn't be squeamish about how it gets from live bird to fried drumstick. The harsh realities of farm life have never bothered me. These chickens have a pretty good, predator free life here. Until that is, one cold morning in March . . . .