Author Topic: Chickens  (Read 758 times)

Otto

  • Biking Bad
Chickens
« on: October 30, 2014, 02:29:49 pm »
Another long shot... but does anyone want a rather handsome Cockeril who is actually supposed to be a hen....but isn't if you see what I mean ... free to a good home...

Julian

  • samoture
Re: Chickens
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2014, 02:38:49 pm »
Christmas dinner?

Otto

  • Biking Bad
Re: Chickens
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2014, 03:24:35 pm »

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Chickens
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2014, 09:16:58 am »
I used to have a brother-in-law who was a vegetarian but worked at an animal laboratory where plenty of vivisection went on.

One day he, in an act of humanitarian charity, smuggled two day-old chicks out of the place in order that they might live. The work that they had been doing on those chicks was to try to breed a better strain of egg layers and one of the ways to do this is to try out cross-breeding.

With poultry, "sex-linking" is a common feature (I'm no biologist so hopefully you will bear with me here) in which the male offspring have certain features in common with the mother, and the female with the father. In the case in point, all the male chicks were brown in colour whereas the female were yellow. That's great for the breeder because he can identify and kill all the males very easily, and keep the females for laying. Obviously, these two were males that my brother-in-law smuggled out. I think one of them died quite young, but the other didn't. Time passed.

A now fully-grown cockerel needed to be found a suitable home. My dad was an inveterate poultryman, having served his time at Usk Agricultural College in the early 1930s and emerging with a certificate of poultry husbandry for his efforts, but since he had lots of hens whom he did not want impregnated, he wasn't going to have it. In the end, it went to my other sister, whose then husband had delusions of being some sort of son of the soil. At least he and my sister had bought a ramshackle old place about a mile down an unmade road (think Dukes of Hazard here) so they had plenty of land and privacy. The cockerel went to live there.

They also had a dog, one of the offspring of a particularly vicious bitch that we kept as a family "pet". She bit everyone and this pup, who clearly had a good deal of alsatian in his mix, had inherited some of her nastier traits, but fortunately by no means all of them. The dog and this cockerel did not get on, but the bird had grown to quite spectacular proportions. Of course it was a lot less bulky than the dog but it was at least as tall and had developed some formidable spurs and was not frightened to use them.

The dog and the cockerel were remarkably well-matched in battle. I suspect that, had nature been allowed to take its course, the dog would eventually have killed the cockerel, but human intervention invariably had influence on the dog's behaviour who, despite his innate gittishness, was still house-trained to a point. The cockerel, not so. He pulled no punches. Of course, he was not physically strong enough to do massive damage to the dog, but had plenty of pluck and frequently drew blood in their skirmishes. It was invariably the dog that gave way, having done more than ruffle a few feathers, and returned snarling to his lair, with his adversary cock-a-hoop at his triumphs. These hostilities continues for considerably longer than the First World War and spilled almost as much blood, but even so I doubt that, in 10 years' time, we will have great celebrations to mark their half-century.

Eventually my sister and her husband moved house: on the arrival of children into their marriage, she found that she was incredibly lonely at the end of this unmade road and craved some friends, so they moved into a village. I cannot remember what happened to the dog, but my father was appointed as executioner for the cockerel. He had killed many birds for the pot, but never anything quite so big and strong as this one, and he found that he scarcely had the strength to break its neck. My mother cooked it, of course, but a tougher and lest tasty bird I cannot ever remember trying to chew.
Eating's a serious business. Don't bollocks around wagging your tail.