It's harvest time. The number of surplus cockerels raised for meat is being diminished by twos each weekend. The Aylesbury drakes are fattening nicely and it'll be their turn soon. This week two of the pigs are off to the butcher. The remaining three Berkshires are booked in as are the second batch of lambs.
The freezers will judder into life and host a year's supply of meat and poultry, and the horrendous livestock feed bills will be cut dramatically. Poultry feed has jumped from £6.50 per 25k to £8.50 in less than six months. How organic farmers make any kind of living with their feed at Harrods prices, is beyond me.
We've heard a great deal this year about poultry farming and the real price of properly raised chicken. I suspect all the good awareness raising will be mowed down in the face of job losses, house repossessions and the general gloom of depression.
What I do know, is that my dressed weight 3.5 lb - 4lb cockerel tastes amazing, and that not even the poshest organic shop-bought bird can start to compare. Why this is, I don't know, but my birds head towards the guinea fowl in flavour (which I adore), have a density of meat that is really satisfying, and that every single scrap (excepting heads, feet, and colon) will be eaten.