I've done it.
Since the young cockerels have started to find their voices and crow in the mornings, I've been lying awake worrying about whether or not I could manage to actually kill one myself *.
And I can.
I got up this morning and caught the surplus Barnvelder as he was coming out of his house. And I brought him down outside the back door and did the broomhandle thing.
I think I did quite well - it took three goes, in the space of about a minute, to make sure that he was dead - to start with I didn't put all of weight on the broom, but once I did that and pulled his legs sharply, there was a definite 'crunch' and the flapping started.
Unfortunately, because I was panicking a bit by this point about not wanting to cause him trauma, I pulled a bit hard and there was some blood - click here for a photo of him on the washing line, dripping in to a bowl. I don't think it's that gruesome a photo, but B reckons that that's because I'm inured to it - so don't click if you think it might upset you.
B is plucking him in a bin-bag in the kitchen at the moment, as per our 'Ally kills them, B prepares them' agreement.
B was slightly taken aback when he wandered downstairs in nothing but a t-shirt and I presented him with a nearly headless chicken, but he's risen well to the occasion. He did comment that if I die before him he is going to put the words 'Ally - she didn't really think it through' on my gravestone. But he was smiling as he said it.
More pics later as we go along. We are hoping that if he's big enough, we can roast him tonight and then use the stock for gravy on Monday. He weighs in at six pounds dead weight - I think they are supposed to come it at about half the dead weight dressed.
Okay, we're done. I won't post the picture of B not quite taking the insides out correctly - he says he didn't loosen them quite enough before pulling and therefore Bad Things happened. And anyway, the smell wouldn't quite come across in a picture. He used the instructions from John Seymour, which has line-drawn illustrations and says that they were easy to follow.
Here's the finished product. He weighs in at three and three quarter pounds, just over half his original weight. It would have been better if we could have left him another few weeks and fattened him up a bit more; but not bad, for a first go.
Now, I am going out to collect our goose.
* And whether the neighbours would be round with a noise abatement order.