I couldn't do it without Mario, my wonderful Italian neighbour and fellow community gardener. Mario is only too happy to come over and help me butcher and prepare the boys. We have an easy way of working - I get everything set up, and one by one, I bring him the boys, which he kills (I am not sure how because we both agree I don't have to watch) and then we set about dipping them in hot water, cutting of the ends, plucking and gutting.
Mario has taught me so much. I like working with him because he is gentle and respectful of the birds and does nothing to scare or stress them unnecessarily. He also loves his own chooks - and this makes a difference, to me at least. And at the end, we split the proceeds. But there are some rules:
1) can't eat anything with a name
2) no matter how delicious they are, it is getting increasingly harder to eat extra boy ducks, because they are so smart!
3) Only eat boys.
4) Don't eat anything you can sell
Generally, I wait until young roosters start waking us up, or after advertising 8 week old ducks in paper, we are left with some adolescent boy ducks who suddenly become fractious and start getting beaten up by Miriam. It is surprisingly easy to sell young drakes, so often I don't have to face that problem.
But, this obsession with Silkies, and the existence of Maurice means that there will eventually be extra Silkie roos. I am sure that it will be no problem selling extra silkie hens, but the roosters may be a problem. So could I eat a silkie- with their black skin, flesh and bones?
How black do you ask? Well, this black:
There is apparently, a whole world of folks who love eating these little fellas. Have a little look here for instance. And apparently they are quite tasty. hmmmm. Perhaps my project for the next little while will be to find some recipes. I will get back to you on this one........