One of the first real farming experiences our family had was the sound of a rooster first thing in the morning. That was back in 2000 when we went Bush and lived off the grid at Porter Lake for a summer when Alison was pregnant with our middle daughter Morley.
We had naively bought about 20 young chickens from a local farmer who must have seen us coming. Turned out most of them were roosters as we found out early each morning as another one of our hens turned into a surprise noise machine. Having grown up duck hunting with my Grandfather and Dad repurposing these noisy bits of poultry for the first was not overwhelming to me. However, when I served the first one up Alison was underwhelmed by both the presentation and taste.
Since then I have lifted my game on how to make the most of rooster and hens whose time has come. I’ve loved the journey that roosters have taken me on and it seems they keep on giving.
Last night when Dad and I were doing our end of day chores I noticed that all our roosters had gathered close to our cattle yards, which we have meshed in with dogwire to better secure them as our cattle yards handle pigs as well. Turns out they hold in roosters too. Dad watched on as I did my best to imitate Sylvester Stalone being trained for Rocky.
I went a few rounds with the Roosters and I think I won as we now have five plucked, bagged up and ready to go. Generally I resort to making chicken stock or rooster stock–which Alison is really happy with. This time I want to have a go at doing more with these roosters; they are, or were, beautiful birds that we bred from our rag tag collection of heritage breeds.
To do more I have been doing some research and here is what I have found, in no particular order and as usual with me a bit random too.