Saturday, July 13, 2013

Dispatch Course in Wales

I spent the afternoon at writers from Country Smallholding magazine, Helpless Homestead near Machynlleth, showing them how to Dispatch & Dress Aylesbury ducks and then they'll do their Ross Cobb meat birds.
They have a great set up in the little strip of land they have - a flock of laying hens, a pen of growing meat birds, a couple of tamworth pigs for meat and a big polytunnel for growing all their fruit and veg!
Cleverly, as they're in a valley, they have diverted a stream that runs through their land to run into a pond for the ducks and I think the plan is to do the same for drinking water for the other animals!

First we dispatched and plucked then dispatched and skinned the next duck, which was a lot quicker + easier with the ducks two layers of waterproof feathers!
Adam skinning an Aylesbury Drake:

They have a batch of 5 week old Ross Cobbs which will be ready for the table in a few weeks time - they grow so fast and were struggling with the heat! I suggested they try Ixworths next time, the ideal Smallholder dual purpose bird; cockerels are great meat birds, growing fast and putting on a lot of muscle and the hens can be reared as laying birds.

Was a bit too hot in 30 degree sunshine but was great weather and scenery for it!

Next on to the gutting, we gutted the ducks ready for a roast but with the skinned bird it can be just as easy to joint it so you have the meat from legs, breasts which is a lot quicker and less mess if you're doing a large batch of birds!
You can use the rest of the carcass for stock or give it to the dog!
Gutting one of the plucked ducks:

Cutting the wings and legs off a plucked and drawn meat bird

One Aylesbury duck, ready for roasting!
Looking forward to going back to Wales in August for my next Dispatch & Dress course near Aberystwyth - 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Today, I graduated from Aberystwyth University with a BSc Hons 2(II) in Animal Science! :D

Had the most amazing week ever.
Spent it with my best friends in 30 degree sunshine, on the beach and in the sea!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Have just for back from a week in Venice with the bro's!

Had a really good time - Venice isn't that big so we saw most of it in the first day and repeated things but was just really nice to get away and spend some time with the bro's after finishing Uni!

BBC Gardeners' World Live 2013

I've been working on the PoultryTalk stand at BBC Gardeners' World Live and Good Food Show at the NEC this week - has been really good!
Pure breed eggs on display from The Rainbow Egg Company:

We spent HOURS setting the stand up only to come in the next morning to find the roof had leaked all over it so had to move it all in half an hour, but other than that we've had a great week.

I did 4 Chicken Keeping for Beginners talks on the stand everyday which were really well attended, as well as a few talks in the VIP area.

I took Mabel and Doris the Pekins with me and we had a table full of chicks for people to touch and see; I think we were the most photographed stand at the exhibition!

We also revealed #ChickenWall at the show - a 4 x 2 metre long display with 60 photos of pure breed poultry in the UK!
It was great to be able to show people the variation in size, breeds and the different uses for poultry!

We had a PetzPodz animal house on display to show people different types of housing available well as a more traditional wooden ark (with Mabel + Doris on top) and an Omlet Eglu in the background!