Saturday, July 13, 2013

Poultry 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 -

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