Why it’s very tricky to kill a chicken these days
Jono used to raise and process meat chickens, but then the abattoir he was using told him it could no longer kill his birds. “The big guys send 3000 a week and the problem is after they’ve killed a batch (the abattoir) have to wash the plant down. So if I take my 250 in, they have to still wash the plant down – I can see why (they made that decision) but it meant my chicken operation just stopped, which was a shame.”
The birds that now remain at Soggy Bottom are all heritage breeds. There is a flock of Barred Plymouth Rocks, and groups of Khaki Campbell ducks and Greylag geese pottering around the soggy spots.
“The geese are really just to eat the grass round the ponds. We have eaten them but they’re not very good unless you fatten them up, and we have collected their eggs before but mostly they do their own thing, they’re just around, I quite like that.
“We use the duck eggs in our Christmas puddings. They start laying like mad in spring so we use those but they’re not a serious thing, eggs for the house really.”