My attempting to be self-sufficient friends (the warders at rabbit-stalag-luft) and I had an important discussion about cannibal chickens. I shall never attempt to convert the savage chickens and keep a weather-eye for roosters with large cooking pots... actually as far as I could figure the chickens confined their cannabilistic behaviour to other chickens, and if they ate you anyway, it was just fine because as you weren't a chicken or an egg, it wasn't cannibalism. According to them chickens are good evidence that yes, birds are the lineal decendents of T.rex and haven't really changed that much. Their birds had gone egg-cannibal which they cured with extra calcium in the diet. I'm listening very carefully to all this stuff as we expect to have to keep chooks. I hope my next effort is better than my success at it as a young shark biologist. We stayed in a rented cottage on a run-down farm and had semi-inerited a flock of feral bantams that came to be fed every day. We'd had a spell of bad weather (ergo the fish and shellfish we normally principally lived on were low) and the exchequer was at its usual biologist's income flush point. And the chickens had increased vastly in number. So I went out with mayhem or at least chicken dinner in mind. I baited the feeding area well, and put more food under the steel bucket with one edge propped up with a stick with a piece of thin fishing line attached... leading to my lurking place 50 yards away.
Of course one of the roosters led the charge.
Did I mention that thin fishing line has quite a stretch factor and that the bucket was heavy and not easy to balance on the stick. The stick had to be pushed into the ground a little...
peck peck peck
wander off and bully a hen.
return. Peck. peck peck. advance.
The next day I used 200kg tuna line.
Now I''m not very squeamish, but I really hadn't thought through the 'how to kill a chicken' bit. I'm a firm believer in quick and clean (I do not approve of people who leave fish to flop on the deck or beach.) I'm an omnivore, prepared to eat meat, so in need, I'll kill it. Quick, neat and painlessly as possible. I've been dealing with fish-killing all my life. So I ran out there, and beside the fact that I was not going to have the scene with the headless chicken running around spewing blood, I really didn't know what to do.
Not happy rooster. Bullying is left to him, not happens to him. Decide to wring neck.
So I did. Several times as I had no idea what it took.
And the dastardly deed done I turned to pick up the bucket to put the rooster into.
And the chicken dinner -- just like in the cartoons -- stops being dead.
Starts running, its wrung neck unwinding, head spinning (you heard of someone's head spinning? Bet you didn't know it was on a rotating neck.)
The next few hours until dark were spent by a horrified Dave (you've injured it, you must kill it mercifully) chasing chickens through about 100 acres of scrub.
I never caught it, and it continued to rule the flock until we left the farm.