A fox delivered an early Christmas present this year. On Christmas Eve we discovered a chicken – intact apart from its head and one leg – in our front garden.
Now Brixton is not exactly what you’d call a rural idyll, but clearly some brave hen-keepers thought they could thwart the gangs of urban foxes that regularly patrol the streets. On this occasion a fox won.
I have no idea what sort of hen it was, but the plumage was irresistibly beautiful. There are many videos on YouTube showing how to pluck a chicken, but they seem to involve lots of boiling water, because the aim is to get at the meat rather than save the feathers.
So I just sat on the doorstep and pulled. Some of the feathers came out very easily; others I had to twist and tug – they came away with a bit of the skin still attached to the quills, which I had to clean off afterwards. The wing feathers were the hardest to remove.
Altogether, I ended up with about half a carrier bag of feathers – a few are pictured below.
If I’d been really brave I might have cooked the chicken as well, but that was a step too far, as I didn’t know anything about where the bird came from. Also, there was a ready-plucked, beautifully stuffed goose in the house waiting to be cooked!
I don’t know what I’m going to use the feathers for yet – brooch, bracelet, belt? For now, I’ve added them to my stash.