Argh, one of those days.
When I went into the night-shed to open the hatches, disaster struck.
The ancona, which has been hand raised and is generally tame, suddenly burst into the air and tried to get past me. Unfortunately he got his head caught in the central mesh grille. To cut a long story short: he didn't survive. :(
It was a frustrating morning, and a reminder to always work slowly around flighty birds.
Side note, not for the squeamish! As usual I took the opportunity (once my own nerves had settled) to process him as I would any other cockerel. I was surprised to find him quite fleshy for such a light breed, and his internal organs were all completely shipshape. So there's one good thing, at least: my feeding program seems to be doing what it should now, with no more signs of liver abnormality (whether from lupins or artificial methionine in commercial feed).
Please excuse a photo of a processed rooster, but I just wanted to show the amount of flesh I'm talking about... Nothing like a supermarket bird, but ahead of the New Hampshires I raised a few years back. Please also forgive the rough processing; I was in a hurry because this was an unexpected death, and I'd started skinning him out of a desire to get it over with, but changed my mind and went with dry plucking.
Poor ancona, poor silly pretty thing... But waste not, want not.