I scan the general news headlines most days to see if there is anything poultry specific. For what seems an age now, a recipe for chicken in a pot has been cropping up.

This morning, however, the list of headlines, within which chicken in a pot again appeared, contained an item about chicken and a different sort of pot, although there were no details about how this chicken tasted or how to prepare it.

It would seem that, in an attempt to boost his income, a U.K. poultry farmer decided to diversify into, shall we say, “alternative” crop production, outside the traditional markets in which most poultry producers operate.

He will, however, be paying a price rather than earning an income from this deviation from traditional production.

Edward James, 67, appeared before Exeter County Court this month and is due to return in March to give his plea against offenses of production and possession of what is classified as a Class B drug in the U.K. – cannabis, the court has confirmed.

The local press has reported that James, as well as rearing chickens, is alleged to have been growing 800 cannabis plants on his land. The crop had an estimated value of GBP109,000 (US$164,438) when his smallholding was raided last year.

The British poultry industry has been going through somewhat of a positive period, with production and consumption of chicken meat rising, and feed prices falling. No details were given of whether the farmer’s alternative crop was meant for on-farm consumption or whether leftover plants entered the feed, but his birds were said to be relaxed about the situation when questioned.

A trial date has been set for July.