A hard decision- but it had to be made...

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Avalon1984, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. Avalon1984

    Avalon1984 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2010
    Muskegon
    OK, so I made the decision yesterday that my 2 roosters (which were supposed to be hens) will have to cross the rainbow bridge a little sooner than they like. They are Brahma roosters and they are terrorizing my hens. Egg production has gone down too and my Russian Orloff is bald headed after they gang raped her yesterday. Enough of this! Now I just need to find me a processor. I don’t mind killing them but I don’t have the skills to do the whole butchering process. I think somebody that may be doing it more often is going to have better equipment, knives, pluckers, etc than I do as well. I already have people lined up to buy them too. Still, I feel a little bad about it, I can’t help it. On the other hand, looking at my new chicks and seeing that I have a 50% ratio of roosters and hens out of 29 chicks leads me to believe that I will have more roosters than I need soon again. [​IMG]

    I guess I must remember than each one of my roosters will stop my customers to buy one that came from a sad and stressful life. This makes me appreciate all you people that take on the task yourselves and provide healthy meat to your customers. Thank you all!
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Yeah, I admire folks who take care of business in processing their own birds. And yes - those roosters would have to go - the egg producers come first.
     
  3. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Overrun With Chickens

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    Kansas City
    It's a hard decision to make, but you have to protect your girls. They had a good life, which is better than the chickens at the grocery store ever got.
     
  4. Avalon1984

    Avalon1984 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2010
    Muskegon
    Quote:Thank you all. I agree. The last straw was yesterday after they took turns on my beloved Russion orloff. What the heck? And then they started to harass my BR who is just molting and has no feathers on her back. The grabbed her head and followed her around, waiting for her to drop down.[​IMG] Now I just need to find me a local processor. Wish me luck.
     
  5. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Overrun With Chickens

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    Kansas City
    Quote:Thank you all. I agree. The last straw was yesterday after they took turns on my beloved Russion orloff. What the heck? And then they started to harass my BR who is just molting and has no feathers on her back. The grabbed her head and followed her around, waiting for her to drop down.[​IMG] Now I just need to find me a local processor. Wish me luck.

    It was a lot easier to process my mean roo who made the bad decision to attack my toddler than my sweet lil fat meaties. Just keep looking at your poor orloff if you need encouragement. [​IMG] Good luck!
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    South Georgia
    You really should consider doing it yourself, especially if you can't find a processor, which is actually rather likely. Heck, the kill is the hard part, most people's stumbling block. One read through a sticky or two on here and you'll be ready to go -- well, that and acquiring a large pot, heat source and maybe thermometer for scalding. In a pinch, a dollar store canning pot, an old oven rack and a campfire will work. About the only disastrous thing that can happen is breaking the gall bladder open and spilling the bile. It's attached to the liver, which comes out fairly easily, so this is unlikely if you realize the problem ahead of time. Even spilled intestines can be rinsed off. For one or two I do them in the kitchen -- only the kill is done outside, to avoid cleaning up squirted blood.
     
  7. Cosmopolis Chick

    Cosmopolis Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Grays Harbor
    Quote:Good morning, it sounds to me like you may continue to have chicks in the future whether from hatching or buying chicks. Is that right? I suggest now is the time to learn to butcher your own.

    Talk to someone locally who will agree to show you the ropes. Take two roos and watch how it's done. Read up also on BYC.

    When I was raising my kids (many moons ago) I butchered my own chickens. All I had was a small sharp hatchet, a stump, and a small almond tree with a piece of baling wire to hang them by the feet once they lost their head. I buried the guts deeply under the tree. I carried the carcass into the kitchen where I had a canning kettle with simmering water and a big wooden cutting board and my favorite knife. It isn't all that messy nor does it take long.

    I hope this helps a little. You can do it!
     
  8. Avalon1984

    Avalon1984 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2010
    Muskegon
    Quote:Thank you Dawn. I was thinking about that too. I guess since I would have to do it alone with no guidance but reading and watching videos I am nervous about the difference of “reading” and actually doing it. I had to kill a baby chicken the other day because it was so sick so I am thinking a mean rooster should be no problem. Our kitchen is too tiny so that is not even an option at this point. I have never ever even plucked a chicken. Could I do that right? Should I just skin instead? I have never ever skinned anything. I have watched many youtube videos but it seems so much more difficult if you are on your own. I hope I don’t sound like a wimp here, I am just remembering how I watched every video possible on installing my honey bees and once I did it, it felt completely different. Just like when I teach people horseback riding, there is a huge difference between reading about it and doing it. Then I worry about how big of a mess it may make. The only place I could do it is in the driveway. I don’t know if my neighbors will appreciate feathers floating around all over the place. At this point I don’t even have a good table to use or a sharp knife (I know this sounds horrible but it is the truth. New household, came from Germany a few years ago, kitchen not fully stocked on all the important stuff yet and all). I would also need a killing cone to at least try and avoid having a headless rooster run all over the place and land somewhere in the wood pile or under the trailer. Although I am intrigued by the idea I will give it a shot to try and find somebody at first. If I don’t I will try and do it myself on Saturday. There might be many posts on the meat threat on Saturday about needed help [​IMG]
     
  9. Avalon1984

    Avalon1984 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2010
    Muskegon
    Quote:Good morning, it sounds to me like you may continue to have chicks in the future whether from hatching or buying chicks. Is that right? I suggest now is the time to learn to butcher your own.

    Talk to someone locally who will agree to show you the ropes. Take two roos and watch how it's done. Read up also on BYC.

    When I was raising my kids (many moons ago) I butchered my own chickens. All I had was a small sharp hatchet, a stump, and a small almond tree with a piece of baling wire to hang them by the feet once they lost their head. I buried the guts deeply under the tree. I carried the carcass into the kitchen where I had a canning kettle with simmering water and a big wooden cutting board and my favorite knife. It isn't all that messy nor does it take long.

    I hope this helps a little. You can do it!

    Thank you Cosmopolis. I guess I am the point of saying that it always sounds easy but one must do it "herself" to understand that it really is. I have a friend that might be able to help me. Just very afraid to do it without any help. [​IMG]
     
  10. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

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    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Emotions aside, processing a bird is not difficult at all. Seriously. Seeing people discount their own abilities before they try something is disheartening. Time to grow.

    Seperate them the day before and cut food off 12-18 hours before you kill, but give them water. Dog crate works great.

    A 1 gallon milk jug or bleach bottle works for a kill cone. Enlarge the hole where the spout is to the size of a baseball and cut off the bottom. Attach it to a tree or post. Make a slit with a sharp knife below the jaw line under the ear hole. A steady stream of blood will go. Hold onto the legs to keep him in there. Repeat with rooster #2.

    In 2 or 3 gallon pot (your canning pot works great) get some water heating. Heat only to 150 degrees, no more. Use a biotherm to measure temp. Add a few drops of dish soap. Dunk the recently departed into the water a few times in the first 10 seconds, to wet all feathers, then hold under water. A spoon in the other hand helps keep them under. Remove after 60 seconds, pull a wingtip feather and if it releases easily, set that bird aside and scald bird #2.

    Start plucking. Sit in a chair outside, bucket at your feet, bird hanging in bucket. Pluck. Have another bucket of clean warm water next to you. Dunk bird once in a while to clear off loose feathers.

    Ever cut apart a roasted bird? You can gut a bird. Start just below the tip of the breast bone and with the tip of the knife, not a deep plunging cut, make a cut down to just above the vent. Make the incision into an upside down "Y" by going off to either side of the vent, maybe 1.5" or so. Grab the vent, lift up, slice from one tip of the "Y" to the other. Tricky part is done. Reach in and start pulling out guts, remove head and feet, rinse, chill, lest rest, package and freeze.
     

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