Advice needed for first timer processing a bird

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by KelBelle, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. KelBelle

    KelBelle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2010
    Not much to say other than the roo has gotten much too dangerous to have around my kids. The denial has gone on long enough and the decision has been made. I want to make sure we are prepared properly and do this as humanely and respectfully as possible. I'd like to see this dealt with by the end of the day or tomorrow. Any advice for a first timer would be immensely appreciated. Advice on how to help my son through this as well would be wonderful too. I figure if we can't deal with processing a bird then we shouldn't be eating meat any longer.
  2. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    There are already a lot of threads on processing set as "stickies" at the top of this forum section. Take a look at them and let us know what specific questions you still have left. It's possible to have a positive experience the first time, but often there are things that just take time & practice to learn. Your attitude towards eating meat and being able to process your own chickens is very admirable, but it's okay to dispatch an unmannerly rooster and just bury him as fertilizer for a tree. Some folks need to approach it in steps, first being able to dispatch (kill) one of their chickens, then at another time learn to raise chickens for meat.

    But if you want to learn to both kill the rooster and prepare it for the table, you can do that too. One great site is Check the section on how to make hand-plucking easy. Where do you live? Maybe someone here is close enough to you to come give you a hand. If you lived near western West Palm Beach, FL, I would say come on over here and I'd show you what to do.

    I wish you success, let us know how it goes!
  3. BlackDogPack

    BlackDogPack Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 8, 2011
    First of all, I just want to give you a huge thumbs up for your view. Nothing bothers me more than someone telling me I am cruel to raise my own meat and then go out and buy chicken from the store.

    I am sure there are more up to date ways, but I just do the same thing my grandparents did. We catch all of our roosters (mine are free range) and have them in the coop. I use a hatchet, and we have what we call our "slaughtering stump" - just a flat surface that can be cleaned and hit with the hatchet. DO NOT HESITATE! You want to hit it with enough force to take the head clean off the first time. Be aware that the chicken will flop around for a bit and sometimes it can be messy.

    We slaughter about 8 or so at once then I simply skin them, I hate boiling them, and process the bird out. I use everything but the feathers and intestines because my dogs eat raw (an actual diet, not just raw meat). They eat what we don't - like the feet, organs, etc. It's easier when you just clean them and then you decide what you want for cooking later. Easiest is obviously the whole chicken for baking.

    Good luck. I can't offer advise for your son, I was raised in it and it just was never a big deal.
  4. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
  5. geeky_farmer

    geeky_farmer Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 3, 2011
    I recently culled a bunch of hens and was pretty nervous because I had never done it before. They were quite old (between 3 & 7 years old) so it was a bit more difficult (LOTS of fat, tougher, and some eggs).

    I watched this video four or five times and it was easy once I did it twice...


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