I have sixteen chickens now. I got seven chickens of three different breeds from a local hatchery in May, with solid assurances that only one of them was a roo. Three weeks later, I bought six Black Copper Marans, straight run, hoping like he*l that only 50% would turn out male, but realizing that we were talking about my luck, after all. I wound up with three roos from the first hatchery batch, and 4/6 of the BCMs are roos. Great. Just ... great. Then I bought three silver laced wyandottes at lay. That brings me up to a current roo ratio of 7:16. Lovely. Final decision, for now at least : Frilly, the tailess black australorp who was supposed to be a hen, and all four of the BCM roos are going to freezer camp. I'm going to keep Desi (RIR, previously named Lucy), and Dustin, the EE who was supposed to be my one roo all along. They're both civil to me but not clingy or needy, and seem to get along with each other, at least so far. If that changes and I have to cull one of them later, I'll deal with it then. My family of three is made up of me (the chicken freak), my husband (terrified of all things chicken, PTSD from a childhood rooster attack, but otherwise supportive), and a 14yo st-son who thinks he wants to be a doctor but gets squicked out by everything, is too far removed from the source of his food, and is remarkably blase' about death, probably due to an incessant stream of too-violent xBox games. I've had the kid out in the run every afternoon this week, spending time around the chickens and in particular around the roosters who are destined for the table, and talking about respect and appreciation and gratitude, and how important it is to utilize as fully as possible this precious creature which is going to lose its life for our dinner. I've read and read (and read) on here and everywhere else I can find. I do believe everyone in Mississippi goes and talks to the people at MSU for critter stuff, and I've called and talked to them in the Poultry Science Department (who knew? Poultry Science? Really?). I've talked to my county extension agent, who referred me to another extension agent further north who has her own chickens. I've talked to the neighbors down the road who haven't had to cull yet, themselves, because her uncle lives on the other side of town and comes and does it for them. I've looked at every video on youtube, and I've googled until I'm blue in the face. (Edited to add this paragraph) I've set up a canopy in the backyard, and run a piece of metal conduit through the frame to hang birds from. I have ten pieces of twine up there, with slipknots at the ready. I've checked the propane torch for readiness to burn off any leftover feathers. I have heavy plastic to cover my picnic table with for the evisceration, and a new filet knife. I have a lined garbage bag for blood, and a big plastic box to catch feathers in. I have a couple of coolers for ice baths and I have stainless steel bowls to catch what bits of the innards that I'll be keeping, and a compost pile for what bits I'll be letting go. I know there's much (friendly) disagreement here about the best method of dispatch, but for my goals here I believe I have decided on holding and calming the birds, then manual cervical dislocation, quickly followed by cutting both sides for the bleed-out. Then, scald and pluck, followed by an ice bath while I work through my first evisceration. Once I've done it and am satisfied, then I'll teach the kid to do it. (I fully expect my sweet, precious, kind-hearted husband to still be sobbing at this point. No derision there - I'll probably still be sniffling, too.) I really think the kid, though, needs to fully experience this - unless somehow it seems like he's actually taking pleasure in it, or is not taking it seriously enough. In that case I'll probably be screaming about him being a sociopath and sending him to his room. Not really. I hope. We rarely rarely eat a whole chicken, and have limited freezer space, so the plan is to piece the birds. All the pieces thoroughly rinsed and then into another ice bath while we finish up with the rest of them, then ... what? I don't think the odds are good that I'll be able to get them into that second ice bath before they've been dead for 20 minutes. I'm on the Gulf Coast, and it's going to be hot, and I'm sure rigor will have begun to set by the time I've cut them up. So, I go ahead and package them up and store them in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before I freeze them? Or, I put them together into a brine in the refrigerator? There's a part of me that wants to be able to write their little names on the zippy bags so I know who's coming to dinner every night - but maybe that's just twisted. Or I go to all that trouble and heartache and get so frustrated and flustered that I just give up and let the dogs - who LURVE raw chicken - out to clean up for me? Ugh. I've read so much and I'm just overwhelmed.