Freezer camp tomorrow! UPDATE!! finished

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by obxWaMi, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. obxWaMi

    obxWaMi Songster

    My Mother's Day babies are all grown up now. We have identified 10 of the 24 as cockrels (huge combs, saddle feathers, and they CROW). Tomorrow our friend is coming over to help with processing.
    We are thinking of keeping 2 roos, but wonder if that will leave too few hens per roo. We already have 5 older girls that don't seem to be interested in allowing some man to rule them, but including those we will have a total of 15 hens.
    Any input on this subject will be welcome and appreciated.

    Also, we have identified one roo as a definite keeper (looks like a lemon cuckoo orpington) but can't decide between two others that we like. Should we choose the bigger one who crows alot and seems to be more dominant or the smaller, quieter one. I don't think my neighbors care one way or the other about the 5am wake-up calls.

    Will update results of our first freezer camp after we are finished.


    Okay, so a hispanic family that we met throught some mutual friends came over this morning to teach us how to do this. (note to self--it helps if the teacher speaks your language) I had watched numerous videos last night and BOY, did they go about some of the steps way differently. I sure wish we had an automatic chicken plucker, because there were pin feathers left. The man held the chickens in the flame of our gas burner and scorched them to get the last of the feathers off and to do something to make the skin on the feet peel off. The man's wife, she seemed to be running the show, took out a sponge with a green scrubby side and added dish soap and gave them a healthy scrubbing before putting them into ice water to await butchering. I know I didn't see either of those steps in the videos.
    They also butchered them in a different way. I was expecting whole birds to put in a roaster, but not speaking the language.....

    All in all, I'm satisfied with the end results. Especially since I got to keep the livers! I have to work tonight, but Wayne as promised to fry them and make gravy and rice to bring me for dinner!

    Oh, DD, Kelsey was quite the brave trooper. She did carry the birds to the man who cut their throats even if she didn't carry them to the dunking pot. We let her decide which other roo to keep and she chose the bigger one. She liked him because he was the only one with a comb that looked like a strawberry. I only got pictures of the beginning of the process, I'll post those later.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    We all have different goals. I don't know what is important to you in your roosters. Which you keep has to be purely your decision.

    I'll include some links that talk about multiple roosters. You'll get varying opinions in them but also some good information. Hopefully the one about Breeders managing roosters will help dispel the myth that the recommended 10 to 1 ratio has much to do with barebacked hens. That ratio is about fertility and nothing else.

    My normal advice is to keep the minimum number of roosters that you can and meet your goals. I currently have 2 roosters and 15 hens. I do not have any of the problems that many people on this site will assure you that you will have with those numbers, but the more roosters you have, the more likely you are to have problems. Good luck!

    Number of roosters thread

    Managing multiple roosters

    Breeders managing roosters
  3. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    I keep 6 hens per roo. That way I am assured fertility and it is enough that the roos don't over work the girls. Some pens I do have 8 or ten hens to a roo just because that's what I have, however I did a fertility test last week from the ten hen pen (lol) and only had 50% fertility so back to 6 for me.
    I do let my spare roos run free with no hens, they survive really well, and that way I've got one on deck that I like should something happen to one of the breeders.
  4. obxWaMi

    obxWaMi Songster

    Thanks for the links. I think we are going to stick with keeping only two.

    We have no particular breeding goal in mind, but we've toyed with the idea of letting our 2 BO hens hatch chicks if they were to decide to give motherhood a try. We've been told that one of our roos looks remarkably like a lemon cuckoo orpington and we'd love to see the results. Our main goal is eggs for the farmer's market next spring.

    We are more into the idea of the roo being the "great protector" and a beautiful creature to look at. Chicks are just a bonus and a way to repopulate our flock in the years to come.
  5. obxWaMi

    obxWaMi Songster

    Another update! While I was in the house thinking that they were just outside cleaning up, they were actually washing out the intestines. Chicken Chitterlings?
    They also cut the beaks off and took the heads and cut the toenails off and took the feet. Nothing went to waste today. I feel really good!

    Question???? What were the white egg shaped organs? The man tried to tell Wayne they were "huevos". He almost believed him at first and when he finally caught we all had a good laugh. We couldn't communicate well enough to get real answer. I thought they might be kidneys.
  6. malignstar

    malignstar In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2010
    Winfield, MO
    The white egg shaped organs are probably testicles.
  7. clkingtx

    clkingtx Songster

    Dec 1, 2009
    I think the "huevos" would have been the testicles. The kidneys are liver colored, I think.

    Great job getting it all taken care of, and sounds like nothing went to waste!

    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  8. um, 'huevos' is slang for testicles... it's not 'pelotas', like it is in english.

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