I’ve seen many here ask about butchering a rooster so when I processed a cull this morning I took some pics. I don’t really want to go into dispatch here as there are a number of threads related to that already so I’ll just say that I use an ax but you should use the method that’s best for you. When I butcher meat birds I scald and pluck but don’t want to set up that equipment just to do one bird. All I keep from the culls are the legs/thighs, breast fillets and organs and I try to get it over with as quickly as possible so this method is done by skinning the bird. The only equipment needed is a good, sharp fillet knife, poultry shears (I use a heavy duty ‘tin snip’), one gallon zipper bag, paper towel, disposable plastic gloves and a 30 gallon trash bag. Set up your equipment. Open the trash bag and lay it flat on your work surface. All fall I used the tailgate of my truck but today I set up in the garage so I would have more light. I don’t like this job so I try to have the bird dispatched just before daylight…the bird is calmer, the flock is still on the roost and I can get this done quick before chores start. Once the bird is dispatched lay it breast side up on the trash bag. Slip the tip of the knife under the skin at the point of the breast bone and cut forward exposing the bone. Use your fingers to pull the skin down on both sides of the breast. If you grasp the end of the drumstick and push up you’ll expose the ‘knee’. Slip your finger under the knee and work the skin down to the end of the drumstick. Don’t be afraid to pull hard…the less you use the knife for skinning the fewer feathers will end up on the meat. With one hand on the drumstick and one on the foot, snap the joint sideways to loosen and cut through the tendons with the knife. When you’re done you should have all the meat exposed. Be sure to loosen the skin over the thigh and all the way down to the backbone. Grasp the thighbone near the body and snap down exposing the bone. Place your knife under the thigh (parallel to the backbone) and cut up. This removes the leg/thigh in one piece. Wipe any feathers off with a paper towel and place in the zipper bag. Repeat for the other leg. Start at the top of the breastbone and fillet the meat away from the bone. Use a light touch over the ribs and cut down and forward until one side is released. Do the same for the other side but when you get to the wishbone slip the knife under it to release the meat there. You should now have two boneless breast fillets. Wipe off any feathers and bag. If you don’t want any organ meat you’re done! To expose the organs, use the poultry shears and cut through the ribs on both sides of the breastbone. Grasp the breastbone and snap forward. You can see the organs all in a row underneath. The heart is at the top, next is the liver and the gizzard is at the bottom in the pic. Pick each one up and cut it free with the knife. Clean the organs up by removing the membrane on the heart and cutting the gizzard open to remove the lining and place in the zip bag. Wipe off the tools with a paper towel and throw the used towels and gloves in with the carcass….no mess. Like I said I don’t like to have to do this job, so over time I’ve refined my technique…I used to hang up and skin the whole bird and gut it to get the organ meat out. I don’t know how long it takes others to process a bird but it seemed like it always took me an hour with cleaning up the mess. With practice I’ve now got it down to 15 minutes from the time I take the roo out of the cage till I twist the garbage bag shut. For anyone who hasn’t butchered a cull yet it does get easier with practice…just challenge yourself to do a faster, cleaner job every time and pretty soon it won’t seem so bad.