Ok, so today the roo previously know as ester was just crowing his happy butt off...so I decided tonight was the night. I ran around trying to catch him....once isaiah ( my 23 month old son) saw what was going on he started "helping"...we corralled him into a corner and caught him...I put him in my shower with no food ( just water) so he could have a little while without food before culling time. After the baby I watched was picked up I wrapped up "ester" in a old blankie and brought him out side...I used the dog's leash & collar to help me out here...I wrapped ester up tight so all the legs and wings were tucked in, then I tightened the collar around the blankie so he couldn't get loose...I spent the next 20 minutes looking for a vein to nick to bleed him out since the flimsy butcher knife we had wouldn't make it through his feathers....I couldn't see crap! I thought about plucking his feathers to get a better look, but that seemed mean, So I decided to choke him....yes I know, not the nicest way to go...but he started hissing at me and twisting his head around looking for an opportunity to bite. It went rather quickly and wasn't as traumatic as I thought it was going to be. To do list * buy pruning shears* At this point all the kids are at the window curious as can be...they know full well "mommy is killing the chicken" and they swear they want no part of it...but there they are, trying to see around my back. after the chicken was clearly dead I hung on for another minute or two...If the poor roo came back I knew I'd feel like [email protected] I was positive he was long gone I laid him down ...at this point Isaiah runs to my side takes one look at the chicken, one look at me and screams his head off in disbelief I could tell by the look on his face he had put it together and knew it was dead..he was a little scared. a little curious, and alotta let me poke it. So I send him back inside, order them away from the window, and grabbed my fillet knife and try to slice his throat....good thing I didn't try this while he was alive because I only cut the skin...those feathers are tuff! Right away I see the vein. I grabbed the bowl I had brought out earlier and positioned it to catch the blood...then I tied his feet together, After that was done I went ahead and cut the vein and hung hin upside down over the bowl. I went inside to check the water while he drained. Yup...it was boiling. I turned it off and brought it outside. I tried to cut his head off with my fillet knife but I was a bit squeamish, then I got an Idea, I can use my surgical scissors! Worked like a charm. I let him drain until it was clear there wasn't any blood left. Then I dipped him for about 45 second in the pot. Now what everyone failed to mention is when he hit that hot water he want stiff...his legs stretched out and his feet splayed...it freaked me out!...pulled him out and started pluckin'! I made the mistake of pulling a big clump all at once and ripped his skin a little...I had him about 80% plucked when I noticed little fuzzy feathers had got under the skin thought the tear. *screw it* I skinned him ( much easier! ) I ended up cutting off the wings near the shoulder because it was hard to get the skin off and I didn't feel like working for such little meat. I also cut off the feet after DD did a little hand holding with them...I guess when you flex a dead chickens leg it makes that claws open and close ... my 4 year old thought it was hilarious. Next came the fun part trying to figure out how to take out the croup, I poked and found what I thought was the croup, but it wouldn't budge...so I tied it off with a rubberband so nothing would come back up when I pulled it out through the bottom. I turned to the "business end" of the bird and I cut off the gland on the tail. then I worked my way up, filleting until I opened the abdominal cavity. (where you put the stuffing) I heard this is where you need to be really careful because you can puncture the intestines and spill the *ick* inside your bird. So I just pinched up the skin and filleted on up. worked like a charm. I stretched out the opening...took a DEEP breath and stuck my hand in...it was so gross at first...I was doing a wimpy tug trying to get the insides out...it was pathetic! after about 10 minutes I got over it and realized what I needed to do is sweep my hand all the way around the inside of the bird to feel up the insides...they are held in by this clear stringy stuff...like the stuff that cases your muscles. Once I did that I reached inside and pulled...it was not as easy as I thought....nothing just fell out, I had to pull fairly hard. Again, surprised. So I pulled everything out...at this point my kids are lined up at the sink pointing and asking me whats what...after I got the heart out we "dissected it" everyone took turns poking and looking. Then came the lungs...or what I assume was the lungs. They were on the back of the chicken and they were bloody hell to get out! they are spongy reddish pink and they are stuck on there good. I ended up scraping them out, bit by bit. AT this point I didn't care that I was wrist deep in ester...the "eww" factor had completely worn off. After that I just rinsed him down, wrapped him in saran wrap and put him in the fridge. I plan to make a casserole out of him in 2 days ( once the meat relaxes ) I'm thinking cream of mushroom soup, cream of celery soup, 4 cloves garlic, some chicken broth and some egg noodles. Sorry again that there are no pics...I'll make sure to hunt down my camera for the next one. Should we decide to thin out our flock.