I Did the Deed!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Rica, Sep 14, 2007.

  1. Rica

    Rica In the Brooder

    Jul 25, 2007
    Hi all,
    Just thought I'd share some thoughts on my first chicken harvesting experience with you.
    I slaughtered my first two Cobb500 (http://www.cobb-vantress.com/) Roosters on Sunday. They were 8 weeks and 4 days old, and the dressed weight came out at 2.7kg each! I still have 3 hens on the go, and they are fat little ladies. Not sure if I will eat them as well or not, as I'm kind of curious to see if they will make it to egg laying.
    It was a little sad that the roosters had to go, as they were the ones with personality. But in my suburban backyard, two roosters is two too many! I used the two nails in a stump method, then put an elastic band around the top of the nails just to keep the head on the block, held them by the feet, and... chop! I just used a very sharp kitchen cleaver. I'm not a tough girl, but the cleaver went through easy both times.
    I did find that the first one was very quiet on the block, but struggled a lot after I had done the chop. This first chop was closer to the head than the body. The second rooster, however, struggled a lot more beforehand, but was quite still afterwards. This one I had cut closer to the body than the head. Has anyone else had this experience? If you take off more neck do they struggle less?
    The butchering was pretty straightforward. If you know what all the giblets are, it's easy to see how to pull them out and what to keep. I found the reports of nasty smells overrated. Mine just smelled like warm chicken, maybe a little farty. : )
    One thing i would do differently next time, is that the skin ended up a little pink in places, just where it was resting on the stump where the blood had soaked in to the wood. I'm sure it won't change the taste, but for the sake of appearances, pink chook probably isn't the greatest!
    Haven't eaten them yet, but I will be sure to report on the yum factor.
    All in all, it wasn't as hard as I thought it might be. I was a little teary, but I knew they were meat all along, and they didn't have names. I don't feel guilty, I know they had far more fun in their short lives than they would have had they been raised as intended, in a commercial operation.
    So the moral of the story is - if a 22yo Aussie city girl can do it, so can you! : D

    Also, if anyone is interested or curious, a bill goes before the ACT Legislative Assembly very soon to ban the production of cage eggs in our state. Have a look at http://freerangecanberra.org/ for more info.
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    They will always 'struggle' when chopping the head off. The best thing to do is get a killing cone, so they can't bruise themselves while they spasm. If you put it near enough a wall, you can chop horizontally. With time, you will find it easier to just cut their throats rather than chop. It does seem to be less traumatic on them.

    Since you didn't complain how miserably hard it was to remove the lungs, are you sure you got them out? [​IMG]
  3. Rica

    Rica In the Brooder

    Jul 25, 2007
    Thanks greyfields,
    I'm positive I got the lungs out, since I tried to feed them to the cats. : ) (they weren't very interested. Spoiled girls!)
    The whole process was just not as overwhelming as I had expected. I think the killing cone is a great idea, if I was thinking about doing this on a more regular basis, I would certainly be investing more in my setup.

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