it's time to kill a rooster


9 Years
Apr 28, 2010
some corn field in central il.
i have 2 roosters (not by choice) and 26 hens. they are all approx. 8 months old.
one rooster (lakenvelder) is an aggressive jerk towards me, but is sweet with the hens.
the other rooster (dorking) is totally fine with me. sure, he's given me the "stink eye" on several occasions, but has never come at me. the problem is he is too aggressive with the girls. they are beginning to show signs of "treading" and i've seen his mateing style. he's no sweet-talking Barry White when it comes to love. he's very rough and mean when he's getting his groove on, so to speak.
so i've decided it is time for him (the dork) to go.
i have never killed or cleaned a chicken before, so this will be a learning experience. i have talked to some people who have done it and they have given me some good advice. also, there is a very detailed chapter about it in the "storys guide" book. i think i'll do just fine.
i just have a few questions -
1) the book says to take him away from the others the night before and give him water but no food so he can get all the chicken poop out of his system before you kill him. i don't have anywhere to do this that wouldn't be out in the cold. it's gonna be down in the 20's overnight, so i don't think that would be very nice. is this an important step, or can i just make sure i clean the meat real good if some roo poo gets on the meat?
2) i am not keeping the skin on the meat, so do i need to be real picky about getting all the fine feathers & hairs off of him before i clean him up for the freezer?

thanx for any advice you can give.
Last edited:
We don't always take their food away from them the night before, and have never had problems getting poo on the meat. Just be careful when you gut him.

If you're skinning him anyway, you don't need to pick any feathers. There might be a few fine feathers that stick to the meat, but they're easily cleaned off. Or are you going to keep the skin on until you take the meat out of the freezer to cook it? Then, of course, you want to pick the feathers off... We just skin them right away.
1. It's not hugely important but it makes for a cleaner butchering site. A little poop on the meat can be washed off easily. I wash my meat regardless of how clean the kill was. You may want to try crating him in a dog/cat carrier for the night in your garage/basement. Even a decent sized cardboard box will work.
2. If you are not keep the skin then I wouldn't bother plucking at all. Plucking is a serious nuisance. When I butcher waterfowl I don't bother doing any plucking at all. Too many tiny feathers. I just peel those carcasses like an apple.

A word of advice- Make sure your knives are as sharp as possible. I keep a sharpener readily available to keep my knives ultra sharp. So much easier to work with good tools than try to manage with substandard tools.

Good luck.
Not giving them feed will result in the crop being empty when you go to kill it, which is what you want. If you are going to butcher in the morning, just pull the feed out of the pen, the rest will be fine until you pull him out and slaughter him. If you get any poop or crop junk on the meat, just grab your hose and spray it off, I keep the hose on and ready right beside me as I am butchering.
If you aren't going to keep the skin on the meat I wouldn't even bother plucking it. I would just skin it out as this is easier and takes less time anyway.
Your flock of hens will thank you for this. Plus you won't be wasting the meat. We just butchered for the first time last Friday, so we learned a lot. We still have them in the fridge, 2 are going in the freezer today and one is in a pot brining right now. Here is a link to our experience, if you're interested:

If you head over to the "Meat Birds" threads, you will learn a lot. There are stickies at the top of the thread, so if you click on there, there is information about skinning them without plucking them. I don't think there will be any fine hairs or feathers on the bird if you skin him. We plucked all 4 of them, just because I wanted to learn how to do it. If the water is no lower than 150, plucking is really a breeze.

We had the 4 roosters fast overnight before we butchered them. There was a little bit of poo left in 2 of the roosters, so I was careful to remove the vent and intestines, and rinsed them off very well after the process was over. Could you somehow keep him in a dog crate or something to keep him separate from the flock?

Good luck!!!
thanx all for the input. i plan on doing the deed on saturday morning, so i still have plenty of time to read more about it and get ready.
thanx for the heads-up on the sharp knife, cmv, my kitchen is famous for dull knives. i'll get a nice one all sharpened up.
and thanx for the link, chickylaura, i enjoyed the "play-by-play" and the summery of results. very informative.
i do feel a little weird about it.
he's a big beautiful bird, but when i see my chix with patches of feathers missing, i know it's the right thing to do.
plus, i'm excited about eating chicken that i raised. i've read that the meat will probably be a little tuff, but i'm looking forward to it regardless.
i'll keep you posted on how things go.
o.k... i am ready to do this tomorrow. in my original post, i said the rooster on death row (dork) had never come at me, but this morning when i was cleaning the poop board under the roosts, i heard a ruckus in the the other room. dork was involved in a "cock fight" with the other rooster. this has never happened before. i broke it up, went back to cleaning the board and then he followed me into the "bunkhouse" room, as i call it, jumped up on the poop board and came at me! that had never happened before either!
maybe he heard rumors about my plan? you gotta be careful when you're talking around the chickens, they tend to gossip.
regardless, if i had any reservations about following through with this "execution", there aren't anymore.
i had one last question regarding the cleaning...
how long do i bleed him out? till i quit seeing blood, or longer than that? just curious.
Personally, I don't put them in a crate before "table day". I actually do the opposite and let them (the targeted bunch) free range. For me, it is a personal choice for my own belief system.... but as far as cleaning goes... it doesn't matter... a empty crop can be hard for a newbie to find. It's easy to see when it's filled with grass. It all washes off... the hardest part, to me... is getting the lungs.

As for your bleeding question... if you are slitting the throat in a cone or something of the like... it will take a few minutes... not long, and the blood will slow to a stop. If you are cleaning and there is still blood left, just rinse. My first roo didn't get bled out enough and it didn't hurt anything... just made a tad of a mess on the counter in the kitchen.
my plan is to put the feed up out of reach tonight, so he's not eating tomorrow morning before i get in there (which will inconvenience the girls, but they'll get over it - i'll put the feeders back down after the roo is out of there) grab him up, break his neck, hang him from his feet, cut his throat, bleed him out then skin him.
(wow, that all sounds so violent & mean, don't it?)
i'm not going to leave the skin on or worry about plucking him. it's quicker & easier to just skin him, or so i've read.
i don't eat the skin anyway.
should be an interesting experience.
well, for ME anyway. probably not so interesting for him.
Last edited:
He'll never know what hit him. I hope it goes smoothly. Good luck.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom