just killed our first rooster


10 Years
Apr 21, 2009
Noblesville, IN
We killed our first rooster, never thought we could do it. Now I have a few questions:

He was about 2 yrs old, is this still okay to eat? We thought he might be a little tough, so I thought about sticking him in the crock pot.

How do you get those pin feathers off? I thought about torching them.

This isn't how I thought we would cull our first chicken, thought I would buy "meat" birds and kill early, but this rooster was getting too mean, so we thought we might as well eat him.
I am not hugely experienced, but from what I know, yes I would turn him into soup or something in the crock pot. That is what I did with my 4 6month old amaraucanas, they were too tough in the chicken pot pie I made, and the soup turned out great, soft meat and yummy. I never thought I could slaughter either...my husband grew up with it in mexico. But I am a huge animal lover and this whole chicken adventure is my idea. Because he "knew" what he was doing, I made him do the kill, I helped pluck and clean the birds. At that time, he decided he does not want to do any slaughtering because he didnt "like" doing it...and was rather upset over it. On the other hand, I have handled it better than I imagined I would. Since then, I have had to bleed out a turkey that got over the fence and was killed by our neighbors dogs and it didnt bother me in the least. You never know what you are capable of til you have to do it.
We've been reading on this too, from what i understand he will be tough from about old enough to want to try mounting the girls, although (good chance in crockpot will help) . Curious to see how he turns out, we have a few we need to send to freezer camp also, but don't want to waste my time if they are not good eating. They are about 7 mo.
That's what i thought we would try also. Heard if you've never done it, it takes as long as plucking at first. I have skinned muskrats and such but it's been a few years......OK more than a FEW yrs. LOL
I processed my first roo earlier this week. He was just over 1 year old and DELICIOUS. Very flavorful meat. He was skinned, and I aged him in the fridge for 4.5 days. The last day, I marinated him in Italian dressing(I've always done this with chicken breasts & found that it helps them retain moisture). I cooked him in the crockpot on low for 10 hours, with a little water & white wine, rubbed with olive oil & spices, along with a couple quarted sweet onions, celery & carrot chunks.
Here's an article on cooking heritage birds and talks about how it was commonplace to cook older hens and roos back before we all got spoiled on 7-wk old meaties. The gist of the article is that aging, then slow cooking at a lower temperature is needed to keep tenderness in the bird, and that flavor is superior. It sounds like HickoryGuy has the idea.

I haven't had the pleasure of using the techniques in this yet but expect to one day.

Good luck,

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Find a recipe for coq au vin. It is what they did with older birds here in France for ever. Basically you sautee and carmelize some small white onions, (like pearl onons), carrotsm etc. Brown the cut up pieces of the skinned rooster. Cut the breasts into thirds, the leg/thigh into thirds, the back into thirds. Then it is cooked slowly in red wine, along with some other ingredients. It is a tremendous dish and not difficult. Everything I could Google for a Recipe here comes up in French, but you can easily find a recipe. Some people marinate the meat first, and others don't. Serve it with boiled or mashed potatoes.

Good luck.
Aging properly makes an enormous difference. Aged with or without feathers, with or without entrails: all will help. We actually liked it best when we aged one with entrails still in, but keeping the proper temperature and time of aging were much more critical. It was quite easy to remove the entrails, then hang in a spot we kept at about 45* for 5-8 days, then we skinned and prepared it. The texture and flavor are excellent, and no toughness!
Congratulations, I just processed my 1st 2 rooster today. For pin feathers, use the blade of your knife and your thumb. Place the blade up next to the pin feather, cutting side toward the meat and back of the knife facing you. Place your thumb on the pin feather and press it firmly against the side of the knife blade. Now tilt the blade slightly and pri the pin feather right out.

I have one of my roo's aging in the ice box over night and will be roasting him tomorrow evening for a few hours. My family loves roasted chicken... mmmmm

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