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Need to dispatch my 22 week old BO cockerel. I'm a bit nervous

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Chickens in Elmwood, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. Chickens in Elmwood

    Chickens in Elmwood Songster

    Jul 6, 2009
    Elmwood, WV
    Well, I MUST do it. I don't want to, but it must be done. I can't find anyone to take him and he is a brute that is terrorizing my children. Now they are scared to even get the eggs from the girls(which they WERE very excited about)

    First, he is so rotten that he is almost uncatchable. How do I go about getting him? Can I wait until he is asleep? Then how do I pluck and all that stuff in the dark? AAAAHHHHH!!!!!

    Then, being 22 weeks, how should I cook him so he isn't too "gamey" with boy hormones? I'd like to roast him, maybe. Will I need to let him "rest" or can I just cook him.

    Can you tell I have never done this before? lol

  2. mstricer

    mstricer Crowing

    Feb 12, 2009
    You could go in your coop in early morning and grap him put gloves on so he dont scratch you
  3. big greg barker

    big greg barker Songster

    Oct 26, 2008
    central maine
    I had a few uncatchable roosters, too. This is what I did.
    First, prepare your "processing area."
    Set up a killing cone, or a chopping block, or tie a heavy twine from a tree branch so a loop in the end will be at about your head level. (this will put the rooster's head a little higher than waist high.
    Set out a very sharp knife with a 6 inch blade. I use a filet knife.
    Have a trash can handy, and a bucket of clean water.
    If you're going to pluck, a coleman stove with a big kettle of hot water will be necessary.
    Doing these things will help you get into the proper mindset to do the deed.
    If you are doing this just before daylight, by the time your bird is hung and ready to behead, the light will be there. Or set up a light on an extension cord.
    My coop is big enough to walk in, so I waited until the early morning (4:00 am) and went out and just grabbed 2 of them off the roost. I held them upside down by the feet and neck until they stopped flapping. Then I took them into the back yard, hung them by their feet, and beheaded them with a sharp knife. I had to do this one at a time, so by the time I got to the third one, the lights in the coop were on, and all the chickens were milling around, waiting to get out. I had to let them all out. This is where the real fun began.
    I went and got my fishing net. It has a nylon net and a 3 foot handle. Imagine a guy chasing a rooster around the run (750 sq feet) with a fish net. It does work really well, though. The net holds him down until you can control him. Then you can do what you have to do.
    I don't pluck mine, I skin them. We don't eat the skin, so for us, it is a waste of time, but if you do pluck him, there are ithers here that can tell you the best way.
    Either way, soak him in water for a day or so in the fridge, then cook him as you would any other chicken.
    If you have more questions, put them on up. I'm sure people will help...

    Good luck
  4. Chickens in Elmwood

    Chickens in Elmwood Songster

    Jul 6, 2009
    Elmwood, WV
    Well, folks, it's done. It took a long time and our scald was too hot, but we managed and he is in the cooler with salty ice water as we speak.

    It wasn't as bad as I thought. We waited until about 11:00 pm and dear husband just nabbed him off the roost and held him upside down. Muffin never said a word or even flapped. Not sure he even woke up, really.

    I took too long butchering, and I am a little concerned about that, but I was SO afraid of breaking or cutting into the crop or the intestines that it took me FOREVER.

    Least I know now for next time. We were considering raising some meat birds, but didn't know if we could butcher our own or not. Guess we can! Thanks for the advice! [​IMG]
  5. cw

    cw Songster

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    its probably just fine,
  6. sred98

    sred98 Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    Congrats that you got up the nerve to do it! [​IMG] The first time is really hard. I decided to send some of my extra roos off to freezer camp, partially because they were out of control, and partially to make sure I could actually do it before my broilers arrived! [​IMG]

    I did the cone, their skin was much tougher than I thought, so I think I'll use a hatchet next time. I want it over quick, and I don't want them looking at me while they bleed out! [​IMG]

    After I did the salt water soak, I let mine rest in the fridge, covered for a few days before freezing. I read that it's better to do that. Gives the meat a chance to mellow and relax.

    Hope yours are as delicious as mine were!

  7. big greg barker

    big greg barker Songster

    Oct 26, 2008
    central maine
    The first time always is the longest, and you will doubt yourself, but by the sound, you did fine. It's better to go a bit slower than to end up spoiling the carcass by poking the intestines etc.

  8. Winsor Woods

    Winsor Woods Songster

    Jun 14, 2009
    Cascade Range in WA
    I processed my first Cornish X yesterday. After bleeding out and plucking, I made an incision from the bottom of the breast bone towards the vent. I stopped short of the vent and cut around the entire vent. You can pull the skin away from the body when starting the incision. Then you can get a good enough view inside the cavity so you know you're only cutting the skin. Then I just grabbed the vent and gently pulled and all the intestines came out like I was pulling on a ball of yarn. After than, the rest was really easy. I scooped out the heart and liver, removed the gall bladder well away from the meat. I opened up the gizzard and dumped out any contents and then removed the inner lining.

    Plucking was the hardest part. I did it by hand without a scald. I figured I might at well do the first one the old fashioned way so I have a point of reference when I start scalding and using my plucker.

  9. kingmt

    kingmt Songster

    May 1, 2009
    Mason WV
    I don't take the head off until I start processing it. My wife uses scissors to process with, I prefer a knife but she is much faster & not afraid of cutting something wrong with them.

    The first is the hardest. Our first two birds took forever. but we are getting pretty fast at it now. One of our biggest mistakes was not resting the birds long enough & they were tough. These last birds we let rest for 5 days in salt water, packed in a large stainless pot, & surrounded by ice water in a cooler (I forgot I had another fridge [​IMG].

    My wife cooked the first one of these today. I hate chicken but eat whatever she wants to fix anyways but these birds were good. They were moist, tender, & had a great flavor. I ate a breast & then picked the carcass clean. My wife was in alllll [​IMG] & very flattered that I enjoyed it so much.
  10. chooniecat

    chooniecat Songster

    Mar 2, 2009
    central ohio
    we did our 24 wk old NHR because,first off, he was supposed to be a layer and secondly he also turned into a terrorist at appx 16 wks of age. he was extremely "mr muscle" and I thought he was the most gorgeous male chicken alive(can't post pics-have tried) but we needed experience with processing. my son used a hatchet as its weight/length worked best(we did an extremely old roo few weeks before and learned from that) we turned him into soup because of all his muscles and from my little experience he would have been like a dog chew otherwise.

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