Processed my first roo

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by sarai77, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. sarai77

    sarai77 New Egg

    Jul 25, 2010
    Well, I processed my first roo yesterday and let's just say the learning curve on this one was high. He had become a problem with all the small pullets and yesterday he attacked one of the other roos and ripped up his comb and that was that. He bit my arm pretty good while I was carrying him to the cone. The cone I made was too small, so he flopped out of it, which was a little disconcerting. Then the knife I used was too long and really did not do the job. I would love recommendations on a really good knife to use. I would say start to finish it took me about an hour. I went really slow, I was so nervous about nicking the wrong thing. But, I learned a lot. It wasn't that bad. I had trouble skinning the wings and got frustrated and ended up just cutting them off. And I was surprised at how much fat was on him. Overall, next time I'm sure will be much easier and faster. But, he's sitting in the fridge now. I have a few more cockerels that are going to be coming of age in the next month or so. I'm going to let them get full size before I send them the way of the freezer.
  2. becky3086

    becky3086 Crested Crazy

    Oct 14, 2008
    Thomson, GA
    Sounds like you did fine. I would have cut the wings off too and I as for a knife, I just use my sharpest which are usually one of Phils hunting or jack knifes. We just don't have very many really good knives in the house. I can't say that I am all that fast even though I have done many birds but you do get used to it more anyway.
  3. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington

    Works like a charm. Linoleum knife. Basically a curved razor blade with a handle.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010
  4. AlbionWood

    AlbionWood Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 24, 2010
    Albion, California
    I too made my cones too small - had to quickly enlarge them because the roos wouldn't fit! Also you need to control the feet or they can kick their way out - make a lasso of some rope or nylon cord so you can quickly tie the feet together, and have someone hold them up, or if you're working solo, you'll want a projecting screw or something up above the cone that you can tie the foot-lasso off to.

    Get everything set up and ready, including light, so you can do it at night. It gets dark early now, so you can wait until they go to sleep, then catch them - they'll be groggy and less likely to bite or fight you. If you're only doing one or two at a time you can easily manage it in the evening.

    It's best to have two or three knives, all sharpened (razor-sharp is best) before you start, laid out in easy reach. Use the sharpest one for cutting the throat - as you no doubt discovered, the skin is tough, and it takes a really sharp blade to do a clean quick job. For cutting the head off, and later for cutting the neck from the back, use poultry shears or sharp pruners; otherwise cutting through the joints is tricky and you'll ruin the knife edge on those bones. Keep a small, very sharp blade for opening the body cavity and cutting around the vent.

    I used a hunting knife for the killing, pruners for cutting through the neck, and a pocket knife for eviscerating. It really is important to have them razor-sharp, they should easily shave hair off the back of your hand.
  5. sarai77

    sarai77 New Egg

    Jul 25, 2010
    Thanks so much for the advice! I was thinking while I was doing it, that pruners would have been so much better for going through the bones. I watched a youtube video a few times before I did mine and they just used a knife and made it look so easy. I also like the idea of doing it at night, I had to chase my roo into a cage to catch him and so I think we were both a little keyed up when we finally got started.

    I was nervous about how I would handle this experience. I am not particularly squeamish, but everyone kept telling me that I wouldn't be able to do it, especially since I had named the roo (before I knew he was a roo). After his head was off though, it really was not bad. After I finally caught him, I pet him to call him down (and me from chasing him). And told him thank you. Might sound silly to some, but he had a good life and I know it's the right thing to do for the flock and it's part of the deal when I got chickens. Culling him and not eating him I think would be wasteful especially since my family eats a whole lot of chicken.
  6. averytds

    averytds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2008

    You did great. [​IMG]

    I cut off the last joint on the wings and the legs with shears before I start skinning. I use a milk jug for a kill cone and it's frequently too short. It falls on my older two kids to catch the night before, transport to the cone and keep the bird in the cone. One explains the facts of life and one sings. Let's them help without slowing anything up or me having to worry about them cutting themselves.
  7. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Oh, I've been wanting to do that too.....haven't had the guts yet (no pun intended) [​IMG]

    So you say it wasn't so bad then? What about removing the insides? And was it really stinky?

    I think I can do it, but my husband says no way, I would hate it.

    So I would appreciate your input.....
  8. Cindiloohoo

    Cindiloohoo Quiet as a Church Mouse

    Dec 19, 2009
    Southwest TN
    I bought a razor knife/box cutter specifically for slaughtering. You need something a bit heavier at some points, but for some parts, nothing beats the razor knife.
  9. Sundown_Farmer

    Sundown_Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Non-Chicago, Illinois
    Quote:Don't feed the bird for 8-10 hours before the kill. We move ours to transport boxes the night before. The digestive tract mostly empties out overnight. Once the bird has a bath in the scalder and a shower in the plucker the bad smell is gone. Inside smells like insides unless you cut through something you shouldn't. Not a stinky smell. Just a smell.

    If I were to list my concerns in order it would be
    1. good kill cone
    2. Sharp knife to make it faster for the bird
    3. don't rupture the gall bladder
    4. Enough onions for soup
    Way down on the list
    ...smell during evisceration.

    Let us know how it turns out.
  10. aka Rachel

    aka Rachel Chillin' With My Peeps

    I did pretty much the same as you the other day.

    I had four roos that were about a month apart in age, and altho I knew I would be processing the other three I really had to talk myself into my first 'extra' roo. My deal with myself was I could hatch out eggs if I was willing to deal with the extra boys.

    So I had my neighbours experienced help to draw on, and it really didn't go that bad once she had chopped the heads (not particularily my chosen method).

    The hardest part for me was the killing, the cleaning was really not bad. I made the first slit above the vent and if you sort of peek in, you can see where you need to cut around as to not nick anything. It wasn't too stinky, just had a particular smell, lol.

    I am glad I did it finally.

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