Processing an overly cocky roo tomorrow

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Henicillin, May 28, 2012.

  1. Henicillin

    Henicillin Pill Counting Pullet

    1,137
    32
    163
    Apr 12, 2011
    East Nassau, NY
    Hi, folks! I just wanted to thank you all for the great processing information you've posted in this section of the forum over the years. I've been going over the threads on butchering dual purpose birds in preparation for processing a nuisance bird tomorrow. Thanks to you, I feel well prepared to do it.

    I have a Speckled Sussex cockerel just shy of a year old who started out as a rather courtly, protective bird I thought I was planning to keep for the long run. However, I've recently observed that he has started chasing down the hens to force matings on them at least as often as he courts them, if not even more frequently. If they're unwilling and scream and try to get away, he hangs on to their combs, forces them to the ground and mates them anyway. He has also started trying to mate in front of me, which he did not dare do previously. This evening he made the grave error of grabbing my broody Buff Orp, who wanted none of it (I happened to be nearby, and intervened). He then took a shot at pecking one her four-week-old chicks, which fortunately was faster than his beak. That sealed his fate. I refuse to tolerate a brute of a bird who abuses the rest of the flock. We got rid of one of his brothers for the same type of behavior by selling him to a co-worker of my husband's who wanted a "real chicken" for a Cinco de Mayo dinner. I have it on good authority that he was absolutely delicious. His other brother is behaving himself thus far, and will be the sole ruler of the flock once this one is gone. If it's a behavioral flaw related to their genetics, it'll show up in the last bird standing soon enough.

    I have a brand new Stanley heavy duty utility knife, an empty feed bag with a hole cut in the corner, some rope, and a bucket, all with his name on them. I'll do him first thing in the morning, and skin him rather than bother trying to pluck him. He'll be great in the Crock Pot.

    At least this bird's sacrifice won't be a to waste. I had to cull a day-old chick last week after its clumsy mother accidentally stepped on it and broke its leg. I used shears and snipped off the head. After I recovered a bit, I realized that if I was able to do that without hesitation, there is absolutely no reason I can't process a bird that has had a good life, has been treated well, and will be put to good use to feed my husband and me.

    Wish me luck!
     
  2. Jnicholson

    Jnicholson In the Brooder

    11
    1
    24
    May 23, 2012
    I love the way that was put we are still new to all this and have not yet killed one but we are getting ready to due the fact that there is to many roosters and our hens look like cheap w****s and our buff rooster decided to go after my 3 year old daughter this weekend now shes scared to death. So you can still get good chicken to eat even if you peel the skin off?
     
  3. dadthebaker

    dadthebaker Chirping

    106
    2
    91
    Nov 7, 2011
    Los Angeles Area
    This is your first time?

    I am anxious to mabe get a few eat'n birds going, but still trying to get past the " processing" part. A gal who does it for a living said I could come assist her with her birds. I think I am ready...lol

    Please let us know how it went for you.

    Good lick!
     
  4. Henicillin

    Henicillin Pill Counting Pullet

    1,137
    32
    163
    Apr 12, 2011
    East Nassau, NY
    This will be my first time processing, yes. I'm not going to pluck him, as he's a big, muscular cuss and eating him roasted would be like chewing on an old inner tube. [​IMG]
     
  5. This_chicks_place

    This_chicks_place Songster

    435
    5
    113
    Apr 18, 2011
    Upstate NY
    If he is "just under a year" he may still be working out his hormones. Our Buff Orp rooster behaved in the same manner when he was younger. He now is a fabulous rooster. You might want to give him a little time until those hormones settle down.
     
  6. Jnicholson

    Jnicholson In the Brooder

    11
    1
    24
    May 23, 2012
    I will give it a try he is going to be a big boy some we are a little sad hopefully he will grow out of it or he will be baked into something lol
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  7. Henicillin

    Henicillin Pill Counting Pullet

    1,137
    32
    163
    Apr 12, 2011
    East Nassau, NY
    Oh, I know he's hormonal, and could potentially improve, but his behavior is proving to be so stressful to my hens that I'm unwilling to force them to put up with it any longer. Besides, the hens will be better off not being ganged up on by the two brothers. We had three cockerels originally (four straight-run chicks - three turned out to be males), but the mating pressure proved to be too much at a ratio of about seven hens to one roo, which is why we downsized by one at the beginning of the month. I think that there is still an unacceptably high level of mating pressure on the low-ranking hens, though, especially with this roo's behavioral changes, so he goes. His full brother will still be around, so I won't be completely without a roo. He'll do for fertilization purposes.

    Part of the reason we have chickens is to work towards living a more self-sufficient lifestyle, and that plan includes processing our own meat birds and animals. That time has come.
     
  8. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    7,950
    312
    331
    Aug 20, 2010
    Colmesneil,TX
    Good for you! I wouldn't put up with that mess either, and if you have a full brother anyway, no reason to keep him around. There are many who say to be sure you have a rooster and a backup but I wouldn't keep one that was like that even if I didn't have any others. In fact I have done exactly that. And trust me, he was the most delicious bird I've had ever.
     
  9. Henicillin

    Henicillin Pill Counting Pullet

    1,137
    32
    163
    Apr 12, 2011
    East Nassau, NY
    It's done! It went pretty easily, too.

    I got him this morning before I let the rest of the birds out (all my birds are used to being handled, so he didn't think anything of it) and strung him up by his feet from a railing on my deck with a catch bucket underneath. He calmed right down and just hung there. I patted him, thanked him for his life and for his sacrifice, said a prayer for him, and then cut his neck as described in some great threads here and demonstrated on lots of Youtube videos. Unfortunately, I did have to cut twice, as the first cut got feathers in the way and he wasn't bleeding fast enough in my opinion, but I did the second immediately afterwards, so I don't think he realized it, as he showed no sign of distress and didn't even move. I held his head as he bled out, and he didn't fight or struggle at all. There was only one reflexive wing flap, and that was after he bled out. So, although I did have to make two cuts, I'm satisfied that he went peacefully and quickly with no suffering.

    I will confess to feeling sad briefly and shedding a couple of tears for him after I did him, but I expected that to happen, as I did raise him from a chick. After he was gone and I'd removed his head, though, it stopped bothering me, as I just saw him as food.

    Skinning was a bit difficult, mostly because I'm not used to it, but I managed pretty well - my old biology dissection techniques came back to me, and I had a good knife. I can see the appeal of plucking, though. I do have a big stock pot, but he wouldn't have fit into it very easily - time to invest in a turkey fryer setup! Once he was skinned and hosed off, I brought him into the kitchen to clean him out. I found the evisceration really interesting - the bio student in me was fully engaged by this point. I did just toss the gizzard along with the rest of the GI organs, which will annoy my husband (he likes them), but too bad - let him butcher the next one. He can have the liver and the heart, and can marvel at the size of the one testicle I saved for him to see. No wonder these things are hormonal as heck. I even managed to get the vast majority of the lung tissue out with the help of a spoon. There's a bit left, but that won't harm anyone.

    Thoughts:

    - I'm glad I chose the cut method. It really does work fast and bleeds the bird completely out.

    - The utility knife worked beautifully, as it's super sharp. I'll have to tell my husband "good choice!"

    - I'm thankful I did NOT try to use the hedge loppers. Although they're sharp, I couldn't even get them through the neck when trying to decapitate him (ended up using a hunting knife). That would have been awful. The cut it is!

    - I also need a good set of kitchen shears.

    - Nobody should hire me yet for my mad skinning skills.

    - I need to cut back on the scratch. He has quite a lot of fat on him, although his heart is clean.

    - The Speckled Sussex is a good, meaty bird - dressed out he weighs around five pounds. He wasn't even the biggest one, either - his brother is quite a bit larger than he was.

    - I don't feel bad the way I once thought I would. Instead, I'm pleased that I could process a bird by myself from first cut to final refrigeration.

    Here's the big dude undressed, cleaned, and ready to go in the fridge - he's on a Corelle dinner plate for size comparison. Pretty, the carcass is not - you can see where I cut into the muscle when skinning him, and the hatchet job I did on removing the neck, wings, and feet (I have a meat cleaver, but have no idea where it is, and it turned out that my cheapie shears weren't up to the job - I'll be investing in better ones). I'm sure that will all come with experience, though. I don't think I did a bad job considering that this was my first time.


    [​IMG]
     
  10. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Songster

    1,574
    63
    181
    Nov 15, 2011
    Elma, Washington
    Thank you so much for the very informative post....I really need to put my "big girl panties" on and do the same thing. I have 2 roos that need to go. - We, too, are learning to live more self-sufficiently and it would definitely be a good thing to know this stuff.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: