Processing Dual Purpose Roos Tomorrow Morning


12 Years
Jan 24, 2011
Bristol, VT
My Coop
My Coop
So we had planned on waiting until February when it was warmer to process the extra Brahmas and Cochins from this years hatchings. My sister got Pneumonia for Christmas and decided she didn't want to process, but she has decided that she wants to try and process the extra 11 roosters that we have and one 7 week old baby who injured himself and needs to be culled.

My tools are all sharpened and I am ready to go. My husband spend most of the night teaching me how to properly sharpen the knives. I think he wants me to become more self sufficient so that he doesn't have to help prepare as much any more lol.

These birds are just coming up to 5 months right now and are huge with all their feathers on. I will let you know how they weight out without all the trappings. It should be interesting. Just wish we could get it together better and not have to process during the winter lol. That WAS our plan originally.
Wasn't able to do pics this time since there were only 2 of us and our hands were pretty icky through the whole thing. The extra two people who were supposed to come decided not to lol. I will try to get pictures of them from the freezer but I can't guarantee tonight since I am totally whipped. I can give you weights though because we did do that.

The Brahmas were about 9 pounds liveweight maybe more since we didn't weigh them live today so that's an old weight. They weighed out between 6.5 and 7 pounds.

My Delaware Roos weighed only about 7 on average with some being smaller than that and ended up between 4 and 5 dressed at the same age as the Brahmas but they did have a bit more breast meat than the Brahmas. Brahmas were okay breast wise too but not as full as the Dellies.

We also did 5 cochin roos. 1 was 3 years, 2 were about 8 months and 2 were 5 months. The 3 year old had been injured during the night because he escaped into the goat pen and got stuck under the hay rack so he was sort of an emergency case. He was pretty light only 3 or 4 pounds but he hadn't been doing well for a while and we just hadn't decided to process him yet. The 2 7 months old were by far the heftiest of the birds at 10 and 11 pounds dressed out. I didn't know that Cochins could get that big!! They were pretty fatty when I processed them though but seemed to have really big legs and about the same size breasts as the Brahmas. They were hard to pluck though just because of the size they were but it will be interesting to see how they taste. The 5 month Cochins were about 5 pounds each give or take a few ounces. They seemed much bigger with their feathers on but still a respectable size for dinner.

I have to add also for everyone else processing that I found something that works really well for the initial dispatching of meaties. My husband calls them bull dogs but I have always known them as tin snips. Not the smallest ones though these have about 4 inch snipping parts. For one of the larger roos we needed something a little bigger than the tiny knife I had to get the job done and these worked great. One snip and it was all the way through and done before they had time to get worried.
I'm getting ready to process my first chickens ever tomorrow! ALL roos, mixed breed. We did our first hatch last March and out of 20 eggs of course got about 12 roos. So they've been in a large dog run enclosure until we got the guts (haha) to process. I'll get some picutres I hope! I've done a lot of reading and you-tubing of this process and am ready on a logical level, but not so sure about the emotional level....
I'm pretty sure my desire to eat fresh natural chicken will outweigh any misgivings I may have. It's the great circle of life, right??
Yes that's the way I feel although I can't eat chicken the day I process since it's too fresh on my mind. Knowing that by doing my own chickens I am saving those factory chickens I would have eaten instead really helps me as well.
Tell your husband to get you an electric knife sharpener. I purchased a used Presto 8800 for $8 from 2nd hand and it took 10 seconds to 1 minute to sharp a knife with no effort. I hope your process day go well. Sorry for off topic...
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Lily D, Great job, and thanks for the info. We've tried the cornish X and also tried the "heritage breed" route (really just extra roo's from straight run "heavies" mix). Glad to hear results on processed weight of these two breeds in particular. Thanks, it really helps me making my decisions for this next spring!
Oh...I was going to ask. At 5 months age, what was your plucking hand, or machine? Did you have issues with "hairs"?
It was hand plucking although we are looking for parts for building our whizbang plucker. The biggest problem that we had was that they were starting their molt and so there were a lot more little feathers coming in. We had to use a pinning knife to get the small ones out. We used a small butane torch for the hairs and it worked really well so that wasn't a big problem. Next time I think I will make sure to plan so that we don't hit a growing molt so that there are less feathers.

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