Roos in PA: I know what I SHOULD do, now how do I do it? or not?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Suellyn, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. Suellyn

    Suellyn Songster

    Nov 7, 2008
    SouthWestern PA
    Ok, I am posting in the "meat bird" area for the first time, so please be kind, humor me...

    I hatched out a few chickens as pets (for me & my 2 daughters ages 4 & 7), and for a few fresh eggs, but a ridiculously UNFORTUNATE number of them are roos (6 outta 8). I can deal with a roo or 2, but no way can I keep them all. And my only "FOR SURE" pullet, is, of course, a tiny little Serama.... so no big omelettes THERE, either. Ugh. [​IMG]

    No way am I going to be able to rehome 3 leghorn roos, (I've tried!), soooo... now what?

    I guess my question is; do I make them into dinner? AND, I am not a total wimp, but am having a hard time considering what was supposed to be a PET as a meal.

    Did any of you have initial "issues" with this? How did you deal or get around it??

    And, oh yeah, what about the KIDS??? If I decide to make the boys into stew, DO I TELL MY GIRLS???? Or do I tell them they "went to a farm" or something, [​IMG] and hope they don't notice all the chicken cuisine for the next week or two...??? (they are YOUNG but not STUPID...)

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    PS: are leghorn roos even worth eating??? are about 10 wks old and not very "plump" feeling!!

  2. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    Where this is concerned, I am not like alot of people. I do the deed, and have my kids there to help. Mind you, mine are 11 and 13, but--kids need and IMO are better off knowing where their food comes from. For the roos, there will be enough meat, but dont bother plucking. Skin them, and take the legs too. give the rest tot he cats or dogs. Let them rest in the fridge for a bit, then freeze, or cook. They are good in the crock pot, or simmer them and turn them into soup. I usually do soup. Key is--let them rest- to avoid tough meat, and slow cook, to avoid tough meat. Older roos really make good soup.
  3. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    It's certainly difficult to find homes for pet roosters, but perhaps you could find someone in your area who would want them for meat. Leghorns rarely do get big & meaty, but they are edible.

    If you do want to learn how to process chickens, these guys would be good for practice. I found it best to learn by having someone experienced do it with me. Perhaps there's a BYCer in your area with sharp knives & a free afternoon.

    What you decide to tell your kids is up to you. Many folks are honest & matter-of-fact about it, letting their kids decide how involved they wish to get in the process. There's another discussion going on right now about this very topic.

    No matter where you get your chicks, you should always have a plan in place for your unwanted roosters. When you hatch eggs you don't have a chance of getting 50% roosters, but each egg has a 50% chance of being a rooster. It's like flipping a dozen coins, they all could land on tails.
  4. Homesteading_Bound

    Homesteading_Bound Songster

    Aug 4, 2008
    We just processed our first roo last weekend. I'm new to this so I'm still getting used to it. I had to get a certain mind set and make it as fast and painless as possible for him. After cleaning him I put him in a brine solution for a few days then into the slow cooker with an onion and water. The broth was incredible and the meat was tender (he was 5 months old) I made shredded BBQ chicken sandwiches for my husbands lunches. He loved them...

    I'm sorry, I can't offer any advice about your children. It's just my husband and me so I didn't have to deal with those issue.

    Keep us posted!!!
  5. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    This is a marvelous opportunity to teach kids about where food comes from, whether you choose to process and eat, give away, sell, whatever. Whatever you do, please don't fudge the facts. If they are not toddlers I would probably share my dilemma and have them participate in the decision. If they are younger, at least talk about how animals are to be treasured and cared for when alive, but enjoyed as food after that -- no different from potatoes, really. We take special care of potato plants when young, meet their needs after that, then dig them up and eat. Not even getting into the whole commercial chicken/egg production situation.... Lying can never be the best long run approach with kids.

    A lot of people on this site see this situation as a wonderful teaching tool. You don't want kids who, as adults, won't eat an egg unless it comes from Wal Mart, because all the others come from a chicken's butt....

    That being said -- I have no intention of trying to eat my extra roos. I was vegetarian for years, and will probably never be able to eat my animals without getting nauseated. I barely manage to eat their eggs, though I will not buy store eggs. So I take care of them, even help with butchering, but do not try to eat the chickens. Fortunately, my son, DIL and their kids do not have this problem. So, you may have to honor kids' feelings on the subject, but reality is still the only thing to present them with, I feel.

    It should not be too much of a problem finding someone local who will be glad to eat the roos, if it comes to that. It wouldn't be around here. And if I got a bit preachy, sorry, please don't take it personally!

  6. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

    Dec 16, 2008
    see if you can find a processor in your area if you are not ready yet to do it yourself. This also makes it easier to consume the "pets"

    I have done both but prefer using a processor myself

    When my ds is a little older I plan to show/teach him starting with quail I think. I think only the parent knows for sure if their kids are ready to understand these things so you would have to be the judge of that. I certainly hope my ds can deal with it lol kids are a lot more understanding nd matter of fact I think than adults.
  7. Suellyn

    Suellyn Songster

    Nov 7, 2008
    SouthWestern PA
    Thanks, all for the input, it is MUCH appreciated!

    I think a processor might be a really good option for me, it's kinda a "middle ground" for me & the girls. Now... How the heck do I find one?? [​IMG]

    I have tried searching this site for processors in PA, plus Google... am not having much luck, probably because I don't really know how/where to look!

    I've actually been quite honest with my girls, they know where chicken "comes from", and are actually very understanding of the fact that it is preferable in many ways to raise your own, as opposed to buy grocery store birds (better for people AND better for chickens!).

    They are also aware that "mommy is not sure if she can do it herself yet", and they seem fine with that, too. The concept of being "not quite ready to do something" is something I think kids can empathize with! [​IMG]

    Anyway, any leads or advice on a processor would be appreciated... in the meantime I'll keep looking!

    The biggest roo attacked my ankle this morning; I almost did the deed on the spot!! Oh, and of course I don't let my girls in with them anymore, so there is a bit of a natural "emotional disconnect" between girls & roos anyway, altho they still carry the Serama & 2 Silkies around like puppies. [​IMG]
  8. TimG

    TimG Songster

    Jul 23, 2008
    Somebody working at your local feed store can probably point you in the direction of a processor. You might also contact your local 4-H.

    My google search for meat processors pennsylvania turned up a long list of game meat processors. I know that's not quite the same thing, but if you look for one that is near you and contact them, they'll probably be able to refer you to someone.
  9. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Check on the "Where are you?" section of the forum to see if there are any BYC folks in your area who know how to process chickens, or are interested in learning with you. You can also see if you have any friends/neighbors who have experience hunting or fishing & would be willing to do your birds with you.

    Or you could bring your birds to West Palm Beach, FL and we can do them together in my back yard...

  10. Chicken Fruit

    Chicken Fruit Songster

    Feb 25, 2009
    Echo Homestead
    Go ahead and let them turn into full fledge roosters. Full of pee and vinegar. you will NOT feel bad eating them. production birds are just such miserable birds. I hate leghorns.

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