You can read about my first butchering experience here if you like, it was NOT a great experience: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=196012 Yesterday decided to cull another roo. Well, didn't really do it on purpose, it was intended as a disciplinary action, just didn't turn out quite right . . . it was a Rhode Island Red, btw One of my roos has been pestering my ducks constantly. I was sweeping the barn and watched him mount my Khaki Campbell 3 times in a row -- I ran over there with my broom while he was mid-coitus for the fourth time in 60 seconds, swung and (unintentionally) clocked him right in the head. He hit the dirt like a ton of bricks. I thought he was dead so I went inside to get some twine to hang him up with, knife, bowl of water, etc. By the time I came back out he was awake but only barely, groggy as hell. Hung him up, cut the jugular and finished up that way. Plucking/prep: Got a stockpot of water going and doused him for 30 secs or so in 150* water. Man does that make the plucking easier! I'm getting better but still have to fight with the feet and wingtips to get them cut off. I suppose with time I'll get better with positioning the knife right so I'm not trying to cut through the bone. Dulls your knife quick. Eviscerating: Still need some practice on this too. I've found that a smaller, VERY sharp knife really works best for most of the processing part. I'm learning how hard I should pull on different parts of the innards before there's danger of tearing something I'm not supposed to (intestines for example) and making a stinky mess. I've seen lots of people do it purely with their bare hands but I still ended up peering inside and cutting stuff loose with a knife. The lungs especially are a PITA to get out. Into the fridge: Used a blowtorch to quickly burn off all the little hairy pinfeathers once it was all done. Washed him in the sink good inside & out. Stuck the whole chicken in a stockpot with about 1c salt and maybe 1.5 gallons water. Left in the fridge 24 hrs. The verdict: Wife roasted him in a pan tonight with potatoes, carrots, salt & pepper. darn if it wasn't DELICIOUS. White meat was a bit dry but it always is when you roast. Flavor was incredible. I'm not a big dark meat eater but my kids & wife said it was the best they'd ever had. So now I'm thinking I may get into raising some meat birds. I see McMurray's has Jumbo Cornish X's for $1.82 each, any thoughts on these? Can I let them free-range or do I need to keep them isolated from the rest of my flock to make sure they eat the right feed?