Should I butcher?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by americanchicks, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. americanchicks

    americanchicks Songster

    Jun 26, 2012
    Buckley, Wa
    I have 2 roosters that I do not want. I was thinking about butchering them myself but I'm a bit hesitant. I have never done it before. I have seen videos and things but I'm worried that its going to turn out to be a big hassle. Or that I wont dispatch them properly, I don't want them to suffer. So do you think its worth doing or should I just try to give to to some?

    Oh btw. Are all roosters ok for eating? I mean are some breeds better than others? Mine are mutts, I think


  2. kizanne

    kizanne Songster

    Mar 28, 2011
    Tallahassee, FL
    all roosters that I know of are ok for eating.

    I'd butcher them myself. We started this year and started small. We didn't get a big setup for our own slaughtering.

    We have a plastic folding table (multipurpose) that can be cleaned with bleach.
    A few sharp knives
    a towel
    a 13 gallon trash bag no sent or other stuff added
    a large zip lock baggie
    a cement mixing tray but a out of the way spot on the ground would work. We have since upgraded to a 5 gallon bucket and left over bleach bottle for killing cone.

    We would gently wrap rooster in towel lay him on his back. He would be very calm at this point. Slit the jugular. drain into the tray. This is very close and personal if holding in towel. Or use the bleach container as a killing cone (the chicken is more upset getting into the cone and such but you aren't holding during draining.

    We'd then gut and skin so no big boiling pot no messy feathers but also no skin for cooking (which is fine with us but many many people like the sking). Save the neck and gibblets in the baggy. Put chicken in 13 gallon bag and directly into fridge they go to sit for 3 days before eating or upgrading to freezer wrap and freezing.

    All items found around your house.

    There are video's on youtube about how to skin, gut your chicken. They do a better job then I would describing it.
    The first kill is very hard, it does get easier but never easy. Just remember you treated them kindly and dispatched much less traumatically then commercial chicken.

    You will most like love the taste (it depends some prefer soft tasteless chicken). It will be fresh. You'll know exactly what went into your chicken. You won't be losing the time, money and effort you put into your roosters. It will be smaller than store chicken, so one chicken breast won't make a meal for 2. In fact, most normal chickens have tiny breasts.

    Hope you try it. I didn't think we'd ever be chicken killers when I got the layers. Now we can't buy store bought chicken anymore. I can't even order chicken in restaurants. The taste of a nice dual purpose bird is so much tastier then other chickens. If you are worried about killing watch Food Inc. You'll see that you are doing them a favor by raising them kindly and killing them kindly. Your also doing yourself a favor. But even if you decide it isn't for you it brings you closer to your food and you'll appreciate your food more.
    2 people like this.
  3. thejohnsie

    thejohnsie In the Brooder

    May 6, 2012
    Marion, NC
    Thanks for the advice. I'm in the same situation. How old should the rooster be? Mine are only 7 weeks but I'm already dreading it. I hatched some eggs from a farmer and knew that I would end up with some roosters but the older they get, the more nervous I am.
  4. SIMZ

    SIMZ Crowing

    Apr 29, 2011
    Northwest Indiana
    Some of them are more meaty than others, but they all work just fine for meat. Ideally, I'd think between 18-22 weeks allows them to put on some meat, but you can really butcher them at anytime.

    Have you looked for someone that would process them for you? After we realized how good they tasted we started raising roosters just to butcher!
  5. Azriel

    Azriel Songster

    Jun 19, 2010
    The 1st time is hard, my advise is to start with a really mean one, it does make it eaiser if you really don't like the first one you kill.
    I just butchered 2 roosters today, I told them I was sorry, kept them as calm as I could, and then did the deed as fast as I could. You have to remember that all roosters are not going to find a flock to be master of, and if you give them away someone else will eat them, so, you have put all the time and money into raising them you might as well be the one eating them.
    I have not yet done the meat chicken thing, but I have butchered all kinds of DP breeds and mixes. They all taste great.
  6. Firefighter Chick

    Firefighter Chick Songster

    May 8, 2011
    Southeast Minnesota
    My very first order of chickens were 50 buff orpingtons straight run. I planned on processing the extra males. What I didn't expect what that the males take a lot longer to fill out. They were stringy, chewy, and didn't have a lot of fat. Don't expect them to turn out like a cornish cross. If they seem meaty enough to you, butcher them and let them sit for a while. Then maybe make soup or cook very slowly.
  7. Maggiesdad

    Maggiesdad Songster

    Oct 3, 2011
    Central Virginia
    They are all good, some are better than others! We fixed an Australorp rooster that was a year and a half old, I had him in the crock pot for 8 hours - his legs and thighs were like a cross between turkey and fine roast beef in color and texture, and tasted divine... just like chicken!

    There really is no wrong time to process a chicken or rooster, the trick is in how you handle and prepare the meat. There's some good reading in this PDF from the ALBC. Once you get the hang of processing, you won't want to go back to supermarket chicken.

    Our EOs are better than the feedstore Barred Rocks that we tried this summer.
  8. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    Amen! :highfive:
  9. PossumLiving

    PossumLiving Hatching

    Jul 16, 2012
    Spartanburg, SC
    We got an accidental rooster and are in the same position. We found some good videos on youtube that show you how to cull the chicken humanely. But as I was looking at him I wondered myself if we should sell him instead.He is a beautiful speckled sussex and I wondered if it would be worth trying to sell him to a breeder. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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