I ordered some Heritage Rhode Island Reds this year intending on keeping the hens as pretty layers and the cockerels to eventually eat. Well, 8 months later we finally built up the nerve to process the one remaining cockerel we still had. This was Robin, like I mentioned above he was 8 months old on the 7th of November. I decided to let him grow as long as possible for several reasons. We live in the city and there is a noise ordinance that prohibits keeping roosters (which we're currently working on changing) so I figured Robin would live until he crowed. He belted out his first attempt about a week ago, as he progressively got better and better at crowing over the following days I had to face the fact that it was time for him to go. I also wanted to allow him to live as long as possible and experience things that roosters naturally do- free range, protect his flock, maybe try to mate, etc. Yes I live in California, can you tell? I know Robin had a full happy life while he was still here which is exactly what I wanted. The one thing he didn't really do was grow a tail, I don't know why. He had some tail feathers beginning to grow though. After reading about several different ways to cull the bird online we decided to go with cutting the carotid artery, allowing the blood to drain and the bird to fall into a "sleep" a.k.a die. I held him as my partner made the incision and he passed very quickly. We did not have a killing cone to use and I feel like as long as there are two people doing the processing you don't really need one. Then he went into the pot of really hot water. The plucking was the part of processing that I had the most anxiety about but it was surprisingly really easy. The feathers came out with very little effort and we were left with a clean bird. Robin's chest wasn't as meaty as I wanted it to be, I wasn't expecting it to be anything like the birds you buy from the store. His legs though really impressed me. After we rinsed the carcass and removed any missed pin feathers he went into an ice bath. I didn't get any pictures of the evisceration process, I was honestly a bit grossed out by the guts and was helping to dispose of them so I didn't really have hands available for the camera. Now he's resting in the fridge, I read that doing this allows the meat to tenderize, we plan on brining him for a day and then slow roast him for dinner on Friday night. When all was said it done the experience was not as bad as I expected and it was over and done with relatively quickly, from start to finish it took us exactly 1 hour, 4:15 to 5:15. We have 1 more cockerel growing still, a Coronation Sussex, depending on how Robin tastes he will be the next bird that we process.