WARNING GRAPHIC PHOTOS
Do you have a rooster in the mist of your hens? Living in the city where roosters are not allowed? I have a little story of how we butchered our rooster when he started becoming a problem with living in the city, homesteading.
Rooster are aggressive, its their nature. They are there to protect the flock, and put the hens in order. They are loud and can be aggressive to you and other hens.
How it happened
When we pick up our 5 chicks, we ended up with one rooster in the mix. I knew this would become a problem eventually. So we had planned before getting them what we would do if we ended up with a rooster. That plan was to butcher the rooster when it started crowing.
As the crowing did start a couple weeks ago. I tried to ignore it. Wanting to keep the rooster to protect the hens, maybe one day try hatching our own eggs. But this just isn’t something you can do in the city.
I got to a point that I lost interest in the ideas of keeping the rooster, and he became more of irritation to me and I’m sure my neighbors. He would bully one hen many times a day, hurting her. Along with crowing many times through the day.
Time To Go
So knowing it was time for him to go, my husband and I (mainly me) decided to butcher the rooster….today…
I started cleaning the kitchen and watching a video on how to easily and quickly butcher a rooster. Having 4 littles, this cant take a long period of time. I cant just stop in the middle and help the kids with blood and guts on me.
My husband hung a rope off our beam in the house, and put a bucket underneath. Got the rooster, had the kids say goodbye and explain what we were doing. We even had a cousin dropped off because he wanted to be here for it.
The kids were 100% ok with this, from day one, we explain the rooster will be gone one day. Today was the day.
As my husband hung his feet, the kids that wanted to, watched. The kids that didn’t went to their room to play. He then cut the throat and let him bleed out over the bucket.
When chickens die their nervous system shut down so it flares about. When this happened I dipped the rooster deeper into the bucket so blood wasn’t getting everywhere. This freaked the boys out a bit, but talking them through what is happening, calmed them down.
Having understanding what is going on and why things are happening really helps them process the event. Again, they don’t have to be there. They can go if they choose, my daughter did. Boys stayed.
After the bleeding stopped, I than started the video again just to double check what to do next. As I have butchered chickens once before, they were given to me dead, pre-plucked. All I need to do was get the guts out.
I decided to go with one that took the skin and feather off at the same time, so I didn’t have to pluck each feather. Saves time.
Dipped the rooster in a bucket of water to keep the feather wet, so they don’t make a mess. Once 80% of the feathers and skin were gone I was able to see where the butt was and start gutting, neck and butt.
Cutting carefully around the digestive tract trying not to cut it, making the poo and food end up on the meat.
Once it was loose I pulled everything out, saving the liver, to consume later.
After this I cracked and cut the wings off, tossing those. Head next. Feet last. Cleaned up a few feathers. Done! We have a rooster ready for soup.
Rooster meat is tough so long slow cooking is best. The feet will be sent home with my nephew for his mothers stock.
What we got out of it
The boys periodically came in during the butchering process. When they did they would ask questions about what is happening. Why the rooster red head, wasn’t red anymore. Why are you cutting into its butt?
I love having them learn with daily events. Now my kids have seen the full circle of a chickens life, from day old babies to the end. The service and joy chickens can bring, to food for our family.
For one rooster the whole event took us about 45 minutes, not long at all. If you find yourself a rooster in your backyard chickens, you can butcher him yourself. It’s extremely simple and quite easy to accomplish. We did it!!!