The End of Roosterville

This post is not for the squeamish. Those who choose not to eat meat will not want to read further, okay? Okay!!

We finally butchered the roosters Sunday night. I thought about documenting the process, but honestly, there's so many sites that already do a fine job on home butchering instruction that I'll leave it to them. I had expected to be freaked out by the process, but was surprised to find that I wasn't - just nervous that I'd screw something up or cause undue suffering. Our friends Joy & Robert led Spouse & I step-by-step through the process. I said prayers of thanks for the spirits of the roosters whose lives we were taking, and made sure that the cuts I made would take their lives quickly and cleanly. I feel like I've fulfilled a personal philosophy at long last: if I'm going to eat meat, I should take part in the process of taking the life of that animal, or at the very least, observe the process of doing so at least once.*

We did our best not to waste a single part. Feet will be used as part of soup stock. Edible organs were divided and saved for later meals. The heads were taken to a remote cow pasture and dropped off for the fox & raccoons. Guts & feathers... well, I had hoped to bury them in the compost pile, but the chickens and dogs have done a number on the mass of the pile, and I feared there wouldn't be enough matter to keep the stink down. I did, however, water the pile with the fouled processing water.

We gave our teachers two of the roosters (and all the livers they'd like) as thanks for their instruction. [I know I've said it a bazillion times, but Joy & Robert, you rawk. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!] We butchered ten roosters total. There's one rooster left - his name is "Lucky", of course - who I decided to keep around for now, as long as he doesn't get stupid. If he does, well, I now know how to adjust his attitude, permanently.

* That said, I don't think we're going to make a habit of raising our own roosters for meat, but never say never. If we do, I'll want to create a much more spacious enclosure and roost. What we had worked well, but I'd rather have something where I can stand upright & walk into for easier cleaning and care.


  1. It looks like you did a fine job. There is work involved in buchering foul/fowel. I never liked plucking after my mother did the hard stuff, but it has to be done. My mother was a true country woman.

  2. @MEB: agreed, it sure is work! It took much effort to get everything set up, not to mention the cleanup afterwards. The plucking was easier than I thought it would be, tho. Had a pot of scalding water next to the processing station; a quick dunk and the feathers were easily grabbed off. Joy did final odd-feather removal at the sink later as I was breaking down the work area.

  3. Good work. It's not much fun but worth it in the end. I totally understand your not wanting to cause undue stress as you do the work. It's sure to help you do it right every time

  4. I did exactly the same thing last week for the first time......

    well done......

    again like you I am not going to get into the habit of culling, but I feel better at being taught the skill

  5. It's not my favorite thing to do, but we culled 13 roosters one Saturday morning. Chopping block.

    I'm proud of you. :)


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