Friday, February 3, 2012

When One Has Extra Roosters...

... One must make difficult decisions.

We had four roosters! Two of them we bought as chicks and were suppose to be 'pullets', but they turned out to be roosters so we had to downsize. We kept one of the 'pullets' and processed the other. It was a tough decision because they were all very sweet, but one coop just cannot hold four roosters, somebody was bound to get hurt. We could have sold them off, but people really only buy roosters to eat them, so then we figured if someone is going to process them we'd rather it be us so we can ensure that it's done as humanely as possible.

Check out those spurs!

We processed a young Cuckoo Maran and an old white barn mix. Good ole Sergeant is still safe. We also processed a mean old hen that someone gave us. She didn't lay a single egg while she was here at the farm and was mean to our other hens that were laying eggs, so she HAD to go.

Normally we go over to our friends farm where they have a whole set up for chicken processing but since it was only three today we didn't want to trouble them and we kind of wanted the satisfaction of doing it all by ourselves.

See him in the woods? He was tricky to catch.

The whole process from going outside to coming back in to put them in the freezer took two hours and most of that time was trying to catch the darn free ranging birds to begin with and then waiting for the water to heat up in order to scald them before plucking their feathers. So in reality, the labor part wasn't too bad.

Well there's not something you see everyday... chickens hanging from a clothes line...

And it is satisfying knowing that we took care of these guys, gave them a good happy life, and now they are giving back to our family. It's just nice to know where you food comes from... other than the freezer section. We could very easily eat an entire weeks worth of dinner off these three birds. So thank you chickens!

Nothing went to waste on the birds. The dogs and cats received a tasty treat of all their insides (I know, I know, kind of gross), we'll eat the meat (obviously), the feet can be used as chew toys for the dogs, and I saved some feathers for craft projects. I'll show you how to clean the feathers in a later post.

We received some difficult news last night regarding my father-in-law so it was good to have a big project today to keep our mind off things. And I was also able to visit with my sweet friend this morning so all in all it was a good day. Hope ya'll have a great weekend. :)

~ Sarah ~


  1. I don't think I'll ever hang clothes on the line anymore without imagining chickens hanging upside down!! Quite the sight! I'm glad you all had a successful day! Did any yolks come out of the mean old hen? Was it a hen we gave you? I hope ours have been nice to yours. Any white eggs yet?

    1. No it was not one of the leghorns you gave us, this was an old barn mix (the beige one) that a co-worker gave Micah. No white eggs yet so their fate is still unkown. :) But they are not mean at all. There were a few yolks that came out of the hen but I was prepared for it this time and didn't run around in circles screaming. :)

  2. We hang our chickens from the clothesline too! It's the perfect height.

  3. Our neighbor made one of these whizbang chicken pluckers and it works very well. I think you can put in multiple chickens and in minutes there are no feathers at all, and it does not bruise the meat. They survive on their meat chickens and deer. Here is a link. There are videos online too.


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