The Road Home

The Road Home
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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

An Extra Rooster? Sounds Like Lunch to Me!

We ended up with an extra rooster this summer. Our new flock of chickens are Araucanas and we weren't sure if this last one was a hen or rooster for a while so he is the 'leftover' rooster. We have already butchered the rest of the roosters that came when we ordered 50 straight run chicks back in March. Straight run means there are usually an equal number of hens and roosters. We do this to have some to eat and a choice of new roosters. This last  one is too old to fry but should be good baked. I will cook it just like I would a turkey.
If you do not wish to see our butchering process, please read no further on this post. We raise some of our animals for meat and prefer to do our own butchering. It is a yucky job, but if we want quality, homegrown meat to eat, this is part of the process.

A friend of ours came over that wanted to learn how to butcher chickens. He has recently started raising his own chickens, but hasn't had any to butcher yet.

The first thing we do is thank the Lord and the bird for the meat we are about to receive. 

We usually set up sawhorses with a board to use as a chopping block and chop off their heads with an axe. But since there is only one bird this time, I will kill them with a three pound sledge hammer and cut off the head with a pair of strong kitchen shears. This will allow it to bleed out.

I have only tried plucking one chicken and that was many, many years and many, many chickens ago. I could not get all of the pin feathers out to my satisfaction and ended up skinning that bird.... and every bird since then.


So we will skin out this bird....

 and gut it....

We keep the heart, liver and gizzard.


It doesn't take long to dress out one bird. If you haven't had homegrown chicken, they don't grow near as big as commercially grown birds.

Wash it up......
and throw it in the pan. It sounds a little like...Pattty cake, patty cake, baker's man, roll 'em up, roll 'em up, throw them in the pan.....

This bird is five months old so it should bake up very nicely. I sprinkle salt, pepper and marjoram in the body cavity. Then I stuff it with an onion. On the outside I sprinkled garlic, salt and pepper.

These are some of the potatoes we grew this spring along with some of the carrots we canned. Mmmm...this makes me hungry!

There you have it. Homegrown chicken, potatoes, and carrots.

Knowing how to grow, process and cook your own food is a skill that takes time. It increases the nutritional value of the food and at the same time, decreases the additives and chemicals of commercially produced food. Just like in the post Ferns' Fast Food, this meal took many months of production before it ended up on this plate. It was well worth the wait. 

Until next time - Fern


  1. We use a firewood log, diameter about 18 inches, set on end and chop heads with a heavy cleaver. Afterwards, the log can be split and burned. A cleaver has a nicer straight edge than an axe, we find it does a better job. If we do a lot of birds, we chop the heads, then put the birds into metal cones to bleed out.

  2. Oklahoma PrepperJuly 24, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    Look! I'm famous! And enjoying the blog with every post! OP

    1. Yep. It was a good day. Everybody left with all the body parts they came with - except the chicken. Remember, safety first.

      We'll talk more later.


  3. I find letting the bird rest for at least 24 hours after butcher seems to make it more tender than eating right away.

    Is your experience different than mine?

    1. In the past, we have always eaten one or two fresh and frozen the rest. Now we are starting to can the meat. We still eat some on the day they are butchered, but we haven't waited 24 hours before cooking.

      It will be a while before we butcher again, but we will try the waiting period next time and see if it makes a difference. Do you keep the meat in the frig? Thank you for the idea.


    2. Yes, I keep it refrigerated. However, I don't think it is temperature related. I think the time gives the carcass a chance to complete and be free from riger mortis (so?)

      I usually cool my birds in an ice bath as soon as they are butchered and cleaned. I then further process the ones I want segmented. After that I let them dry in the refrigerator on racks for a couple of hours. Then I bag and freeze. I have never noticed a difference between the next day fresh and fresh frozen chicken. But then again, I'm not too picky ;)

  4. You can pluck a bird easily if you scald it first. Get water to the point of almost boiling, dip the bird under water a few times, then the feathers should peel right off. This works well on turkeys. Haven't tried it on chicken but should be the same.

    1. yes, scalding chickens works really well. That is how we de-feather ours.

    2. That's how we did all of our chickens and ducks and even geese when I was growing up. We dipped them in hot hot water before plucking. Works great. My uncle used wax on his ducks.