Location: Small Farm outside of Lawton, Oklahoma in Comanche County
How to butcher a Rooster
Shalom Poultry people,
I am about to butcher my 1 Year old rooster. I have made up my mind to do it. I am ok with how to process him, but,,, my question is this: How do I finish him? Do I feed him really good for this week? When do I take him off food? Do I also take him off water? Once he is dead, plucked and cleaned, how long does he need to hang before freezing or cooking? does he need to be soaked in something? Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thank you in advance.
I take food away the night before butcher day, but not the water. Dont want dehydrated birds.
I dont do anything but butcher and in the freezer or pot. I like fresh meat, not hung and pre-rotted which IMO thats all aging is, beginning the break down, aka, pre-rotting.
I also dont expect the tender meat like a grocery store has because I wont do all the nasty things to the meat to make it artificially tender. Slow cooking tenderizes all meat. If I want nasty meat I will go to the store. If I want good healthy, fresh, meat I go out into the yard.
Just butcher and slow cook. A crock pot is a best friend for home raised meat of all kinds and ages.
"We spend money we don't have on things we don't need to create impressions that won't last on people we don't care about."
Well, he's going to be a tough old bird because of his age. When he's dressed out, put him in a bag in the fridge for a couple days before you eat him or freeze him. He'll soften up a bit that way. You'll want to make soup or something. He won't be tender for frying or baking.
JD: take him off feed for a day, then kill, scald and pick him, eviscerate and wash. If you want him tender you should chill him as quickly as possible and keep him in the fridge for about three days before freezing or cooking. I don't know anyone who "ages" or "hangs" chickens the way the Europeans hang pheasants or grouse.
Friend gave me a cock pheasant a couple of winters back. I looked under his feathers and he looked so poor that his skin was blue. It was cold but not freezing, so I hung him from the rafters in the barn for a week before plucking and cooking. (I'd seen all these pictures of french farmhouses with game birds hanging)
Darned if the meat wasn't delicious. I got a recipe off the internet and prepared "Pheasant Under Glass" and ate like a king that evening.
Friend gave me a cock pheasant a couple of winters back. I looked under his feathers and he looked so poor that his skin was blue. It was cold but not freezing, so I hung him from the rafters in the barn for a week before plucking and cooking. (I'd seen all these pictures of french farmhouses with game birds hanging) Darned if the meat wasn't delicious.
Truly? Hung it for a week, guts inside and all? Was it below 40? I can't imagine - but you're right. Plenty of old paintings of dead birds hanging. Not sure I'd have the nerve.
To the OP, we pluck, gut, rinse well and soak in cold, cold salt water for 48 hours prior to cooking or freezing. (Not Atlantic salty, but a little salty. Say tablespoon per gallon maybe).
NO, no entrails. If you look at the pictures all the birds have been gutted. The bird is killed and drawn, wiped down, then hung.
When I took mine down he had been hanging in the barn (upper forties during the day, close to freezing at night) and I dry plucked him, then washed and dressed him as you would any pheasant.
Triplet grands were about five then and visited that week. They all came running into the house gasping and wide eyed and screaming "Grandpa, Grandpa, THERE IS A DEAD CHICKEN HANGING IN YOUR BARN! I had to explain, and they walked away with the tail feathers for show and tell.