Roopaul was sent to us by accident when we ordered all hens and he turned out to be a chick with a ... well never mind. Point is, we didn't expect her to be a him.
We figured even though we weren't expecting a rooster, he was welcome to live out a lovely, happy life on the farm. He was a gorgeous Silver-laced Wyandotte and we treated him well. He had free run of the beautiful chicken coop FF had built, could roam freely during the day, and rest easy and safe at night. But something was rotten in the state of Denmark. Or Texas. Same thing.
It started with the hens. When he was feeling a little cray-cray, Roopaul would grab the girls and go all Rick James "Superfreak" on them. He'd let out a bloodcurdling squawk and jump on the backs of our poor ladies like a dehydrated sailor in a waterpark. The scene after that is what can only be best described as torture porn. One hen after another endured some sort of terrible maiming, and sometimes he'd try to mount two at a time in a disgusting menage-a-what the fu ... is he laughing?
Scarred backs and nervous temperaments ensued. Our poor laying hens looked like they'd been brushed with a cheese grater. Foul moods became the norm (bad pun intended). Everyone advised that sometimes hens get the worst of it chicken-sex-wise, but I really didn't think it was fair to have multiple felonies being committed in our backyard - even if said felonies meant ensuring the existence of the flock that supplied us breakfast. And if you know me, you know I love me some breakfast.
As I pondered the appropriate course of action, karma-wise, Roopaul decided it was time for me to either pee or get off the pot.
He made the decision easy. He decided, "Fuck it. I'm a rooster on the edge and I ain't got shit to lose." Or whatever the rooster equivalent of that is.
He came charging after FFBoy, out for blood.
So, in honor of the memory of Roopaul, here's how to dispatch a rooster.
Start by hanging him upside down in what's called a killing cone. We fashioned one out of a piece of flashing, but a lot of people use road cones. The cone is to keep the bird from squirming around a bunch and to keep him calm while the deed is done. It also keeps him upside down so the blood will drain as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Make sure you've boiled a nice big vat of water. You'll need that later to dunk the rooster in and get those feathers off. Also a big container of ice water, to cool it down once you've cleaned and gutted it.
Now you'll make two cuts - one on each side of the neck to kill the bird and drain the blood. Look for what you think is his ear and cut downward toward his beak. It doesn't take a ton of pressure.
I spared you a picture of this. Go on.
Get your necessary tools in order.
Now for the dunk. Once the blood has drained, grab the legs and swish the rooster around in the boiling water. It takes about a minute or three to get the feathers loosened enough to pull off. Just dunk for a while then test by trying to pull off a feather. If it comes off, you're set.
If it's cold outside, make sure you've got all your babycakes bundled and heated.
Now start pulling off those feathers. This is actually the most fun part to me. Not sure that FF is a fan.
Once all those feathers are off, you can start cleaning out all the innards. (Why is it the word "innard" almost always makes me start humming "Freebird"? PLAY SOME SKYNARD, MAN!)
I didn't take really good pictures of this part, as I prefer to have a camera that is guts-free. Instead, I'll let the Master of the "Local" movement explain this part.
Take it away Joel ...
'FF and I let the bird sit in the the outside fridge for a day or so after, then butchered the bird further.
That night, the hens got a bit more scratch in celebration of a less rapey life. Our bellies full of Coq Au Vin, we gave a toast to Roopaul, our one and only Wyandotte rooster.
Life afterward has been pretty quiet. The hens feathers have been restored. Life is good.
I'm the wife of a Fledgling Farmer(FF) and mom to Fledgling Farmer Boy(FFB) and Fledgling Farmer Girl(FFG).