Well, I decided to do the deed and butcher the extra rooster. I dispatched him quickly and humanely, and that was over in seconds. Then it took about an hour to clean him! The part you might think was bad (gutting) was actually no problem at all – getting all the feathers off was the part that took forever. I planned to scald and pluck, but I guess I scalded too long, and the skin tore, so then I proceeded to skin him, and that took a long time. Once I got most of the skin off I brought him inside and worked on finishing it up in the sink. I learned a couple tricks for next time – put paper towels down in the sink so the body doesn’t slide around while I’m working on it, and next time just cut off the wings, then quickly pluck them and throw them in with the rest of the bits for stock.
The end result – 2 1/2 lbs of fresh, farm-raised chicken. Big meaty legs and thighs, not much meat on the breast at all. This is how all chickens used to look before they developed chickens with breasts so big they can’t walk once they’re a couple months old. We’ll let it rest a few days and then find out if it was worth all the trouble.
Current count – 5 buff hens, 5 blue/buff hens, 1 blue/buff roo, 1 big blue roo