The so called "straight run" of chicks I bought at Tractor Supply this spring turned out to be a bit of a bust as 11 of the 12 turned out to be cockerels. Due to them maturing and starting to fight and crow a lot, we decided that we would harvest all but one of them for meat.
The meat harvesting process is not a fun one, but a necessary step in being responsible meat eaters. The consolation is that these birds lived wonderful lives, running around in the fresh air and sunshine, with one bad day at the end- Unlike the chicken you buy in the store that was raised in overcrowded and confined indoor spaces and force feed massive amounts of antibiotic laden feed.
Nick had to do the hardest part of dispatching them and given my pregnancy and squeamishness, I was afraid he would have to do most all of the processing on his own. I did surprise myself and was able to help with plucking feathers and cutting the meat up and packaging it for the freezer.
We decided to keep one lucky rooster, so we can eventually hatch out some new chicks in the future and for a bit of protection for the hens. I chose one of the largest and calmest roosters for the job. The plans changed when we had one very sly rooster literally escape with his head on the chopping block. He ran off and after a bit of a chase, jumped in the pig pasture. Turns out this is the same fella who the week before, was the only one to escape having his feathers clipped so he couldn't fly. Given his twice successful escapes, we decided he had earned the right to live and figured he'd stay in with the pigs and eat whatever corn they dropped or bugs he could find and learn to fend for himself. Turns out he again had another plan and we found him back in the chicken yard the next morning waiting for his breakfast!