A few questions on killing some roos

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by sydney13, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. sydney13

    sydney13 Songster

    Mar 11, 2010
    I've got 2, four month rhode island red roosters who have begun crowing. Were planing on killing them this weekend but seeing as this is my first time I've got some questions. I'm planning on doing the broomstick method for dispatching. I know that cutting the jugular vein would probably be recommended but I just don't have the stomache for that and I would be afraid that if I tried chopping the head off I wouldn't be able to apply enough force to get it off with one blow. Do you think snapping the neck with the broomstick would work ok for a first timer? Is it relatively fool proof [​IMG] (well other than the fact of pulling the head right off)?
    So if I do indeed use that method should I next slice the jugular vein or cut of the head when I bleed it out?
    I know it's best to starve the birds at least 12 hours before hand but I would hate to make their last hours uncomfortable by removing all feed and keeping them in a separate pen. Would it be okay if i remove their feeder but leave them on range from where they eat bugs and grass?
    One of my worries is puncturing the bile duct (if that's what it's called... well, the green little sack) and ruining the meat [​IMG] I would absolutly hate to waste the entire birds life all due to a careless mistake of mine [​IMG] is this relatively easy to avoid if your careful or a common mistakes in newbies like me [​IMG] ?
    Sorry for so many questions, Im just really hoping everything goes well [​IMG]
    Thanks for any replies [​IMG]
  2. DenverBird

    DenverBird Songster

    Dec 8, 2010
    West Denver Burbs
    Its difficult to read your post with all the animations. From what I understand, keeping them off feed will help clear the digestive tract out and decrease the possibility of spilling nasty things into the meat when you process them. As for the bile duct, check out the posts linked below which have great info on butchering chickens and tell you how to avoid the bile duct.


    good luck,

    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  3. mommissan

    mommissan Songster

    Jul 4, 2011
    I have killed three now. I hung them upside down bound in a pillowcase, head pulled through a small hole cut out of a corner. That seemed to calm them down a lot, especially after I chased them around the run. What I would do differently next time? I would starve them 12 hours in a dog crate in my basement overnight. That way, they don't get all riled up chasing them around the next morning, and no one else has to fast. I cut the jugular with a long sharp kitchen knife. Just works best for me- don't have to "saw" back and forth to finish the cut. As far as losing dribbling bodily fluids from organs.... I haven't yet. I field-dress deer so I applied what I learned from that. I cut around the vent to ensure the bowel can be removed without tearing. Feel free to tie it off with string to ensure nothing leaks out. I then cut everything free at the neck (esophagus & trachea), then put my hand in the cavity and gently pull all the organs out. It all seems to slowly pull out in a fairly tidy bundle, as long as you don't pull too hard and fast. I'm no expert, and I'm sure many others will have better advice. [​IMG] If I can do it, you can too. You will learn as you go, and you will find out what works for you. Perhaps butcher one at a time, so you don't botch up all of them at once in case you make a mistake. Good luck!
  4. farmer9989

    farmer9989 In the Brooder

    Apr 24, 2011
    alba texas
    If you haven't watched

    just go slow and learn as you go .
    the bile duct is on the back of the liver ,just come out with all the insides and seperate them as you inspect to find what they are .you can't ruin it just wash with water good just as you should a store bought one.
  5. Saltysteele

    Saltysteele Songster

    Apr 10, 2011
    or, if you don't want the liver, don't keep it. we don't keep ours, or the hearts. the only organ we keep is the gizzard. i think you may be speaking, though, that you don't want to puncture it as you make the cuts to the rear end to eviscerate. if so, don't worry, you won't. you don't need to make the deep of a cut to get through the skin and sac holding the entrails. as far as the intestines, if you spill anything, just rinse it off. all is not lost and your bird isn't going to be a tool of death by bacteria that some would have you believe (haven't seen this here, but other places on the net).

    i don't know that i would use the "broomstick method." what if you don't do it right? then the chickens gets to keep being beaten with a broomstick

    we just cut the head off. it's the quickest, most painless way for them to go. if it were me, i would prefer to be decapitated, vs having my neck cut open and dying slower (though, the next best option, IMO), beaten up while someone is trying to knock me in the head, someone trying to electrocute me without electrocuting themselves, etc.

    some on here (we haven't, though next time we will try) use loppers. if you don't know what a lopper is, it's a tool for cutting twigs, branches or other things less than a couple inches across. one side is half moon shaped, the other looks like a short fat blade, and when the two are brought together like scissors, hold the item and then cut it into two. i really like this idea [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  6. RWD

    RWD Songster

    Jan 2, 2011
    Wartrace TN.
    Your not starving them for 12 hours, I go without food longer than that just for a blood test....................If you can cut the jugular after you break its neck why cant you do it before?
    Cutting the jugular is far less traumatic than the broomstick method, unless you pull the head off. Other than all that, you should do fine.
  7. mommissan

    mommissan Songster

    Jul 4, 2011
    Quote:"Starving" is a strong word. I suppose "fasting" would be more appropriate. My first rooster was killed on a full stomach midday. Stomach contents were of a minimal inconvenience. They don't eat after dark anyway. I've found that attempting to sever the head off before they bleed out completely seems to start some trauma all over again. My next one, which is soon, I will just hold his head until he passes out. I still haven't mustered up the guts to break their necks first.

    I'd love to know how everything goes! Keep me posted!
  8. Buiscuit

    Buiscuit In the Brooder

    Aug 22, 2011
    Alabama, And I hate it !
    Why not just go to the grocery store and buy a chicken thats allready to go, and let yours live. [​IMG]
  9. sydney13

    sydney13 Songster

    Mar 11, 2010
    Quote:Umm... So apparently it's wrong for me to butcher two birds who I know had a good life (raised by a mother hen, free ranged, etc) and instead I would be better to go to the store and buy a bird who likely lived in less than ideal living standards. Sorry but I don't see how disconnecting ones self from the food makes it any more justifiable? Either way it once was alive and either way it's life was sacrificed in order to feed someone. Only difference is one bird I know live a quality life, the other I have know how it was raised/treated.
  10. AZBootsie

    AZBootsie Songster

    Nov 10, 2010
    Congress, AZ
    My Coop
    I processed my first rooster last week. The fasting part was a hang up for me too. But the birds fast every nite from sundown to sunup. So I just went out and grabbed him just before the sun came up. It did take me some time to work up the courage to do the deed and I put him down and let him roam for a few minutes until I found my nerve. I wrapped him in a towel on my lap with his head pointing down and petted him until I was ready. Then quickly cut his neck. Pretty non violent as far as deaths go...I think?? I held his neck to the side until he was done bleeding. There was a little bit of a struggle after he was dead, but just kinda kept him wrapped in the towel and held him still. I needed to avoid the frantic headless chicken hopping and the flogging hanging upside down dead chicken thing. I know that would have been hard for me to handle. There was very little blood....I was expecting alot more. It fell into a bucket, none on me or him.

    It wasn't fun. But knowing that I was strong enough to do it gave me a sense of pride. Just try to focus on the circle of life. You took care of him and gave him a good life, now he will feed you and your family.

    I have 5 more to do over the next couple of weeks. I am not looking forward to it. But I know I will get it done and it will be ok.

    If you decide to try it this way, there is an excellent video on youtube. This little odd, very sweet, charasmatic lady demonstrates. I think it is called respectful chicken harvest or something. Here is her link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_S3P0eU0lE

    is a link to a cleaning video that really helped me. About half way through he gets to the gutting and stuff. He did a good job at teaching how it is done.

    I didn't pull the head off. Just cut it with really sharp snippers after he was dead and totally limp.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011

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