bleeding heart just ordered 10 meat birds! am i a fool?

Dust Bunny

9 Years
Jan 30, 2010
in the big freakin chip truck
i love my birds BUT i love to eat good chicken AND i hate the way factory farms raise their "products" SO i have ordered meat birds, 5 dark cornish and 5 light brahmas, ill keep one pullet of each just because i can
i will be raising them seperately from the rest of my flock so i have more control over feed and so i can maintain some emotional distance, and no i will not be nameing the meat birds! but i am worried that i will find i very tough to cull them when the day comes, i will likely either kill them with cervical dislocation or with a .22 round, i dont expect to have any trouble cleaning ect. what im fishing for is peace of mind, how hard is it the first time? will they die fast? what IS the most humane way to kill them? and what should i expect? any advise will be appreciated, thanks.
The brahmas grow slow and don't make exceptional meat birds. Having said that, Ideal sent 8 Brahma warmer birds last spring. We fed them gamebird feed since they were growing up with guineas. They grew fast and had enough meat to make it worth skinning them. I wouldn't purposely raise them for meat, but they had a fabulous disposition. I would have them again for pets. The Cornish will do fine.
There will probably be some difference in opinion of the best or most humane means to kill , I was brought up with dislocating their necks just below the head . I became calloused but actually grew more emotional in these more recent years ; but right , don't make them pets and remember that you gave them a nice life to live which they would not have had otherwise . The Brahmas , unfortunately , grow a skeleton first and add the meat later ; you might be little dissappointed with the breasts once the feathers are gone .
I orderd 12 broilers from a local feed store and I decided the only way I could do this is if there was someone arond me that could take care of the whole situation. Luckly when we were discussing this wiht the woundful owner of the feedstore he gave me the number of a gentle men who dose such a thing every monday. So that makes him the bad guy right??
If you are willing to use cornish x for your meat birds, they will have more meat, and you might not get attached to them as much as their behavior isn't the same as most layers and you'll do the deed at 8 weeks instead of 4 months. The two breeds you mentioned were historically "meatier" birds, but will act just like your regular ol layer since if they are hatchery stock, they are likly bred into more layers than "meatier" birds.

Just read up on how to do it, how others experiences were for the first time, and I'm sure you'll be able to do it!
Killing them probably will take a little to get used to, if you aren't a hunter. There are many humane ways to do it. Personally, I stun mine with a small board to the head, then drop in a cone and cut the arteries on the neck. They usually bleed out before they get a chance to wake up. Good luck!
I know a family that loves their Brahma meat birds. They keep the roosters in tractors on pasture until they are six months old. That seems to qualify as slow growth, but I'm told that they are big enough for roasting at that age.
thanks for all the good info i hope i can follow thru or my hubby will be sore about all the money im gona spend on meat bird housing ect. i dont even like to kill garden slugs but i got ducks to do that dirty work
from one bleeding heart to another, you can do it! i'm a notorious softy, but i processed my first 4 birds last weekend (i talk about it in some detail on my blog if you are interested). it wasn't perfect and it wasn't a walk in the park, but it wasn't anywhere close to being as bad as i thought it would be. and the sense of pride and satisfaction i got in having been able to go through with it was amazing. and they sure do taste good!

i slaughtered 2 wyandottes, 1 brahma, and 1 orpington (ake The Devil). they were 4.5 months. the orp was HUGE but also quite fatty. the brahma was a very decent size and he's the first one we ate (browned and braised). there was plenty meat for 3 adults on him. i plan on continuing to process extra cockerels in the future, but i'm getting a batch of Freedom Rangers as meaties in a month. i don't like the idea of the Cornish X but i don't want to feed meat birds for 5 months either, so Freedom Rangers were my pick. they grow slower than the Cornish X, but only by a few weeks. they also don't have the notorious problem of the CX and are avid foragers.

anyway, good luck. i know you can do it!
The more you do it, the easier it gets but it is never easy. As far as humane goes, you're killing them, they don't care how you do it. The humane part is just for you not them. They don't usually die fast, which makes it harder. I happen to slit the throat and then hold them down until they are done moving but that is just how I do it. Do it the easiest way for you. I think killing cones are good, since you don't have to keep in contact with the bird while it is dying.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom