"Broomhandle method" need advice on how to do it

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RM44, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. Chipper

    Chipper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 12, 2009
    Washington County, NY
    If you have a hard flat surface on the ground such as a wide board,concrete,blacktop or even frozen ground you will not have to pull on the chicken at all.Your weight alone will be enough to crush the neck and kill the chicken.Make sure you have a hard flat surface under the neck and all your weight is on each side of the broomstick or pipe or whatever.You do not want the chicken to suffer.The chicken will flip and flop a bit but,these are nerves reacting after the chicken is dead.You do not even have to look if you don't want to.
  2. RM44

    RM44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 15, 2009
    Woodstock, Georgia
    Quote:I do! I am going to do it on the driveway (right by the garage where the chickens are). The other chicks won't see as they are inside and I will be outside. Ugh. I'm dreading this, but you guys are being so helpful. I'm sure it will get easier. My husband and I both come from farming grandfathers, but neither of us were farm raised. Our goal is to have a hobby farm when we retire, so chickens will be on our agenda for the rest of our lives. I must prepare myself for all the tasks I will have to face in the coming years, but I'm still a noobie right now.

    Thanks again to all my BYC friends. You are always helpful and kind, and you make me feel like I'm not alone when facing tasks like this.
  3. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    My thoughts are with you. I cry every time I have to euthanize any animal here. For the chickens...may be too late by the time you read this and if doing the broomstick method works for you then stick with it...if I am not going to eat the bird I prefer to use carburetor starting fluid. I spray the fluid into a 1-gallon baggie until it is pretty fume-y. Then stick the bird (if small enough) or the head of the bird into the bag. My experience has been that the bird dies in just a few seconds. If I am really having a difficult time with the particular situation I cover the bag with a towel before I put the bird into it. There is a bit of twitching, like any other situation, but it is quick and then it's over. I'll be thinking of you.
  4. riftnreef

    riftnreef Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2009
    Mechanicsburg, Ohio
    When I was a kid, we always used "the stump" to butcher the birds. My dad had driven two large nails into a tree stump at an angle making a V. We would place the birds head in the V, stretch them out a bit and with a small hatchet...well, you get the idea. He had also rigged up a bird hanger that we would put them on to drain. Mom tended the scalding and de-feathering part...as that was a bit dangerous I guess. I think us having "pet" birds makes this process much harder on the heart, and I don't look forward to the day when I have to cull a bird. I've put down a number of animals in my days, and though it may be hard for a while, you have to remember, and reassure yourself that it IS in the animals best interest.
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    For what it is worth, if you are upset about the possibility of accidentally pulling the head right off (which is not a problem for the *chicken*, but having done it myself I would agree it is a bit offputting if you did not realize it was going to happen) you actually might be better off doing the job by hand rather than using a broomstick.

    Reason being, 7 wk old "normal" chickens (i.e. not CornishX broilers) really have quite weak and flimsy necks. With a broomstick you will not have the same ability to feel exactly what's going on as it occurs and could more easily overdo it; whereas with the chicken in one hand and the head in your other hand, pulling down and back "like opening an old-style pop can" as silkiechicken once very helpfully described it to me, it is easier to feel the moment that the spine disconnects, and stop *then*.

    As far as dealing with it emotionally, I think we are *supposed* to find it rather sad and upsetting to end another living creature's life, but this is for the best possible reason. Remember that it is GOOD of you to be overcoming your aesthetic reluctance to do what's best for the chicken's sake.

    Hang in there,

  6. kcsunshine

    kcsunshine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 3, 2009
    Maryville, Tennessee
    [​IMG] In this day and age, be thankful you have a loving and giving heart. So many people don't. My thoughts are with you.
  7. mkwags

    mkwags Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 31, 2009
    Davis County, Utah
    I am new to chickens, so reading this post was a bit alarming for me. It is nice to know that if I ever have a chicken problem, there are others on here, to support me. Good luck with your chicken issue. How terrible for you to have to deal with this. You are doing a humane thing. [​IMG]
  8. RM44

    RM44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 15, 2009
    Woodstock, Georgia
    Quote:Yes, these folks are amazingly comforting and supportive! I have found that even folks with different views about the way we manage our birds can still tollerate others' opinions and methods too, which makes this a very friendly environment for asking for help.

    Thanks to all. "Chickie Ricky" is at rest, buried under one of my gardenias this morning. My husband was amazing and really concerned and offered over and over to take care of it, but I was able to do it at around 8am eastern this morning. It was hard to know for sure since the twitching went on for somewhere between 45 and 75 seconds (it seemed like forever).

    I learned a lesson though. I had not given enough thought to disposal. Georgia red clay is full of rocks, and it was hard digging the hole. I have dogs, and didn't want them to dig him up, so I had to dig fairly deep (about 2 feet) and will keep an eye on the area for a few days to keep them away. Next time I will put more thought into the planning and either do it on trash day, or a day we are burning in the yard, to make disposal easier and not have to dig a hole and worry about the dogs digging them back up.

    Thank you all. I am greatful to have 23 healthy chicks and tons of support from my husband and the BYC.
  9. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Quote:If I have an unexpected - or even expected - death and am not ready to dispose yet - I wrap the bird in a plastic bag and place in the freezer. Then when ready, just bury or dispose of the frozen body. {I do not freeze the bird to death, but place in the freezer after the bird is dead}

  10. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    [​IMG] I'm so sorry you had to deal with this, but congratulate you on taking the responsibility for this difficult task. It's something that every chicken owner needs to address because unfortunately we will most likely, at some point in our experience, have to deal with. It's better to know in advance what you will do for an injured or ailing chicken rather than waiting until you have a bird in distress and only then wonder what you should do to end its misery.

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