Bullet Pithing


8 Years
Jun 15, 2011
I faced with putting a pet chicken down and just learned about pithing (and this section). While I think the knife in the mouth would be traumatic for her (and me), I was thinking more of a quick 22 in the back of the head. Or would 22 snake shot be better? Anyone else try either?
Hey, Paul. I live right over here in Meriwether County. If you ever need a house sitter in Palm Beach, let me know. : )
I tried a pruning shear years ago and it was a disaster, all the feathers on the neck only twisted it and the bird was flapping all over the place alive. I had to cut several times.

I plan on a point blank range.
The purpose of pithing [as I understand it] is to cause a relaxation or release of the feathers for easier dry plucking. It only worked one out of three times for me. If your goal is to make a dispatch of a chicken in a manner your comfortable with, its up to you decide what's comfortable; personally I don't need a firearm to dispatch a bird I can catch, but I grew up watching the meat for our table being harvested. Please remember a chickens head will not stop a bullet or shot if you choose that method.

P.S. If you use shears, circle your thumb and index finger around the neck and roll the feathers towards the head, then cut where the skin is exposed.
Last edited:
If you aren't going to be using the bird for food, it would probably work just fine to dispatch her. If you are going to use it for food, you will probably still need to quickly cut the throat after the shot, to allow blood to drain efficiently.

ETA: I don't see it being a good way to loosen the feathers for plucking which is the reason many people choose to try pithing.
Last edited:
She is a 3+ year old pet that I want to put down for humane reasons (she is suffering right now, yes I'm stalling) and it seems with bullet pithing she won't know what hit her. I don't own an axe, but do own a gun. (yes, I'm well aware of backgrounds)
Perhaps watch that video that was posted here recently about the "Respectful Harvest of a Chicken" with the lady in the pink scarf. I think she did a wonderful job of calming the chicken and quietly taking it's life. You can easily search for the You Tube video.
Watch this then go help your baby get some rest.

You do NOT have to go ahead with the beheading bit. Just crook her head back some to open the cut and quicken the bleed-out. Basically all my five roos that I recently culled (and processed) got this love-and-go method.

(Tracydr, jinx - you owe me a coke.)
Last edited by a moderator:

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom