Butcherd my firsts....


Posting For A change
12 Years
Feb 24, 2007
Central Massachusetts
Don't know if there will be a second time. The ax chop method sucked as the birds struggle and my aim was not true the first whack. I made my husband do the next three a few days ago. today i did the slice in the cone method and that was much less traumatic for me and more importantly the bird but i still felt horrible and i know they have a better life here than they do in a factory butit is different seeingit first hand and doing it first hand. And they have been starting to go into failure for days so i know I need to get the last three done beore they flip so i will finish tomorrow but i do not know if there will be a batch next year. it feels so violent slicing into their throat. Why can't there be a safe peaceful gassing method????? ErinM

Sunny Side Up

Count your many blessings...
11 Years
Mar 12, 2008
Loxahatchee, Florida
Awww, I'm sorry you've been having such a rough time. Perhaps you should read some of the other discussions on this forum about butchering without guilt, it might help fortify you for your next session.

I too am waiting for someone to develop a breed of chickens that happily dispatch themselves. Maybe that's the purpose of the Naked Necks, who knows? Perhaps in a few generations they'll incorporate good knife skills. Until then, I know my final kindness to them is to give them a good quick end, with gentle handling & kind words right before the end.

We used to do both the chop & the yank methods and I didn't like either. I couldn't get a good heavy whack going with the hatchet, and the yank left me wondering if I really killed them quickly enough. We also tried pithing, but it was unsuccessful. It was unsettling the first few times I tried the slice method, but now it's the method I prefer. I get the birds really calm, stroking their chests, rocking them to a hypnotic trance. Hanging them upside down first also gets them calm & still. Then I use a good SHARP knife or blade, a fishing filet knife or a utility knife blade, and make a strong deep cut that kills the bird instantly. Even though he will make A.D. convulsive flaps afterwards, he's not feeling any pain.

I wish you better success with your next birds, and many deeelicious dinners from them, and hope you find it worthwhile to try it again.


10 Years
May 26, 2009
Western MA
Oh, gee... sorry about the trauma! I am not looking forward to this aspect of chicken raising, but I think it is important (at least for me personally) to experience as a meat eater. I am sure I will be a wreck on slaughter day! Someone else posted today that her birds were processed for her at a facility. Maybe there is someplace in your area that will prepare them for you?

There has got to be something to make it easier on you and the birds. Can you get a chicken drunk?
What is that stuff they put on a rag to make people pass out in the movies? Chloroform? Eh, the chemicals would probably affect the meat.

Thanks for sharing. Hang in there!


10 Years
Apr 30, 2009
Central KY
Going into it with that attitude...looking specifically to gain that experience...you'll never look at the world the same way again.

In short, you're about to do some serious growing as a person.

Good on ya.


Posting For A change
12 Years
Feb 24, 2007
Central Massachusetts
i do prefer the slicing over the ax and it was quick and my knife was good and sharp.My aim was much better with the knife so if i do raise them again that will be my continued method. it is just the actual killing that bother sme. Thanks for the replies and support. Erinm


11 Years
May 23, 2008
Peterborough, ON
I know it's a horrible feeling, we had to butcher an injured 4 week old meatie and she was so small and it didn't work out well with the cone, and our knife wasn't the best, and I felt terrible... and it was a horrible experience but she would have been picked on in the meat pen.

We have 3 weeks left on the roosters, they'll probably go at 8 weeks and the hens at 10 weeks...I have to get a good sharp knife before then though.

rancher hicks

11 Years
Feb 28, 2009
Syracuse, NY
In case there is anyone here who doesn't know, there is a book on doing this. It explains and shows how to process your birds. One thing I will mention that may not be known, is to fast your birds 24 hours before processing.
I can't say but I know if I didn't eat for 24 hours I'd be really weak. It helps with emptying the system and makes things cleaner. So I read, I can't say for sure.
Finally a word of encouragement. Chickens are short term animals. If you know of a group of chicken people perhaps you can share the cost of a machine. All buy your chickens at the same time and plan on a group processing day.
Read the post on the "Dumped roo". I lost 4 birds to a coon attack and I expect the cone method would have been more to their liking if they had to die.
Animals know when you care and using the most humane method should be a comfort to them and you. Believe me there are plenty of abused and neglected birds. Ask yourself who would you want to be owned by? You all sound like caring people and that's a good thing in today's world.

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