Can BB gun kill chickens and...?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by janinepeters, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2009
    I know nothing about guns of any sort, but need some way to kill the occasional failing chicken. I've never killed one before, and the only way I think I could do it is with a gun. I just cannot imagine chopping the head off or breaking the neck, but could imagine pulling a trigger.

    Like I said I know nothing about guns. Can a bb gun quickly and humanely kill a chicken? If so, what kind of bb gun do you suggest?

    And, although this is off-topic, can a bb gun kill a cat? The reason I ask is that every once in a great while, I find a cat maimed in the road in front of our house, obviously hit by a car. Seriously maimed, but the police cannot shoot it because it is a domestic animal, and therefore could be someone's "property". So animal control officer has to come and get it, and take it to a vet, the only person who can make the decision of whether to euthanize or treat a domestic animal, so I am told. This just happened today: cat had one crushed, mangled, dangling hind leg, and the other hind leg was not bloody, but was folding in ways that a leg is not supposed to fold, so obviously broken. Did not recognize it as any of the neighbors' cats. You could hear the cat groaning in pain, but it was terrified of people, hissing, and pathetically dragging itself away with front legs when approached. Animal control officer and cops eventually captured it with a catching pole, shoved it into a carrier and took it to the nearest vet who was open today. A long and drawn out day of torture for the poor suffering cat. And what vet in his right mind would not euthanize it? I deeply regret calling the police and wish I had had a gun to put it out of its misery. It might not have been legal, but the appropriate action here was obvious, and going the legal route clearly prolonged what must have been intense suffering for this poor creature.
  2. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

    Sep 16, 2008
    Levan, UT
    A BB gun is not going to kill a cat or chicken the quick and humane way. It won't penetrate the skull (at least not reliably) but will penetrate soft flesh. If you want to be able to put down chickens / cats humanely, use a small shotgun shell, like a .410 - you should be able to find a used .410 reasonable inexpensively. I don't recommend anything like a .22, because while it would be good for a cat, it would be too difficult to reliably make a kill shot to a chicken with something so small. Unless it wasn't moving at all, and you were point blank. With a .410, you could be a couple of feet away and make a clean shot.
  3. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    yes it can... but you might have more miss than the old axe to the neck...
  4. WingingIt

    WingingIt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2009
    I agree with the others, it will kill a chicken, but not quickly and reliably every time.
  5. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    I wouldn't trust a regular bb gun to do the job humanly, but I would think a pellet gun would do the job properly on both counts. I usually use a .22 for the "small" jobs, but understand that that may not be an option for you. In either case the most important thing is to make sure that the animal that needs to be put down is placed in an area that you can be fairly confident that you'll be able to make a clean kill shot and completely confident that the bullet or pellet can't go anywhere it shouldn't.

    We usually have numerous bales of hay in the barn and I've had good luck making a small hay box towards the front of the main stack to put the animal in. It gives the badly injured/sick animal a den like place which seems to make them feel more secure and calm. The confineds space also makes it much easier for me to do the job with one humane shot, and last but not least, the stack of bales in back ensures the bullet doesn't do anything it's not supposed to.

    It's never an easy process, but it is an important part of responsible animal husbandry and I think it's great that you're taking steps to be prepared when the time comes.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  6. Lbrad7

    Lbrad7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2010
    Ringgold, GA
    A pump BB gun will absolutley kill a chicken. I have killed more squirrels than I can count with them at a distance so at close range a BB (pumped about 12 - 15 times) would be leathal to the head. All of that being said...I have a BB/Pellet rifle and I have a hatchet; the hatchet is by far the preferred method. It's hard on you the first time but after you cull a few birds that way it becomes a lot easier and I think it is totally painless to the bird since it severs the spinal cord.

    Good luck to gets easier.
  7. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2010
    I used it on a rooster, right behind the comb, and it worked fine. Make sure you pump it up to get enough power. Do a couple test shots.
  8. pidgey104

    pidgey104 Cochins R Us

    Nov 10, 2007
    Panama City ,Florida
    pellet gun works better. had to kill quite a bit of birds with one. pellet to the head is really quick
  9. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    A 22 will do it with head shots every time on both chickens and cats, as well as other animals

    410 shells are expensive compared to a 22
  10. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

    Sep 16, 2008
    Levan, UT
    Well, yeah, ANYTHING'S more expensive than a .22! [​IMG]

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