Chickens Overly Sensitive or Just Too Smart?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Redcatcher, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. Redcatcher

    Redcatcher Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2010
    At My Desk!
    I have a small flock of about 20 chickens and once in a great while I will let them set eggs and hatch out a few chicks. Most of my chickens die of old age except for when I have too many roosters and they spend more time battling and knocking each other off of the hens than doing anything else. Then it is time for me to start culling (I have tried to rehome my roosters for free but no luck). I normally do the culling late at night and all at the same time so there is less of a chance of the neighbors hearing or seeing anything. But, as quietly and as quickly as I do it, the chickens inside all know exactly what I am doing! As soon as they hear the wing flaps (death throws) they all come unglued. One will start screaming death screams and the rest will join in for a good five minutes. I do the culling as far away from the chicken house as I can but they STILL hear it. The "problem" is my flock is very tame and trusting...They even follow me around everywhere and some ride on my shoulder. I want to keep it that way. After a night of culling though, they are afraid of me for several days afterward. They eventually get over it but after spending so much time getting them to trust me, it really bothers me when they have to set off the predator alarms when I approach them. Has anyone else ever had to deal with this?
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  2. mdbokc

    mdbokc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2009
    Oklahoma County, OK
    I don't know how you cull. I set them down on the grass one at a time away from the flock. I use the flat side of a roofing hatchet (hammer side) to stun them, then finish the deed. It is over in a split second without the flapping and least so far that has been my experience. At most, they might utter a small sound. Good luck. It is a hard thing to do but this works for us. And the flock notices that they are gone but no trauma to the flock occurs that is visible.
  3. Redcatcher

    Redcatcher Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2010
    At My Desk!
    Quote:I do the same and they always go through the death throes. Never fails. It takes maybe half a minute for it to happen but I have never culled a chicken without the wings flapping a few times and convulsing.
  4. abejita

    abejita Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    Go down to question 19 on this page She shows how she culls without all the flapping.

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