Conflicted newbie alert!! :)

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by wigswest, May 10, 2011.

  1. wigswest

    wigswest New Egg

    Apr 21, 2010
    Hi guys, utter newbie to chickens here - I live on an acre in suburbia, thought about getting chickens for a couple of years (for eggs), finally bought a coop and set it up. It wasn't til I started looking at chicks that I realized I had a terrible problem: I'm terrified at the thought that I'm probably going to be faced with slaughtering the chickens I buy, after they pass egg-laying age (since I live in a subdivision and can't keep a big flock, and want to keep egg-layers only).

    How did you folks who weren't raised in the country handle this? I KNOW how attached I get to animals - heck, I get attached to plants [​IMG] The thought of killing something that I KNOW I'm going to regard as a pet is just traumatizing! I seriously have started looking for the chickens with the nastiest personalities so that I won't get attached to them - LOL!!

    Am I too much of a wimp to be a chicken owner? Seriously!!

    (Thanks guys!! [​IMG]
  2. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    Well, you know they can lay eggs up to 10 years old, right? You dont HAVE to kill them, you can 'pardon' the few you get really attatched to and let them stay for free, or let them continue to free range for bugs and provide free fertilizer. There are people who will take them if you advertise them (be honest about age, etc), they will probably kill them, but most folks wont eat a hen or rooster over 2 or 3 years old. Many hens will die in the 5 to 8 year age range from various causes, so you may not have to worry too much about putting them down yourself. Your hens will provide eggs for a long time with proper care, even older hens will keep laying, just not as often.

    However- part of owning and raising ANY animal is the promise you make to it to give it the best life you can, and that includes a decent pain-free as possible death, if need be. A chicken deserves to be humanely put down just as much as your favorite pet dog or cat or horse. It has feelings of pain and loneliness and happiness too, and deserves proper treatment. You can call a vet for help if you need to, or even a well stocked, very knowelegable feed supply store may help you with options you can handle.

    Its super hard for me too. I HATE having to do the inevitable when there is nothing else to be done. You may want to really think about things and think of a 'just in case' plan. You may not have to use it, but better prepared than in a panic. My way of dispatch (please, no one give me any grief, it works for me, and the chicken, with very little trauma on either side) I hold the bird by the feet, swing it up and over my shoulder and whack its head hard on the old tree stump in the yard. The bird is rendered unconcious right away, and it lays there while I take a hatchet to its' neck. Yes, it kinda flutters a bit, but not too much and its not so bad after the first 2 or 3 (we do this for roosters for eating), and it allows us to process the bird pretty quick.

    I hope you still get your chickens and see how wonderful and amazing they are!! Dont let a fear of the distant future spoil the fun and joy you will have now and for a long time into that future!!

    Oh, and Welcome to BYC!
  3. Cacciatore

    Cacciatore Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2011
    San Pablo, CA
    Welcome from Northern California. [​IMG] I agree with suzettex5. Your chickens will give you many years of enjoyment and in the end it is all worth it.
  4. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2011
    S.E. Michigan
    Hi and [​IMG] from S.E.Michigan
    I grew up on a large farm but, I showed animals in 4-H that had to be auctioned off for meat at the end of fair. I got very attached to these animals that I trained and took care of as pets But- what I had to remember was 'I gave them a better life because of the time they spent with me'. If I hadn't chosen them as my animal and project, they still would have been born and they still would have been raised for meat but, they wouldn't have known love, affection or gotten all the added attention and care from a person so maybe you could think of it that way? It's hard at first but if you enjoy the time you have with them and then give them away or have someone process them for you so you don't have to do the deed yourself. Don't get nasty mean chickens on purpose you will have them for awhile as good layers assuming you get pullets not straight run chicks. They will enjoy the time they have with you and then when it's time, you will get others to replace them [​IMG] and the circle goes on. imho Good Luck
  5. KlaHaYa Gardens

    KlaHaYa Gardens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    Welcome! [​IMG]

    Slaughter them after they're spent? [​IMG]

    I suppose you could, if you want, but then it's not really a dilemma is it?

    If you really don't want to feed them after they are done feeding you, then I suppose you could feed them to someone else by offering them on Craig's List. There are many eager for a cheap ($1.00) or free bird to stew and eat.

    Enjoy your time learning here. I hope you find it informative.

    May I recommend you read the FAQs, which you can find at the top right hand of the page. [​IMG]
  6. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Half the battle is realizing what you have already realized, that you will have some choices to make. In addition, it is not unlikely that you will find yourself with an unwanted rooster, so the decision may come sooner than you expect.

    Of course I agree, it is well worth it. Read here a while, give it some thought, and sort out how you will handle it.

    And enjoy your chickens!
  7. weimarmama

    weimarmama Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 4, 2010
    My Coop
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Alabama.
  8. Meara

    Meara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2011
    It's very responsible that you are looking ahead like this. But also bear in mind that just like cats who live outdoors, chickens often do not realize their full potential lifespan. Unfortunately, you may never have to actually deal with a hen who has outlived her egg laying years:(
  9. Desert Rooster

    Desert Rooster El Gallo Del Desierto

    Sep 4, 2010
    Hesperia, Ca
    Hello [​IMG] from Hesperia,CA and [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  10. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2010
    Montgomery County, TX
    Welcome to BYC! You have come to the coolest place on the internet for chicken knowledge.

    I started with chickens last summer and the people of BYC have been great. This year I have tried hatching and buying chicks for even more chickeny joy. Please visit my BYC Page for my blog links that you may find informative or amusing.

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