Culling in the freezing cold

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by NoSleep4mommy, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. NoSleep4mommy

    NoSleep4mommy Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi, so we have to cull a hen today. She is a young Wyandotte, around 7 months I think. Can't get her polapse to stay in, and she just drips constantly. So after a week of working with her in the smelly dark box...it is time. [​IMG] I don't think I can bear to push it back in AGAIN to have her just work to wiggle it back out. It is really maddening.

    If we cull her outside, she would bleed, flap, and I am afraid it would freeze and become a bloody winter bloodsicle reminder until next week when things thaw. Forget dressing her in the house.

    She is over in her little box cooing at me now...and I am being STRONG!

    Any experience culling in the freezing icy weather? As a kid on the farm, we never did anything like this...or had to worry about the blood since we had so much land. Now, with an acre and nosy neighbors, it becomes an issue.

    I thought of bleeding her into a bucket and trying to hold her wings so it blood doesn't flap everywhere. Then, we could go dump any blood in the woods away from the house. I can imagine the look of the white snow and ice should she get away from us and run around! Our retired neighbors (who make sure their yards are immaculate) would be up in arms.[​IMG] If not, we could just bleed her in the sink in the house if we had a cone to keep the blood from going everywhere....once again...trying to be strong here [​IMG]

    I just read posts of mishaps when breaking their necks. I guess that is why my parents never used that method! I couldn't bear to miss and have her injured looking at me with a bobbly head saying "what the woohaaa is your problem?"

    Any suggestions with this would be appreciated
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Use a bleach bottle as a killing cone and bleed her out over a trash can lined with a bag. The cone should keep her from flapping blood all over the place and the trash can is big enough to catch it all without allowing any splatter. Use a hose to wash away any drops that are missed.

    I am very sorry. Tough decision, but sounds necessary. Good luck.

    ETA- Cut deep enough to hit the blood vessels, but make sure you don't cut deep enough to nick her trachea which will make her blow blood out her mouth and cause spatter.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  3. NoSleep4mommy

    NoSleep4mommy Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks CMV...If you don't go all the way through...then...isn't it a much slower death? I thought you were supposed to just lop that baby off clean and get it over with fast. I think you posted on the "rake method" somewhere. I was considering it, but have never done it myself...and don't want a mishap. Wasn't sure if it worked on a grown hen or not.
     
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    The rake method works very well as long as you don't get squeamish about the pull. Bleeding out works just as well. When you flip a chicken over so the blood rushes to their head, they go into a sort of catatonic state pretty quickly. You don't have to cut the heads off to bleed them out. You can if you want, but it's neater to just bleed them out by cutting the vessels. They lose consciousness very quickly from hypovolemic shock (massive blood loss). It is recommended that you don't cut through the trachea because they can inhale blood and that causes them some distress, and they may start to struggle. Honestly, they are so tough that they don't seem to take much notice when you cut their throats as long as they don't get any of the blood in their airway so that it impedes their breathing. It sounds callous, but it's true.
     
  5. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    [​IMG] Poor hen, and poor you having to deal with it. Your final kindness to her is to give her a quick efficient end. Your favor to yourself is to keep the mess down on your white snowy yard.

    The rake/broom handle method can be bloodless, but sometimes if you pull too hard you pull the head right off. I usually do that anyway just to be sure I sent the bird to The Other Side of the Road.

    You can eliminate much of the after-death reflexive flapping by securing the wings to the body with a few wraps of duct tape. Or place the bird in/under a garbage can after cutting the neck. Or in a feed sack.

    I would just use a good sharp pair of poultry shears, kitchen scissors, or even hedge clippers to cut the whole head off. Less trouble locating just the right spot to slice for a good bleed-out. (I save that for when I'm processing birds for the table.) You can practice with your tool of choice on a few store-bought chicken necks.

    Here's another [​IMG] for bravery.
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I believe in your situation I'd use a killing cone and pruning shears, over a garbage can.

    So sorry.
     
  7. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

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    I have to do the same thing tomorrow, I think. Have a leghorn that's been dripping egg for months - JUST when I think she's getting worse she perks up and gets better... but she's worse again now. I have been going back and forth between the rake and a CO2 chamber - I do have starter fluid - was thinking of trying to make her sleepy with it before I get up the guts to use the rake. not entirely sure it would work, tho. I'm definitely not cutting her head off tho - not up to that yet. [​IMG]
     
  8. NoSleep4mommy

    NoSleep4mommy Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2010
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    Thanks everyone so much for your advice. Well, we had the hen that wouldn't quit. My poor husband. He is this big strong guy, but just hated doing it. I ended up helping. I have to say, if you are using the rake in the ice and snow...make sure that you, the hen, the rake, and your helper do not slip and make a huge mess of everything. [​IMG] Enough said. Also, you need a solid enough surface to do it on....which may not be the snowy/icy ground. Also, if you have a fatty winter chicken, it may be hard to get their neck/head under the rake to secure. They are big hens and have a lot of feathers right now. They are also naturally quiet....and may not make a sound....and then she started flapping a minute later...I jumped 6 or 8 feet.

    We said a prayer that we would be strong enough and to help us do things properly. I am going to get a nice little axe and a proper tree stump on hand for the next time we have to do this. At least she is out of her poor state, and I am not going to beat myself up at all. We do the best we can, right.

    Now to get that horrible smell out of the house. Man those leaky gi fluids suuurrreee do put out a smell. I can't seem to get it off of my hands. (I was afraid gloves would slip)

    Thanks again for the encouragement. I felt better with your knowledge and words behind me.
     
  9. NoSleep4mommy

    NoSleep4mommy Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2010
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    Quote:How do you keep her from freezing up back there? We had a frostbitten chickensicle
     
  10. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Quote:[​IMG] Glad you were able to get it done, glad you had some help too. Know that your hen had fully Crossed The Road before that reflexive residual flapping began, she was past pain & fear by then.
     

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