Culling the Flock?

redtree57

In the Brooder
9 Years
Oct 11, 2010
12
0
22
Anson
I'm new here with 7 hens and a rooster past their 3rd summer who are'n't laying as well anymore and 8 pullets and a roost with the pullets beginning to lay. I am provoding artificial llight.
My problem is this. I am not going to kill a chicken! My grandmother took a neck in each hand and gave it a wring. Made it look easy. My husband has done it in the past but says he has to have a hatchet. I bought him a nice hatchet. Still no chickens in the freezer! I have a nice burner and large pot in the yard for defeathering. No chickens in the freezer.
I would like to know when at what age you cull your flock and I wish Grandmother were hhere. Maybe I need some encouragement.
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redtree57
 

Uzuri

Songster
10 Years
Mar 25, 2009
1,299
13
171
Culling doesn't have to mean killing -- it's possible to find people to take them from you as pets, as (somewhat diminished) layers, or to do the deed themselves. If you can't do it, then that's not a bad bet
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If my experience with men says anything, you'll not get Hubby out there to do it until you set everything up, grab a chicken, and give every impression that you're going to chop your own leg off. THEN he'll come out and do it for you
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That said, it is possible to steel yourself for the job and do it yourself. I did. I felt it very important that I learn how. I would suggest, though, that if you want to learn to do it yourself, you look up the killing cone method, and maybe sniff around to find someone willing to teach you. The cone is much easier than the chop (especially if your aim is bad, like mine), and if you find someone who does a lot of these you may luck into them having a Wizbang plucker they'll let you use, and THAT is worth its weight in gold.
 

mommyofthreewithchicks

Songster
10 Years
Jun 25, 2010
742
3
169
Minnesota
I had Dad teach me the old school way- I am unsure if I can repeat the process myself. He put their neck on the stump and held them there and whacked - then let them run around. I had asked him if we could tie them up like I have heard others do but he thought this way they get all the blood out of their system- It was hard to watch and hard to pluck but I did watch and learn and help. and came out thinking I am not sure that I could do the killing myself. I am sure that I will get another chance at this as we have more roosters growing and the hens when they stop laying will go into soup.

Good luck. (I too have figured out when I reach for the tools that is when my hubby comes to do the job- course by that time I am fed up with his time table that I demand to do what ever myself- or at least part of it)
 

BarredBuff

Songster
10 Years
Dec 6, 2009
1,924
22
196
Begining next spring I am going to bianually cull the flock based on egg production, temperent, etc. This is what Beekissed does, and I think she is a genius so I will be copying her. And by cull I mean slaughter.
 

Kassaundra

Sonic screwdrivers are cool!
9 Years
Sep 1, 2010
16,499
2,079
471
Henryetta
Quote:
When I first started planning to get chickens I said the same thing I would not kill/process a chicken, but know I am about to order my first order of meaties. This is what I did, I started looking at all the post, videos, and threads about processing and butchering to desensitive myself to it. I enlisted a buddy, my partner at work since my husband absolutely refuses, he doesn't have any experience either but wants to learn and provide healthier food for his family. I decided on raising cornish x's so the "cuteness" factor wouldn't deter me (wich in your case you already have the hens). And I have a backup plan, just in case, my father in law will if I can't.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
9,282
12,467
636
western South Dakota
Really, once it is dead, it is not nearly so bad. Take a deep breath and don't look back.

I have done the stump, with 2 nails , close enough together that the head can't pass through. and a whack and you are done. But I think the next time I am going to try the milk jug with the bottom and top cut off, nailed to a post upside down on. Then you put the chicken in upside down, and can use a pruning shears.

Now, my husband tells this story, (and therefore will not help me) his mother, aunts, and grandmother, were all good hard working farm women, they never swore, or smoked or drank, they kept their houses, kids and husbands clean. They wore aprons and had big gardens. They were mild manored women. They would get together and help each other.

He claims, he was a kid, about six, when he found these women, back in the shelter belt, butchering chickens, and the blood, the feathers flying, the guts, the flies, the knives flashing, and these women were working demons! Scared the bejesseus out of him. Said he never gave ANY of the THEM any lip again.

But he also says, "chickens is woman's work."

MrsK
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
597
448
South Georgia
Mrs. K :

Really, once it is dead, it is not nearly so bad. Take a deep breath and don't look back.

I have done the stump, with 2 nails , close enough together that the head can't pass through. and a whack and you are done. But I think the next time I am going to try the milk jug with the bottom and top cut off, nailed to a post upside down on. Then you put the chicken in upside down, and can use a pruning shears.

Now, my husband tells this story, (and therefore will not help me) his mother, aunts, and grandmother, were all good hard working farm women, they never swore, or smoked or drank, they kept their houses, kids and husbands clean. They wore aprons and had big gardens. They were mild manored women. They would get together and help each other.

He claims, he was a kid, about six, when he found these women, back in the shelter belt, butchering chickens, and the blood, the feathers flying, the guts, the flies, the knives flashing, and these women were working demons! Scared the bejesseus out of him. Said he never gave ANY of the THEM any lip again.

But he also says, "chickens is woman's work."

MrsK

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You can do it. There's a great link in the sticky at the beginning of the meaties forum -- he uses a cone and slits the throat,which I am most comfortable with, and it bleeds them better than the head chop.

I don't have a plucker and would not spend money on one; we do only a few at a time. Plucking takes a few minutes but really is no big deal.​
 

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