Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by CLOUDNINE, Feb 26, 2013.


    CLOUDNINE In the Brooder

    Apr 4, 2012
    There is a lot of information about roosters and behavior, etc. BUT, I can't seem to find any information about actually how to humanely cull one. I read that to get a hold of a mean rooster you need to take him off the roost at night, but how do you then process him? Break the neck? Cut the head off? etc? And how do you do it humanely, where they don't get stressed out before hand?


  2. AlienChick

    AlienChick Songster

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    I catch all of my roosters at night and pen them up in a separate cage.
    The next morning I feed them all real well (if I'm butchering for meat), so their crop is full and easy to remove.
    I have a cone hanging from a fencepost and I place the rooster inside and slit the throat on one side with a very SHARP knife.
    The rooster drains out and goes to 'sleep.'
  3. nova022

    nova022 Songster

    Aug 3, 2012
    There is a good article in the learning center about processing. It states that if you hang the chicken by its feet it will calm down and it gives a very quick way to cull by swiftly cutting the major artery in its neck. If I were going to process, this is how I would do it. Sorry I am not good at links.
  4. gg706

    gg706 Songster

    Jul 5, 2011
    There are alot of good videos on you tube to watch.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    There are all kinds of ways to humanely kill the rooster. You can look through “the meat bird etc” section to find them. The killing cone, chopping block using several different things to chop with, the broom handle, and more. To me, you are the key to a humane killing much more than the method.

    It is as humane as it can be if it is swift and sure. It needs to be a method that you can do. For example, if you are going to close your eyes when you swing a hatchet, ax, or meat cleaver in the chopping block method, you should not use that method. You’ll not hit the target well enough to do the job right and you might hurt yourself. If you use the killing cone method, you have to be able to slice deep enough, not just do a surface scratch.
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I've always found that even the mean roosters know something is amiss and try to run from you. I corner it as fast as possible and pick it up. Prior to the chopping block I hold it by legs upside down. As soon as I'm out of the run walk with it upside down to the chopping block. The blood rushing to head or what have you calms them right down. Axe in one hand and place roosters neck on block. Quick and easy. If you held them upside down long enough they wont move right away when laying on block, still holding them by legs of course. Make sure you have a very sharp cleaver or hatchet or axe. The head should come off with a moderate blow not several swings.

    I put the chopping block by the kids swing set. Have a garbage can under it with liner and a small rope with slip knot over the swing set. once the heads off I cinch the feet and let the bird hang to drain in the garbage can. They may still kick with nerves some so not only does the garbage can catch the drippings it hides the bird from me. I don't enjoy the twitching but this way of doing it works for me. Quick and not drawn out for the rooster or me, let it drain for about 5 minutes then lay it to side and go grab another rooster. The garbage can is ready to take the feathers when you pluck.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I think folks get too freaked out by "the most humane method". Really, you're killing it and it's not going to like that, so there's going to be some struggle, etc. Our best method is a kill cone, to contain the struggle, then slit the throat or just firmly grasp the head and decapitate the bird with a very sharp knife. IMO, once your head's off you're dead, I don't care what flapping goes on after that.

  8. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Well said!! [​IMG]

    CLOUDNINE In the Brooder

    Apr 4, 2012
    Thanks to all of you!! I will look into the "killing cone"(?) for taking care of it ;) That sounds more user friendly than the only other way I have seen it done.

    I am getting some more chicks and wanted to have a method should any more of them turn out to be roosters. The one rooster I have is plenty! ;)
  10. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Good for you for thinking it through before you need to know what to do!

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