Dispatching with head shot. Anyone do it?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Egghead_Jr, Nov 11, 2015.

  1. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    As the title reads I'm contemplating culling some cockerels with a head shot. The reason for this method is the worst part of butchering is catching the bird and the flapping after the deed of course. The new spacious electric fence run wouldn't make for an easy capture. I could go out at 5 am and grab a cockerel or two and hold them in dog crate until ready to butcher but as this hasn't happened yet realize it's a bit of a pain. The thought of a head shot, chicken completely oblivious, at any time of day is really appealing to me. I can group 1" at 150ft with my .22 magnum air riffle so am not worried of a benched 100ft aim, pellet on pellet accuracy with group under 3/4". I do have questions as to if it's an instant kill or will it be alarming to the rest of the flock as the bird goes into convulsions. Anyone dispatch birds this way? Where is the exact aim point? Thinking it's 3/4" behind the eye.
     
  2. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Well to be honest, it seems like a waste of ammo ;)

    They're still going to have "death throes" and you'll have a heckuva mess....

    Dunno though, try it out and let us know ;) if it doesn't work like you want, I can have my daughter give some tips on hypnotizing them lol :D

    And yeah, afterthought. . that's going to scare everybody else half to death :p
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    .22 air gun ammo is not dirt cheap but less than 4 cents a pellet. It adds up if you like to target practice and make 100 to 200 shots a session but think I can splurge on three kills for a dime.
     
  4. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Lol yeah I had to run your idea bybthe DH... He thinks its a grand idea and doesn't think thecrestbof the flock would be bothered; they might go check it out ;)

    He mentioned that if you don't want the birds to run amuck and make a mess, a heart shot would stop the "throes" but I don't know how you would go about hitting them in the heart after hitting them in the head..

    Target practice lol, smaller cage so they can't run too far... Could be interesting :D
     
  5. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can't comment on your suggested method of culling as I have no knowledge of guns.
    I've have just been culling some excess cockerels though and I found it very quiet and simple to lift them off the roost on a night, carry them gently to another building,, take hold of them by the feet so that their head hangs onto the ground. Place a broom shamk over the back of their neck, stand with my feet on either side of the broom shank and quickly pull upwards and backwards. There is a lot of flapping afterwards but I'm told you will get that with any method and it's less messy than decapitation or blowing their head off and the neck is broken quickly . I then leave them hung up somewhere cool for a day or two and pluck and strip the meat off at my own leisure. I'm working on the idea of making a cone so that I can drop them into it as soon as their neck has been broken to contain the flapping rather than holding them as I do find it upsetting.
    If you shoot them in their pen and they are thrashing around on the ground, there is the chance that they will get bruised and I'm pretty sure that it will agitate the rest of the flock.

    I'm a really soft person and find killing extremely difficult, but this method works well for me when I can pluck the courage up to do it.
     
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm a hatchet man myself but as mentioned the capturing of birds is troublesome and have not even attempted it in their new 1600 square foot run. Yes grabbing a few at night was/is my new mind set of capture but that has to be planned prior and as of yet have not done so this year. Take today for example, I thought of grabbing one or two cockerels from coop at 5 a.m. but checked weather report and looked to be a fair day for a little painting outside as it was only forecasting cloudy until late afternoon but wouldn't you know it after letting the birds out at 6:30 it started to sprinkle. The thought of hand of God sniper execution is really appealing to me as I can without fuss dispatch on a whim.

    Does anyone, has anyone, dispatched with head shot? Do they drop in place or flop about? And am I correct in assuming it's 1/2 to 3/4" behind eye for brain shot?
     
  7. Jesusfreak101

    Jesusfreak101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My husband who an advid hunter says that unless you get a good nerve shot(very difficult multiple times) you ll still get the death throws even with a head shot and sometimes even with a heart shot. He says there are times you shoot a burd such as a dove and the throws come after you pick said bird up and some times they dont happen at all. I assuming it depends on the damage done and the bird itself. You might get one that doesnt do anything and two that flap around. I know when we killed our rooster we stuck his butt in a rabbits cage until the day came that we did the deed maybe that might work for you. He also said that its a really small brain so yeah that poses a challange of it self.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015
  8. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As Jesusfreak101 said above, a chicken has a very small brain. I'd worry that I injured my bird without actually killing it cleanly. I've used the "pithing" method for years, placing the chicken in the killing cone and then using a sharp knife to stab upward through the inside of the beak into the brain, which is back between the chicken's eyes. Even with a stationary, captive chicken and a knife I suspect that I missed the brain a few times before I got it right. When done right the chicken goes limp immediely, I slit the jugular and the chicken and hangs quietly for a minute or so but then the flapping begins, although it is confined to the cone. The times I've wondered if I missed the brain was when there was a struggle after that first stab and I felt horrible. I would worry about the same horrible outcome using a gun, except in this case your bird would not be confined to a cone. I'd imagine a shot that injured the bird and having it running around in pain and panic, spooking the rest of the flock. At least with my method, if I mess up I can very quick make it right. It sounds like rebrascora's method works well too, although I've always heard it is important to bleed the bird out before processing.
     
  9. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I find the meat keeps absolutely fine refrigerated for at least a week without bleeding out even if I've let it hang a few days before I strip the carcass. The meat tastes just as good, so I'm really not convinced of the need for bleeding them. I was aware that the normal method is to bleed them but I believe it's not legal here in the UK now, unless they are stunned first, so broom shank or axe are my two options and I would be terrified that I didn't get a clean strike with the axe and also it means that it's a bloody job once they start flapping. Whereas the broom shank method is quick, clean and relatively quiet and calm, if done in the dark..
     
  10. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm not looking for new methods but thank you. Looking for anyone who's dispatched birds via head shot.
     

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