Duck & Chicken killing cone size?


Mar 28, 2020
What's the ideal size to cut the tip cone opening for a duck and chicken killing cone? I'm making one of these but wanted to check the hole size. You would also be surprised that most of the videos on Youtube talk about how to make these but laughingly don't tell you the size of the cone. If I cut it too big the thing will be ruined and the bird will slip through. But also I'm worried about having a hole side at the tip of the cone that is compatible for both ducks and chickens.

To be fair, i have to eat. I want to make my own groceries. But I do try to save as many of my birds as I can. But no matter what I do, you can't keep all the drakes.

Thank you.


Sep 10, 2018
Inch and a half or 2 inches is all you need. Enough for the head and neck to fit through. the shoulders of most birds will not fit through a 2 inch hole. For turkeys you might want to go 2.5 inches.

Mountain Roost

Mar 26, 2018
In my experience a cone good for a pekin duck is not the right size for a cornish meat bird. You may want to make one (or more) for each species.

For large ducks you want the shoulders to stay in the cone and the neck come out. Cornish meat birds are so wide at the shoulders and have a relatively short neck that I find it difficult to use a cone (but many people have figured it out). I am sorry that I don't have sizes to offer. Maybe cut a cone smaller than you think and test fit it on one of the ducks? and the same for chickens.

Are you using a road cone or a metal commercially available one? I have done ducks in orange road cones and they wanted to slip out slowly (hole could have been a bit smaller), but we were still able to chop the head without issue. We mounted the cone to a 2x6 and then used paracord to hang it on a tree, top of the setup at about hip height. This way we weren't hitting the tree trunk with the hatchet. We stuck a cornish meat bird in there once and his head didn't even come out the bottom. We use a two person system to do the cornish, but that is a lot to explain and not the topic of the thread!


The Frosted Flake
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Jul 26, 2008
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
My Coop
My Coop
You could also skip the cone... we string the birds upside-down with the twine from hay bales. Just a loop around their feet, and then through a wire fence.

By the time they are all strung up, they are pretty calm.

I haven't noticed any problematic bruising.

We just walk down the row and cut their heads off. We wait a bit for them to drain, then process.

I know the videos often have all sorts of "stuff". But twine and a freshly sharpened knife are all we ever use.

It doesn't have to be high tech or complicated.

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