Help me get over the mental issue of butchering...


5 Years
Jul 9, 2016
Russell, Kansas
I have 3 Roos. I can't keep them because I live in town. I know whomever will take them will butcher them. Yes I eat meat. But I'm having such a heartbreak over giving these birds to someone that I know will kill them.

I can't even post this in the meat thread.

I'm bawling my eyes out right now. I know this is stupid. Help me get over this.


Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
Southern Oregon

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
It boils down to this: you have 2 choices: give them to some one who will most likely process them for meat. You will have no say in what happens to them once they leave your property. They could be treated well up until their last day. Or they could be treated very poorly. You have put a lot of feed, time, and care into raising them to this point. I assume that you will continue to raise replacement birds in the future? If so, you will be routinely dealing with cockrels. None of us like to process our birds. But, if I am raising replacement birds, I just accept it as part of the responsibility. My husband is SO not a farmer. He hates anything remotely involved with processing. He has helped me in the past. But, out of respect for him, I determined several years ago that if I was going to continue raising chickens, I needed to be responsible for the culling as well as the hatching. So... I culled my first sick bird, and then continued with culling all of my cockrels last year. Did I like doing it? NO! Emphatically NO! But, there's satisfaction in knowing that I KNOW how those birds were raised, and I KNOW how they were processed. Did I shed tears? No. Once the head is off the bird, it becomes meat to be prepared for table use.


12 Years
Mar 25, 2009
South Alabama
I can't help you a lot with this. I've hunted and fished and dressed out game so not a problem with that. But, I've yet to kill something that I raised so I will have to cross that bridge when I get to it. I don't *think* I'll have a big problem with it.

What I do want to say to you, though, is that your feelings are *not* stupid. They are your honest feelings. More tenderness in the world is always good. Chickens have their place in life. Know that if they are butchered that they will be nutrition for people and will be helping to sustain the life of your fellow man or woman and the cycle of life will continue. I would guess that you've given the roosters a good life, much better than millions (billions?) of chickens have. You've done good and you will get through this sad time of yours. Sometimes things we go through are not easy, but when we come out the other side we are stronger for having gone through them. As my grandmother once told me..."Lift your head up, put a smile on your face, and meet the world...before long that smile will be there naturally".



12 Years
Mar 15, 2010
On the MN prairie.
It's not stupid. We've raised and butchered chickens for years and I still feel a bit of sadness on butchering day. (We just processed 8 this week so it's fresh in my mind). I think the same way as LG - I've raised these birds, put in the time and feed, so I'm going to reap the benefits. I also know that these birds have had a good life up until one bad day. The turning a live chicken into a dead one is the hard part. Once that is done, it's easier. As LG said, then it's just meat to be processed for the table. If you're not ready to process them yourself, one thing to think about would be to find a place that can do it. If you can't stand the thought of eating them yourself, then by all means give them to someone who will. There's nothing wrong with that either. I can't say that it gets easy (at least not for me), but I have gotten used to it.

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
western South Dakota
It was very hard for me at first. I think it is AArt calls this when reality meets the romance of having chickens. And I have always liked Bobbie's idea of one bad moment.

I make the decision much earlier than the deed, and I begin to distance myself from them, I don't stand and watch them, I just feed them and change their water.

It sounds like this is your first experience, so perhaps this will help, but it is highly unlikely, that even if you could keep them, that they would more than likely start to create a lot of problems in your flock. They often fight, overrate pullets, can become human aggressive and some are just all around jerks, even if they are darlings now. This forum is full of instances where the darling becomes the nightmare with roosters.

It is not easy, and even though I have done several, I do have to take a deep breath to do it. As stated above, once it is done, it is not nearly so hard. It will make life much better for the pullets. However, it did take me a long time to eat it, you may not want to do that.

Mrs K
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Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Yep, Romance meets Reality....the most difficult reality to deal with in chickeneering, IMO, especially for the pet set.
I went into chickens for food and all that goes with it-including killing and eating non productive birds,
and am not anthropomorphic in the least but it took me months to gather my wits, equipment, and knowledge to do the deed.
Documented/shared a catharsis here.

You may never be able to kill and butcher a chicken, and that is perfectly alright, you don't have to.
Get someone else to do it for you or give the birds to someone who is hungry and can do it.
They will be grateful.

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