How to cull


In the Brooder
8 Years
Feb 27, 2011
I really hate to ask this but I think it is important.
I lost five of the 26 chicks I received, they died on there on, but I had to watch them
I finally took the last 2 that were in bad shape and put them in a box alone.
I am a man, but I just can't dispatch an animal of any kind anymore.
I used to hunt but don't now.
So, what is the most humane way to cull a chick or a full size chicken if I ever need to.
When I was young (many years ago) I used to help my dad just chop off the head and
fling the bird away, but I don't want to do that.
Thanks for the help, and sorry for a bad post
ohhhhh noo that just won't work
I hate to see them suffer, but I gotta find a better way than that
Knowing me..when that day comes..iam going to give benedryl..make them totally sleepy
And then something super fast, and no pain

So fastest to me is the axe

Now I say this
But my dh had to take care of one suffering..a week old

I don't know what he did..and don't want to know

I read on byc that a rag with starter fluid on it (the kind with ether) inside a butter tub with the chick in it will work. I've personally put down a pet mouse with the baking soda vinegar method but it's more involved. I did find it to be very humane, though. There are instructions online for that.
thank you Diana, that sounds like something I can do, I just hope I don't
have to.
I hear ya. But it's better to be prepared. I hope you don't have to do it either. I would've felt a lot worse about my mouse but the alternative was a visit to the vet where they inject them directly in the heart! I think getting dizzy, tipping over, and going to sleep beats that any day of the week.
The most humane for the CHICK not the HUMAN doing it is to place the chick over the garbage and quickly snip the head of with a pair of VERY sharp scissors or gardening shears!!

ETA: It's quicker than trying to chemical the poor things to death!!

Forgot to add that to cull a adult chicken place it in a killing cone and slit it's jugglar vein. It will bleed out in a few minutes!!
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I am like you - I can't even think of actually dispatching an animal. In our first batch we got from the hatchery was a tee tiny polish chick. You could tell he had been trampled and I knew he wouldn't last long. So, I put him in my shirt and kept him warm and cozy until he passed away about 4 hours later. I felt really good that he had left this world knowing human love and kindness. I am a nurse so I don't mind death but I cannot hurry it along.
My DH and I were discussing this very topic not an hour ago. Like the OP, I hope that should the need to cull arises I can do so in a humane, compassionate method. Sharp scissors or an ax may be swift, over in an instant, and as close to painless for the bird as possible (although a chicken's nervous system does continue to function for several moments after synapses have lost contact with the brain, so the headless body may continue to feel pain). But how does it leave YOU feeling afterward? I believe that the difficult part of culling is not the actual culling but how you feel after doing so to an innocent little fluff or to a full-grown bird you've nurtured from chickdom, just like the need to put a sick puppy or faithful dog to sleep. For those who see it as a routine part of poultry farming, that's fine for you. But for many of us, it's just not that simple. We have not just our earnings tied into the birds but our hearts, and it's much more difficult for those of us who see our birds not just as breeding or eating stock but as beloved pets.

For adult birds who are suffering and must be culled, contact a local livestock veterinarian. Your local state extension can recommend one; if you don't know how to contact your extension, give your county office a call. The veterinarian can put your bird to sleep, although the cost may be pricey. For chicks, the Benadryl to make the chick sleepy and relieve pain is a start. Once the bird nods off, use the "tight squeeze" method to cull: hold the chick in your hand and firmly give it a squeeze, like a tight hug. Hold for about 20 to 30 seconds, firm compression the entire time. This is the recommended method for culling wild songbirds that are beyond saving and one endorsed by our state's bluebird society. The Benadryled chick should feel a tightness, then nothing. It's still heartbreaking (some would say literally) but at least the method of delivery allows our mind to interpret this as a final hug than a chop to the neck.

Try checking Wikipedia for chick culling. You wouldn't believe what the top form of culling is, according to them: maceration. That's all I'll say.

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