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I feel sort of guilty?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by P0U1TRYP3RS0N, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. P0U1TRYP3RS0N

    P0U1TRYP3RS0N Songster

    Mar 11, 2007
    I processed a turkey in september, but it was more of a mercy killing because the tom had twisted leg and wasnt able to get around and was hurting. I had my brother dispatch the turkey witha shot from a .22. And that was that. All I had to do was scald, pluck, gut, crop carve and finish him. I didnt have to kill the bird.
    Well...I have these 4 (originally started out as many more.) little white broilers lurking in a pen with the bantams and misfits. They really are quite cute, and content in there. The broilers are 4 months old. Understand that these are the ones that are advertised as "five week broilers" because thats when they get butchered usually. I got them as a meat pen for the 4-H auction, but when I messe dup a deadline on the paperwork, the market chickens couldnt go, and got to stay home, while all their other broiler contemporaries werea t the fair and then went to the processor in september.
    So the chickens are over 4 months old now,and yesterday I decided I should attempt to process some. But I hadnt really come to terms with whackin the head off. I got one and tied its legs, and hung it upside down..hoping he'd go sleep so could chop his head while he was out. But he didnt go to sleep and was very alert. SO I tied a rope around his neck while he was upside sown, assuming a few hard tugs should break his neck. Wrong again. SO THEN, i put the mismatched kids sock over his head so I wouldnt ahve to have him watch me kill him. then I pulled the rope taunt so his neck was straight out,and wacked him really hard in the neck like a pinata. I thought he was dead, or in a coma, and then i saw him take a breathe, and i knew i was causing him to suffer, so i took the game butchering ax, and swung hard against the tree trunk. He squawked ont he first chop. I hit his two or three times WITHIN seconds. And sat there while the flopping when everywhere, hating myself. Blood went everywhere. And then his head was in one place and his body dangling over the draining bucket.
    From there, processing was simple. He's all dressed out in a plastic bag in the freezer now.
    I noticed he had ALOT of internal fat..and around his heart there was fat. Is that a sign he was well past being ready to be butchered?
    Anyhow, i feel guilty now...His three siblings are fat and sassy out clucking around..and he's dead. I feel kind of guilty. Any advice for getting over that first processing blues? Or a better kill method. A .22 shot would work so much better but is expensive and tough to get 'em to hold still? Could I kill one if i shot it point blank with an airsoft gun?

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
  3. Ibicella

    Ibicella Songster

    Nov 13, 2009
    Everett, WA
    What you are feeling is normal. I don't think any of us particularly look forward to butchering day. It's not easy being an aware and compassionate person and having to do something that goes against that compassionate nature.

    I will tell you though, it DOES get easier. Just keep looking at it as another chore to do and try not to dwell on it. You are giving them an end far more pleasant than is usually the lot of chickens.
  4. codymax2

    codymax2 Songster

    Jul 7, 2010
    Liverpool, NY
    Eat em! It will amke you feel like you did it for a reason... healty food. I ahd a hard time too but once I tasted the healthy food I felt good and like I did something god fro the family and I have a new found respect for the meat we use and am not wasteful!!
  5. eKo_birdies

    eKo_birdies Songster

    May 11, 2010
    Northern Colorado
    [​IMG] let me know how that airsoft works on taking em down..

    i have about 60 guineas left that i can NOT catch for the life of me. i'm gonna try shooting them with an airsoft gun and hopefully it will just knock them out so i can still slit their throat and bleed them out properly

    has anyone tried this? or is this just a stupid early morning idea..
  6. Bossroo

    Bossroo Songster

    Jun 15, 2008
    Lights, camera, action... The hills have the echoing sounds of gunblast explosions, guineas squaking and flying in all directions in panick, and someone cussing at the top of his lungs, wife screaming while ducking into the root cellar, as the local sheriff comes up the hill with sirens blaring to witness feathers flying everywhere and no birds in sight.
  7. CrimsonRose

    CrimsonRose Songster

    Nov 7, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    Big Giant Hugs! you described my first butchering of a chicken to a tee! The poor boy would die... I was crying desperate to find anything to get the job done... It was aweful... I still have 2 roos sitting in their pen... I tried to just freerange them thinking I could just let them live out their days as guard roosters but they attacked my 5 year old so back in the little pen they went... Now I feel guilty cause I just can't get the courage up to finish the job since the first one went so bad... Man Quail were so much easier! LOL

  8. mulewagon

    mulewagon Songster

    Nov 13, 2010
    Gail Damerow says she puts hers in a killing cone nailed to a tree, then shoots them in the head with a .22 pistol. I want to try that - sounds like it combines humanity with efficiency!

    (A killing cone is a large metal cone - you nail it to something, then insert the bird head down and dispatch it. The cone holds the body while it drains.)
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010
  9. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Songster

    Jun 25, 2010
    I had my Dad come over and teach me on two extra roosters- I did not like the job nor have I had the heart to eat them. I am looking at all the extra drake ducks that I have and dreading the job ahead of me in the next two months! That and I still have extra roosters.

    I am hoping that it gets easier or at least someone like me can learn how to do the deed as this is how I sold DH on having the birds- eat the eggs, and have extra meat.
  10. Stefrobrts

    Stefrobrts Chirping

    Sep 15, 2009
    I think you made that whole job really hard on yourself. When I did our mean rooster, I hung him by his legs, I had my heavy gloves on and I grabbed his head in one hand, and slit his throat with a knife in the other, then walked away, when I came back from rinsing off the knife he was gone. I let him drain out a bit longer, let him finish twitching, and then cleaned him. Just remember, once an animal loses enough blood to lose consciousness, it's all over for them, and chickens don't really have all that much blood in them. There may be twitching and flapping but that doesn't mean the animal is conscious and suffering.

    When you do your next one just try to handle it calmly and with respect, make your actions sure and purposeful, and then make the most of the meat you get to show respect for the animal that was.

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