I'm afraid to slaughter my ladies

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by FarmingCityGirl, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. FarmingCityGirl

    FarmingCityGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    The plan was to not get attached to my hens.

    They're giving me plenty of eggs, there will be no need to eat my girls anytime soon. But I'm already worried about when the time comes. I won't be letting them go on some farmland far away where a coyote will get them. I won't be feeding them for a decade either. They are here to give me eggs. But I like these girls and I don't want to be the one to kill them.

    I'm looking into poultry processing in our area, and I'm wondering how to tell if they'll treat my girls humanely. One of their websites say they electrically stun them before they kill them, that it numbs them or something...I'm afraid it just terrifies them and freezes them, that it doesn't take the pain away. I think I'm a wimp. Any advice?

    Also, do you think any place would let me watch? To make sure they do it nicely? lol...nicely...
     
  2. Peep-Chicken

    Peep-Chicken Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    How many girls do you have?
     
  3. Peep-Chicken

    Peep-Chicken Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    I could take them if there isn't to many, mine are pets, so no eggs isn't a problem.

    Check out the Michigan Thread. They can tell you a lot ;) .
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  4. CuteChick369

    CuteChick369 Out Of The Brooder

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    I bet you could find homes for them. I would take a few if I was closer. However, I think sometimes we think chickens cost us more than they do. Figure out what they cost you - especially if you have the room for them and for new chickens. If they free range, you are only spending a few cents per day on food. Also, I've heard of plenty of chickens laying eggs who are 5, 6 years and even older. They do taper off, but you will still get some eggs. Older chickens do a great job of protecting the flock too, and make great broodies and great moms to their chicks, so they are not totally useless.

    If it causes you so much pain to slaughter them, then they've become your pets and I would just move them on your family's balance sheet from "productive farm animals" to "pets." They are much cheaper pets than cats or dogs!

    I actually became vegetarian after getting chickens....so I know what you mean by becoming attached!! :)
     
  5. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I started out thinking of our chickens as egg machines and bug control. Now, I can't imagine eating them or anything like that. I know it happens, and I don't judge, but I never realized how attached I would become to my chickens. It's kind of crazy actually. [​IMG]
     
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    We butcher and eat our chickens. We raise some specifically for that (extra roosters that we hatch out), and our spent hens. To be honest, it took years before I would let DH butcher the "pretty ones" as opposed to the meat birds we would raise. Now I hold them while he chops the head off, I pluck, I gut and I cut them up. Is it easy? No. The hardest part for me is turning a live chicken into a dead one. Once the head is off, I'm fine with it. We use the hatchet-and-stump method. He has two nails in a V-shape, puts the neck between the nails and I very gently pull the chicken so the neck is taut, and then I close my eyes and turn my head and it's over in a second. We feel that's the most humane way of doing it. I have just had to tell myself that this is part of chicken raising. It probably helps that I grew up hunting and fishing. As far as taking them in to get processed, they may be scared for a few seconds, and then it's all over. I would not give away my spent hens. I don't wish to spend all that time and money just to give them away for someone else to (most likely) eat them. I don't know what the odds are of an older chicken just falling asleep on the roost and dying peacefully in the night.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. ChickenCurt

    ChickenCurt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've said this before; killing shouldn't be easy but, in my opinion, doing it all yourself really makes you appreciate and give thanks for the bounty set in front of you. Besides, when egg stop coming you may look at things differently and an aged bird is more flavorful then a young bird and gives a stew or soup something store bought birds can never do.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. SoDak605

    SoDak605 Out Of The Brooder

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    My sister is in the same dilemma, we are going to hatch a dozen or so eggs for her this spring and replace her ameraucanas that haven't laid in two years. I doubt she will even eat them if we process them while she is at work, so they will probably come home with us in a cooler.
     
  9. FarmingCityGirl

    FarmingCityGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    11. We had 12. We think a hawk took her ;(
     
  10. FarmingCityGirl

    FarmingCityGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Really?!? That would be awesome! I didn't know people did that. We're in Mid-Michigan. Wow, that would make me feel a lot better ;)
     

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