killed my first rooster...chicken for that matter.... :(


In the Brooder
10 Years
Nov 25, 2009
So I started my own flock last year and bought some more this a bunch of roos though, so finally had to do the deed last night. I tried Pithing him but he flinched at the last moment so I had to cut off his head.... It was THE most horrid thing I have done. Very traumatizing ending up with his head in my hand. Can anyone tell me a faster, less awful way to do it??? I have 8 more roos that will be ready in 4 weeks and I would like to create a killing station before hand.

With this rooster I hung him upside down on a tree and my freind held him still so he wouldn't flap around....I think the blood had rushed to his head and he was dizzy though, because he was real quiet hanging there.

I did great with the butchering/defeathering. I scalded him to get the feathers loose.

It's the whole murdering part I have a problem with.


11 Years
Jun 15, 2008
Thee is NO such thing as murdering a chicken... only an act of providing food for your table.


10 Years
Jan 4, 2010
Texarkana, TX
You will get all kinds of opinions on this matter! Personally I just use the sharp pruning shears and lop it off quickly. Its just to hard to tri to slice the veins. Plus I don't want them to suffer while bleeding out. You will hear all kinds of opinions on how much and if they feel pain with each type of kill. I just like quick!

Good Luck and God Bless!

P.s. Sorry you had such a bad first experience.
I just keep telling myself " this is what they are for! This is why I got them! They are live stock NOT pets! It doesn't make it any easier but it helps a lil kinda. LOL


13 Years
Jan 12, 2010
agreed, not "murdering".............

I believe some people put their birds in a jug with the top cut off so the head will come through, and the bottom cut off to put the body into it, this holds the bird and keeps it in a upside down position. I think they've even secured it to a post or tree so you don't have to hold it up.

What I've used in the past are 2 large nails in a stump, nailed close enough together that you can slide the neck through the nail heads into the space, but so they cannot pull their heads back through. Pull the body gently enough to straighten the neck and keep holding in this position by the feet. A swift chop with a sharp axe makes it quick and avoids any errors or risk of suffering. I've never liked cutting the throat because there's too much room for error. You can pre tie the feet with a cord so you can hang them up to drain after the hard parts done.

Also if you put the nails near the edge of the stump you can put a bucket down to catch the head so you don't have to touch it. That may make it easier for you. It does become easier after you do a few... not that you'd feel less bad about it, just more confident you can do it without causing suffering.


12 Years
Sep 11, 2009
Yucaipa, CA
My Coop
My Coop
Get a cone. Simply drop the chicken down (head first) into the cone so that the head is hanging out and cut the head off. Leave it there a minute while it bleeds out and there you have it. I'm NOT talking from experience, mind you. I've seen it done but never could bring myself to it. I'm a coward.


10 Years
Nov 10, 2009
West/Central IL
Its called harvesting , and is an important part of all life . Everything , plant or animal , that is given life , is given life for a purpose . And everything given life will give up its life in time inorder that other lives can continue . You served the role of helping a chicken fulfill its destiny ; perhaps its ok to feel a little a sorrow for ending a life , though the time for harvest had came and in reality should be a time of celebration ; but I'm certain any guilt felt over aiding a life fulfill its destiny with the honor of its harvest is misplaced .


Rube Goldberg incarnate
9 Years
Mar 17, 2010
Western Washington
Traffic cone. Sharp knife, slit one side of their neck. Done.

Definitely not murder. If that were the case, anyone eating meat would be a party to murder.

It is normal to feel a bit wierd about the deed. I would be worried if if didn't give anyone some pause.


10 Years
Nov 13, 2009
Everett, WA
When you put the bird on his back or upside down, they go into something called Tonic Immobility. It's something that nature developed to help them during attack to escape by their bodies suddenly going still and reduce stress since they get a rush of serotonin (the "feel good" drug) to their brains.

No matter what you do they are going to flinch and jerk, and twitch. And it looks really freaky, but it's just nerves firing off.

Try putting the bird on his back until he goes still, and try the pithing again. That's my preferred method. If you have a bunch to do, then putting it against a tree or in a cone and then slitting the neck right behind the jaw and severing the cartoid artery is next.

It's going to be hard the first few times because you don't have the practice to be smooth about it. That will come in time.


10 Years
Aug 12, 2009
Hudson Florida
I use the net to catch them then with a hand held BB gun Quick shot to the back of the head then hang then slice the vein to bleed out then Looks like you got the rest , Thats what Works for me
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