Most humane way?

KDrake

Songster
Jun 27, 2018
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Wyoming
I am struggling big time with this.
We need to put down our rooster. He suddenly got mean and aggressive. I went out this morning to let our hens out, and he instantly attacked me. Like he wouldn't let me leave. I kicked him off over and over, and he would just keep coming back. He has attacked in the past, but he would usually stop after we kicked him away.
We won't be eating him, so we don't need to worry about the meat or anything like that. I'm leaning towards shooting him.
We have 2 kids (one of them 3 years old), and we can't risk any injury to them. He is so good at protecting our hens. Ugh, this sucks. It breaks my heart.
 

bobbi-j

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Mar 15, 2010
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Offering free meat is one way to cull a mean rooster from your flock. If you can't possibly kill him, that might be an option. (Of course, that would mean keeping him around for an undetermined amount of time, hoping someone would take him.) When we kill a chicken, it's with the hatchet and stump method. We feel it's the quickest, most humane death. DH puts nails in a stump, in a rough "v" shape. Chicken's head goes in the "v" and he then uses the hatchet. Chicken is dead within a second or so.

I am not coordinated enough to hold a chicken with one hand and chops it's head off with the other, so if I ever have to do this myself, I would use the cone method. Put chicken in cone, hang cone up so head is hanging down, use a very sharp knife to lacerate jugulars or corotids. (Or, decapitate completely - I'm not opposed to that.)

A cleaner method is the broomstick method. I have never tried that, nor do I plan on it. Those who have used it say it's very effective. I don't doubt that. I just don't know that I could do it cleanly enough.

Whatever you decide to do, just be sure it's over and done with quickly. To me, that's the most humane. A quick, painless kill if possible. Decapitation and slicing veins and arteries isn't clean or pretty, but both are effective.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Nov 27, 2012
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Shooting might be your best option, if you know how to kill a bird cleanly with one shot from a gun.

If I'm not going to kill a bird for meat, I use broomstick CD.
it's the only CD video I've found that doesn't remove the head.

-Notice the slight divot in the ground under the stick and neck, this will keep the bird from being choked.

-Notice that she slowly stretches out the neck and legs before giving the short sharp jerk that breaks the neck close to the skull, this is key to success IMO.


I've found this technique to be very effective.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
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Feb 2, 2009
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As you are not going to eat it I like the idea of giving it away to someone who will. But that's just my personal opinion. The risk is that someone will want it for cock-fighting instead of eating. These things are not always easy.

To me the most humane way is the way you can. You want it to be quick and sure. You don't need to close your eyes or flinch at a critical time. You might injure yourself or not get a clean kill.

I grew up using an ax and hammer so the stump method with a hatchet as Bobbi described is a natural for me. One secret to that is to use the cut end of the stump so the blade goes into the stump with the grain. If you use a piece of wood and cut against the grain the blade often does not go all the way through. If you are not comfortable with the hatchet or ax method, don't try it.

There are other methods or variations to the methods in addition to those mentioned above. I haven't tried them. One is using carbon monoxide, hook a box up to your car exhaust, supposedly they just go to sleep. Instead of a knife use pruning loppers. If you shoot him, I'd use a shotgun to be sure of a clean kill, the head is a small target or the bullet in the body may not hit a vital organ.

Thank you for being responsible about this. It's the right decision, your families safety is most important. That doesn't mean it is easy.
 

Morrigan

Free Ranging
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Apr 9, 2014
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You are doing the right thing by eliminating a mean rooster, hard as it is. I agree that giving it to someone who would kill it for the meat would be the best outcome, if that is possible. Check around with neighbors who keep livestock or even a local butcher. Someone might step up to help even if they don't really need the meat.

If it is not, and if you are concerned about wrestling a mean rooster on butcher day, you could dispatch him at night. Pull him off the roost at night and wrap a towel snuggly around it's body so it can't kick and flap, have a stump and axe set up nearby (or cone and knife), and then have someone hold a good lamp or strong flashlight while the other does the deed. Think through and practice the motions before hand. Make sure your axe or knife is sharpened. When the time comes, stay calm, even if things don't go perfectly.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
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Nov 12, 2009
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I do either the cone, or the broomstick. They will flap a bit, but it is just the death throws, not suffering agony. Do not feel guilty, it is his fault and truly dangerous to your children.

Handling them after dark is much easier. If a bird has attacked you multiple time it is normal to be a bit intimidated Wear a heavy sweatshirt, take a towel, put your hands at each of the long ends, flip the middle up over the top of his head, and reach for his body firmly. Should be a minimal of fuss, but do grab firmly and hang on.

Roosters are crap shoot, some turn out wonderful and some are nightmares. Where the romance meets reality.

Mrs K
 

KDrake

Songster
Jun 27, 2018
74
229
101
Wyoming
After talking with my husband and seeing some of your responses, I do not want his life to go to waste. My husband mentioned eating him before. My first reaction was "No way!" He's our pet and he has a name. I won't be eating him, but if my husband wants to then I think that is the best route to go. I am putting this off as long as possible.
I guess I will be doing some Youtube-ing.
I don't know if I'm cut out to be a chicken owner!
 
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rjohns39

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Aug 20, 2015
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After talking with my husband and seeing some of your responses, I do not want his life to go to waste. My husband mentioned eating him before. My first reaction was "No way!" He's our pet and he had a name. I won't be eating him, but if my husband wants to then I think that is the best route to go. I am putting this off as long as possible.
I guess I will be doing some Youtube-ing.
I don't know if I'm cut out to be a chicken owner!
If you would like a good video on how to process I can get you a couple.
 

Morrigan

Free Ranging
7 Years
Apr 9, 2014
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N. California
After talking with my husband and seeing some of your responses, I do not want his life to go to waste. My husband mentioned eating him before. My first reaction was "No way!" He's our pet and he has a name. I won't be eating him, but if my husband wants to then I think that is the best route to go. I am putting this off as long as possible.
I guess I will be doing some Youtube-ing.
I don't know if I'm cut out to be a chicken owner!
Sometimes the hardest decisions are the best ones.

A couple of things to keep in mind, as far as the eating goes.

--Make sure you rest the meat in the fridge for 2 to 3 days after butchering it. Otherwise it will be really tough for your husband.

--I understand if you don't want to eat it yourself, but you might want to think about cooking it down, shredding the meat, and then put the whole bag in the freezer. After a couple of months, take it out and make a casserole or tacos or something. Many people find that the passage of time, plus taking the meat off the bones, makes it seem more like "meat" and less like the chicken you once knew. You gave the chicken a much, much better life than the supermarket chickens got; you shouldn't feel bad about eating it.

Good luck with everything and sorry that your rooster decided to go mean.
 
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