Need to Vent

AtlanticCity

Chirping
Apr 3, 2021
23
142
79
Not like a chicken's vent... I just need to get some things off my chest and I figured that fellow chicken people would be good folks to vent to. I know many of you will think this is silly and some may get a good laugh out of my naiveté but that's ok. I like making people laugh and at least I'd be good for something.

I killed my first birds today.

As I mentioned in a previous post I ordered 8 chicks from a hatchery about 5 months ago that claimed a 95% success rate in determining the sex of the chicks. Three of the 8 turned out to be cockerels. I tried to re-home them but craigslist can be a strange and scary place. I got a few text message replies that may have been AI bots (broken English, run-on sentences, no capitalization and no or wrong punctuation such as exclamation point where question marks should be). The one person that I spoke with on the phone was oddly terse and rude. He basically demanded I give him all three roosters even though he admitted to having no coop, no other birds, and generally sounded sketchy.

I was remained hopeful I would find a home for them eventually but things started to go bad behaviorally. One of the cockerels - a Buff Orpington - would get aggressive and peck at me when I went into the run to give them leftovers/treats. I actually found it funny and enjoyed sparring with him but I'm a full-grown adult. I have young kids as well as young nieces and nephews that I did not want to be attacked. Then this morning another of the cockerels - a "Green Queen" - who had been increasing aggressive towards the hens attacked a fellow Green Queen hen and gave her a small cut on the left side of her head right at the base of her beak.

That was it. I knew they had to go.

I had studied up on how I would dispatch a bird when the time inevitably came so I had a plan.

I caught the first bird, lowered it into the cone I had screwed to a tree and placed a string with a loop at one end around its neck (not tight) that I used to keep the neck ever-so-slightly stretched. The other end of the string I attached to a screw that I had drilled into the tree about a foot below the cone. This was just to keep the head and neck still. The bird was comfortable - there neck was not overly extended and the airway was not blocked. Then I took a brand new (aka very sharp) pair of tree loppers and cut the bird's neck. I repeated this two more times.

Now I am experiencing waves of guilt. If it had been someone else's birds I think I would feel much better about it. But these birds I raised from small chicks. They trusted me and I can't help but feel I betrayed that trust. I know that probably sounds silly. Heck I had a chicken kabob salad for dinner last night. But I can't help but feel that after putting so much time and effort and - quite frankly - love into making sure these birds had a great life (ie building a massive coop with windows and a huge, predator-proof run, buying the best feed, keeping them warm with heat lamps when they were young, etc, etc) I killed them just bc they were born the wrong sex. It just seems... I don't know... like a betrayal.

Yeah I know it's dumb. I'll get over it. But does anyone else ever feel this way? I've eaten THOUSANDS of chickens in my life, so it's silly to feel this way about these birds. But I miss my buddies. I'm sorry guys.

Ok thanks for letting me vent. Gotta go. I've got a hot date with Mr. Daniels.
 

Chookchicken

🎄Fluffiest In The Flock🎄
Premium Feather Member
Dec 4, 2020
2,301
7,670
579
You did what was right. It isn’t betrayal. You did what was best for them, you gave them a good life. You would’ve probably just ended up selling them to someone who would just eat them for dinner anyways, you doing it meant they got to spend the last little bit of their life’s stress free, running with the rest of their flock. I’m sure lots of people on this site can offer you support, wither they have ever had to kill a chicken, or not. :hugs
 

Lauravonsmurf

Crowing
7 Years
Apr 2, 2014
1,594
1,066
306
Fair Oaks, CA
I doubt the sketch guy was going to keep them as pets... if they didn’t end up in his stomach or as food for dogs (there is a lady in my area that try’s to get unwanted horses from people whose kids have grown up and gone off she says she is looking for a pony for her grandkid... the truth is she shoots them and feeds them to her show dogs... she totally lies to people to get the ponies free or cheap and they think their kid‘s old pony is going to a loving home), they could have been used as fodder for training dogs or other roosters... or something even worse. So choosing to give them as quick as possible and as stress free as possible deaths is better than handing them over to someone who might have tormented them first.

It is never a good feeling to take an animal’s life you have cared for. I have had to do so first as a kid so we had dinner and as an adult to end suffering of an animal. It is never fun. I keep my birds for fun and as pets, but I acknowledge that there may come a time I will have to cull birds.

Hugs
 

Isadora

Soli Deo gloria
Premium Feather Member
Mar 29, 2021
4,392
20,554
786
IN
Guilt is a human emotion, so I hope you don't worry that your chickens felt the same way. Like some of the other members that have already replied, it's a normal part of animal husbandry and can be tough. It sounds like these birds had a very good life with you and you were being responsible by not giving them to some creepy guy on craigslist.
 

AtlanticCity

Chirping
Apr 3, 2021
23
142
79
I doubt the sketch guy was going to keep them as pets... if they didn’t end up in his stomach or as food for dogs (there is a lady in my area that try’s to get unwanted horses from people whose kids have grown up and gone off she says she is looking for a pony for her grandkid... the truth is she shoots them and feeds them to her show dogs... she totally lies to people to get the ponies free or cheap and they think their kid‘s old pony is going to a loving home), they could have been used as fodder for training dogs or other roosters... or something even worse. So choosing to give them as quick as possible and as stress free as possible deaths is better than handing them over to someone who might have tormented them first.

It is never a good feeling to take an animal’s life you have cared for. I have had to do so first as a kid so we had dinner and as an adult to end suffering of an animal. It is never fun. I keep my birds for fun and as pets, but I acknowledge that there may come a time I will have to cull birds.

Hugs
Thank you everyone. I appreciate your reassurance and kind words.

Laura, what you said about "...training for other roosters..." is exactly what I was thinking when speaking with the guy on the phone and I absolutely did NOT want to be wondering if this was their fate.
 

HeatherKellyB

"One day or Day one"
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2019
5,364
12,258
737
Moore County, NC
I applaud your bravery and doing what needed to be done. I wish I could be more like you. My weakness is why I have so many roosters and cockerels, well besides the fact that I LOVE Roosters. I have three mean roosters (one is a silkie and before I leave each day I say, "Be strong and brave boys. Protect the girls. Be sure to let Zane show off his bravery if necessary." <in case you're wondering, Zane is the mean silkie> I know that it'll never happen like that but in my mind, I keep him around as the main protector which is stupid on my part and actually gruesome now that I type it out). My other two mean boys have been on my radar for culling for too long. I worry that I'll not be able to do the job correctly and end up with birds that suffered because of me.
With A*L*L* of that mentioned, I'm still impressed with you and a bit jealous. I want to be more like you.

All of the other boys are welcome and will have a home and be fed to their crops content, but there's no need for them to be stupid. They know who feeds them and I try really hard to respect them in their worlds
 

Parront

Crossing the Road
Jul 27, 2017
6,522
27,652
907
Prescott, AZ
I applaud your bravery and doing what needed to be done. I wish I could be more like you. My weakness is why I have so many roosters and cockerels, well besides the fact that I LOVE Roosters. I have three mean roosters (one is a silkie and before I leave each day I say, "Be strong and brave boys. Protect the girls. Be sure to let Zane show off his bravery if necessary." <in case you're wondering, Zane is the mean silkie> I know that it'll never happen like that but in my mind, I keep him around as the main protector which is stupid on my part and actually gruesome now that I type it out). My other two mean boys have been on my radar for culling for too long. I worry that I'll not be able to do the job correctly and end up with birds that suffered because of me.
With A*L*L* of that mentioned, I'm still impressed with you and a bit jealous. I want to be more like you.

All of the other boys are welcome and will have a home and be fed to their crops content, but there's no need for them to be stupid. They know who feeds them and I try really hard to respect them in their worlds
I have one very nice cockerel. His brothers that were
smaller, crockpot and pressure cooker chicken. Some went to my friend, one to a neighbor. Very good use for them. They have the best chicken life here, until the last moment.
 

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