Processing chickens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by hiddenchicks, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. hiddenchicks

    hiddenchicks New Egg

    Mar 24, 2015
    Ok, here's the problem. I have 6 hens & 1 rooster. They're almost 6 years old. I can't bring myself to process them at home or send them off to a stress filled ride & arrival at a slaughter house. So..........they become my pets because I feel like I would be a traitor if I did so that. They trusted me. I know. I can hear the groans now. I guess I'M the chicken! It just seems so dishonest. Just venting here. How do you all handle it? Thanks. Beth
  2. chicklover 1998

    chicklover 1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2015
    Say your good byes and then give them just a couple grains of whatever is in their food(no matter how much they have had it if it is just a few morsels they are just as happy as if you just gave them caviar), then quickly wring their neck, I'm sure you gave your chickens a good life and a really great life in comparison to a factory bird.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
  3. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    Why are you "processing" them?

    Are you wanting to replace them with hens that lay or do you have to get rid of them because of a move or other situation?
  4. sawilliams

    sawilliams Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2015
    Nor Cal
    Do you have a friend that would maybe cull them for you? Someone nearby so you don't have to move them far but you can tell your self your just re-homing them...

    Honestly. I can blame you I have 6 chicks I'm raising right now 1 or 2 to keep 2 for a friend and the other 2-3 for dinner. I am a bit nervous myself about processing these girls as they are our first chicks we started the flock last year with pullets. And I'm only suppose to have 6 hens becuase we are in a subdivision. So I know when the time comes if I can't do it I have to re home them all. But we are dead set on no free loaders so I know it's a part of the process that I'm going to have to get use too.

    But if it's a space issue maybe you can swap out just a few, like 1 or 2 for new layers to give yourself time
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Not sure there's a cure for anthropomorphism.
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    For some people they are pets, for some livestock. For many somewhere in between. I like the way someone else expressed it recently. Look at the flock as the pet and the individual chickens as replaceable parts in the flock.

    I don’t know why you are thinking about removing them but you obviously feel about it a lot differently than I do. I know from the start that mine will be eaten, it’s a big part of why I have chickens to start with. I don’t enjoy the killing part but it’s a necessary part of me keeping chickens so I do it.

    I don’t know your motivation, but if you had a dog that was broken down and in great misery would you take it to the vet to be put down or just let it continue to suffer? I doubt your six year old chickens are in misery but can you draw a parallel?

    Some people keep them until they die of old age. There is nothing wrong with that if that is your choice. It’s not my choice but I will not criticize you for choosing that. Don’t beat yourself up about it if that is your choice.
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    there's nothing wrong with keeping older birds as strictly pets, if you have the space and financial means to do so. Not all chickens have to be eaten in the end.

    This site is basically divided between the pets and livestock categories. Some keep their birds for their natural lifespan, laying or not, and enjoy them as pets. Some view them as livestock and manage them accordingly. Neither one is right or wrong, it's simply what is right for you at this time.
  8. hiddenchicks

    hiddenchicks New Egg

    Mar 24, 2015
    Thank you to everyone for responding and giving me their advice/viewpoint. I would like to gets new chicks this spring for the eggs, but am not sure it the present chickens would accept them or is there will be enough room in the coop. Plus, I would like the meat, but everything that has a face becomes my "buddy". Guess I'll have to continue to get my chicken from the grocery store until I get a spine. Beth :(
    1 person likes this.

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