strategies to avoid upsetting layers during butchering?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by muell112, May 6, 2009.

  1. muell112

    muell112 Songster

    Feb 4, 2009
    Bangor, ME
    We are new to chickens - got a dozen meat birds and a dozen or so layers. They're still chicks and inside at the moment but will be sharing a coop outside/fenced in area. I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions about quietly separating the birds/maintaining an overall calm atmosphere among all of the birds on butchering day, and making it the least traumatic for the meat birds as possible. Thanks.

  2. sesa

    sesa Songster

    Mar 27, 2009
    Thurmont, Md
    put some vodka in their water [​IMG]
  3. jaku

    jaku Songster

    This probably isn't what you're looking for, but my best suggestion would be to keep the layers in the coop area you described, then build a separate, movable tractor to keep the meat birds in. It will be MUCH cleaner for both of them, and will accomplish the goal you described as well.
  4. TimG

    TimG Songster

    Jul 23, 2008
    Doing this sort of thing (separating or integrating) is often best done in the evening when chickens are getting ready to hunker down for the night. Sleeping chickens are sort of zombie like.

    If you're concerned about the commotion, I'd suggest putting the meat birds in a separate cage/box/pen the night before the big day.

    But, remember that the chickens have no idea that you're going to kill them when you go into their coop and pick them up. Handle them regularly and they'll be used to it.

  5. kinnip

    kinnip Songster

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    Unless there's some serious inter-breed bonding (unlikely), they're unlikely to notice the change. Even if they do, they'll forget in few days.
    As for calmness, the best strategy would be to separate the meaties the night before. If we're talking Cornish xs, they aren't hard to catch.
  6. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    It's all very calm here on butchering days, nothing that upsets the other birds. I put the candidates in a seperate cage the night before so they don't have access to food, not even grass. I want them to have empty crops & intestines. (They do have all the water they need) So there's not a lot of running around chasing birds in broad daylight, trying to catch the dinner guests.

    I get my birds very calm & relaxed before dispatching by holding them upside down, stroking their chests, talking soothingly to them. Last time I "hypnotized" them by tucking their heads under a wing, holding them upside down & rocking them side to side, really wide, about 10 times. They could then be laid on the table for tying and they didn't move an inch. One of them even sounded like he was snoring. They stayed asleep until I hung them up to slit their throats, there was very little noise or fuss.

    But even if there was, I don't think it would bother the layers in the slightest. They circle around the table like sharks, waiting to snap up the bits of meat & organs I toss out to them. They'll peck at the carcasses too, if they can get within reach of them!
  7. muell112

    muell112 Songster

    Feb 4, 2009
    Bangor, ME
    Great idea to separate them the night before...and I like the idea of getting them hypnotic! Thanks everyone!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by