Tips for first time culling?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Jaemomma, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. Jaemomma

    Jaemomma Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 16, 2014
    Georgia
    Tomorrow morning will be my first time culling my flock. I have 6 20 week old roosters that I plan to cull.

    So, any tips for a first timer? I have watched videos, read step by step directions, but I wanted to know, if you had any advice as well? What is the most important thing to remember?

    Thanks.
     
  2. deathfromabove

    deathfromabove Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 8, 2014
    maryland
    It depends on how you are going to do the deed, if you are just taking a hatchet to the head just make it quick so they don't feel anything. If you are just cutting the artery hang the chicken upside down and use a very sharp knife. Plucking/skinning: I've done both and I think the skinning method works the best and less messy.
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    Agreed - how do you plan on killing them? If it's with a hatchet, I would suggest you have someone there to hold the bird for you. We use 2 nails in a stump in a "v" shape, put the head on one side of the nails, and I hold the chicken, gently pulling the body taut. DH wields the hatchet. If I had to do it alone, I think I'd use a cone and slit the throat. I'd slit it through, though, so it dies more quickly instead of hanging there slowly bleeding to death. If you decapitate with a hatchet, be prepared for flopping and flapping. It can be unnerving if you've never seen it. It's just their nerve endings misfiring. They are dead, really. Once the head is off, it's all over. There can be a smell that accompanies the butchering process. The meat is still fine. Sometimes we skin, sometimes we pluck. Depends on our plans for the birds we're processing. Whatever method you use to kill them, make sure you are steady and don't hesitate partway through. Just do it. You don't want your birds to suffer.
     
  4. Jaemomma

    Jaemomma Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 16, 2014
    Georgia
    Thanks everyone. We used a hatchet, it was very effective. Boy was that a lot of work! I have a feeling it doesn't normally take seasoned pros this long but it took us just under 4 hours from start to finish to process 6 chickens. From coop to freezer. It was definitely a learning experience! I don't think I'd ever want to do more than 1 or two at a time in the future. Hopefully my 7 hens will be happier now that there is only 1 rooster instead of 7!
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    Good for you for a job well done! Like everything, it will go faster as you do it more.
     
  6. LindaB220

    LindaB220 Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] Good job. I'll never do more than 1-2 at a time because it's just me and I'm old. [​IMG][​IMG]
     

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