Tips for getting through first cull.

EmmaRainboe

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Why are you killing him 😢 ?
Trust me, I really really really don't want to.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...vestock-and-respectful-chicken-harvest.72871/ <---- This article was useful for me when considering culling extra roosters.

I didn't read this entire thread, but I've been in your shoes. I have also processed Cornish Cross and can assure you it is easier processing them than it is your own rooster. Even with the Cornish Cross, I really had to stop myself from dwelling on any negative emotions. You knew the risks of roosters when getting chickens in the first place, so a part of you was already prepared for this inevitable decision.

In my own personal opinion, to cull a rooster I would do so with the intent of eating him. I couldn't let his life go to waste. Once he's plucked and looks like a grocery store chicken, it isn't so bad, I promise.

I wish you the best of luck! This isn't an easy decision.
Thank you, very helpful.
Hi Emma, if the breeder will help with processing, take the opportunity to learn self-sufficiency skills. If you want to support wildlife conservation, give him to the eagle people. If you want to experience the best chicken broth, roast the bird then simmer overnight. If you have a livestock auction nearby and need money back for the food he’s eaten or want to let him go to someone who needs him, sell him. If you need motivation to follow through with any of these choices, think about what a waste it would be if somebodies dog got into your yard and ruined him. And if you’re allowed to keep roosters in your area?? Enjoy watching him his whole life. Ultimately it’s your own personal choice and I can’t tell you which is best. Much love :hugs

*edited to add, people who sell pullets and don’t take back roosters are chicken! 🧐
Thank you 💕 :hugs
In my situation in this area even if I can find someone to take my roos they most likely will meet the same fate or worse. Possibly cock fighting. Live in poor conditions. Crowded.
Then if I keep them the nature of roos. Its gonna be a fight.
Indeed. 😔

That is why I feel, no matter his fate, he is going to be someone's dinner, if not mine, then the breeders family, if not them, then the eagles, if not them, then another family.

It's a hard world for roosters.
Yep, it's hard.
Even tho I went into chickens knowing I would slaughter for meat.
I knew I would hatch new layers ever year, so extra males and older hens would become meat.
I kept a rogue cockerel in a separate part of coop over the winter while I researched techniques and equipment for 6 months....and got my nerve up.
Read tons of blogs, posts, and watched a few dozen videos to compile the best info.

Directly killing an animal is no small matter. I had adrenaline tremors for 30 minutes after slitting that first neck, even after a few dozen slaughters I still shake a bit.
No matter how you kill it, it will take up to 60 seconds for it to stop moving.
Death Throes are alarming, but something every animal you eat goes thru whether you see it or not.

My biggest fears were a botched neck slit and piercing the rectum/intestine while gutting.
This blog was the most helpful I found for dealing with both of those.

After slaughtering(killing, scalding/plucking/gutting) you've got a bare bird very similar to a grocery bird, so butchering it into parts is relatively easy (if you've ever done that).

I wrote this thread as a catharsis and to thank those that helped me learn.
You might learn something from it.

Good Luck with your decision....mind over matter...you can do it, if you set your mind to it.
Thank you so much, very helpful, and encouraging :hugs
 

EmmaRainboe

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I still don't understand.
I really don't want to. I only have space for one coop on my property, that coop is already run by another roo. I just don't have space for two.

And I was lied to about his breed (and gender). He was sold as a Lav Orp. He ended up being somesort of EE with Jersey Giant father. Not really a desirable cross. So if I find him someplace who will take him, it won't be for the protection or breeding of hens. He won't have a flock, he will be dinner.

Trust me, I understand where you are coming from, but I really don't have any other option. I just don't have space.
 

Fallenone05

Songster
5 Years
Oct 7, 2015
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I killed and butchered my first bird this year, all by myself. I had an extra boy that hatched. He started getting picked on by my dominant male and nobody around here buys roosters except specifically for food.

The idea tho that I sold my pretty boy only for him to be used as a bait bird or in cockfighting unnerved me.

Why would I raise something I loved for him to die in such a cruel way?

I decided he'd be my 'test subject' and I'd learn a new skill this year by killing a bird and just getting the job done. I can kill him quickly vs someone making him suffer.

I've butchered probably 3 or 4 roosters this year now because of it. I recently killed one (this past weekend) and it was for the same reason - one too many, he was getting bullied by the hens and my roo, and I didn't trust anyone to kill him quickly like I would.

It's hard. It's sad.
But it's rewarding in its own way on top of those things.

I just keep telling myself, "I love this bird more than anyone else, and I don't trust anyone else to treat him as well as I have, or to kill him like I will."
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
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I wrote this thread as a catharsis and to thank those that helped me learn.
You might learn something from it.

The link did not work for me.

@EmmaRainboe you are not alone. Many people cannot kill their own chickens. Some that can butcher them cannot eat them. It's not physical, it's emotional. Your feelings are not something that you really have a choice over. I think it is better to be realistic about this rather than all your suffering and anguish. If you cannot kill him or if you or your brother cannot eat him, accept that.

I don't consider you weak or inadequate, killing should never be an easy thoughtless thing. I look at it as he had a great life and then one bad moment. And I try to make that one moment as quick as I can. I consider the "best" way to be the way you can. How can you do that without flinching or closing your eyes at the wrong time? You do not want to injure the chicken or yourself, you want a clean kill. That can be the broomstick method, slitting the throat with or without a cone, removing the head with loppers, pruning shears or a hatchet and stump, or other possible ways.

I don't get hung up on bleeding them out. When I hunt squirrel or rabbit I don't bleed them out and they are fine to eat. Bleeding is better but I try to not let the pursuit of perfection get in the way of perfectly good enough. To me a clean kill would be more important than a good bleed out.

I don't know how old he is. The age at butcher has a lot to say about what the best way to cook him would be. If you decide to eat him if you tell us age maybe we could suggest some recipes so he will be tender and flavorful.

As much anguish as this is obviously causing you I suggest you make a decision so you can start the healing process. You will get over it. Making that decision will not be easy. With as much thought and effort you are putting into it you will make a good decision. You are doing the best you can, no one can do better.
 

EmmaRainboe

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The link did not work for me.

@EmmaRainboe you are not alone. Many people cannot kill their own chickens. Some that can butcher them cannot eat them. It's not physical, it's emotional. Your feelings are not something that you really have a choice over. I think it is better to be realistic about this rather than all your suffering and anguish. If you cannot kill him or if you or your brother cannot eat him, accept that.

I don't consider you weak or inadequate, killing should never be an easy thoughtless thing. I look at it as he had a great life and then one bad moment. And I try to make that one moment as quick as I can. I consider the "best" way to be the way you can. How can you do that without flinching or closing your eyes at the wrong time? You do not want to injure the chicken or yourself, you want a clean kill. That can be the broomstick method, slitting the throat with or without a cone, removing the head with loppers, pruning shears or a hatchet and stump, or other possible ways.

I don't get hung up on bleeding them out. When I hunt squirrel or rabbit I don't bleed them out and they are fine to eat. Bleeding is better but I try to not let the pursuit of perfection get in the way of perfectly good enough. To me a clean kill would be more important than a good bleed out.

I don't know how old he is. The age at butcher has a lot to say about what the best way to cook him would be. If you decide to eat him if you tell us age maybe we could suggest some recipes so he will be tender and flavorful.

As much anguish as this is obviously causing you I suggest you make a decision so you can start the healing process. You will get over it. Making that decision will not be easy. With as much thought and effort you are putting into it you will make a good decision. You are doing the best you can, no one can do better.
Thank you so much 🥰 :hugs

Also currently I believe he is around 7 months old.
 

Morrigan

Free Ranging
6 Years
Apr 9, 2014
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As much anguish as this is obviously causing you I suggest you make a decision so you can start the healing process. You will get over it.

This is good advice. The indecision and going back and forth can turn into a counter-productive spiral. I think you will feel so much better when this is in your rear view mirror. I have been faced with some difficult decisions about how best to manage my flock, including who to keep and who to eat. As hard as some of those decisions have been, I have always been glad I made them.

You have sound bases for any decision you make. Decisions are rarely perfect, because life is not perfect. The sooner the execute the best decision for you, the sooner you can get on with enjoying your remaining chickens.

Good luck! If you decide to butcher and eat your cockerel know that you are in good company, both here on these forums, and throughout humankind's long history of raising chickens.
 

Jenwisp

Songster
May 14, 2020
223
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Hudson Valley, NY
I butchered 2 aggressive male ducks and a cockerel this fall. I loved The Chief, but he kept attacking my 6 year old. She and I ate them, hubby couldn't bring himself to.

I got through it one step at a time. Do the first thing. Do the next, etc. Don't think beyond that. My child helped pluck the birds, so she has a step toward truly understanding where meat comes from.

And we said thank you and good bye to each bird. I am still processing emotionally but I am proud I was able to do it and gained a life skill.
 

JoePa

Songster
9 Years
Apr 18, 2011
285
78
176
Lehigh County Pa.
I am a hunter - shot hundreds of animals over my life span - here’s the way I look at killing an animal - everyone of them will eventually die - if your talking about a wild animal like a deer it will die either from starvation ,disease ,being hit by a car , torn apart by a bunch of coyotes or some other painful manner - being hit by a 30:06 is by far the easiest way to go - this is true of all wild animals

Now when you talk about an animal you raised the same thing applies - it is going to die someday - usually a long painful death unless you kill it quick - chopping off its head is by far the painless way to go - so look at it this way - you are doing it a favor by killing it

I read where people go to all extremes trying to keep a sick chicken alive - many times it would be far better for the chicken if it was killed than to suffer - they all die the only question is how and when - you are doing a rooster a favor by killing it - it doesn’t have any thing to worry about after it is gone - hope that helps
 

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