What is the Best Way To Cull a Chicken for a Squeamish Person

MarkJr

Change in America begins at the dinner table
Premium Feather Member
Jun 15, 2020
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Elkton, OR
I’ve just now come across this thread but I’ve read through everything. My preferred method, and I know this is not for everybody for sure, is to use a really accurate .22 rifle or pellet rifle and shoot the chicken right where the skull meets the neck. Majority of my chickens free range 100% of the time and are not always easy to catch so this works great for me and I probably have done several dozen this way. I’ve hunted all my life so making a clean, ethical shot in the right place comes second nature and I won’t pull the trigger unless I’m confident the bullet will hit its mark. Waiting until the chicken is resting quietly or not moving and making sure no other chicken or object is in the background before taking the shot it important. For me, this eliminates the stress of being captured and held down for the chicken and it’s an immediate “lights out”. A shot at the base of the skull will destroy part of the brain, brain stem, spinal cord, one or both of the main arteries, and depending on the shot, the windpipe as well. I like this way because you never have to even touch the bird to kill it and they will often just plop down, flap their wings for a few seconds, and go limp. But like I said, this is not for everyone and if shooting a small target isn’t your forte, I wouldn’t recommend it.
I’ve dispatched several this way. My ‘spot’ is the ear. Never had to shoot twice
 

MrFluffyandGirls

Songster
Dec 30, 2018
931
2,646
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SC, Low Country
Head shot with small shot in a shotgun or a 22. Instant death, inexpensive if you already own a gun and you can stand back so there's no hands on.
If I had to do it hands on I think the cone method would be better for control and less chance of missing the target.
 

bikerchix

Chirping
Jun 5, 2020
55
138
73
in my case...make my husband do it! i can process them but i can't kill a bird i raised from a chick. this works out well cause he has a weak stomach and gags throughout the processing part.
 

Timmy59

In the Brooder
Jul 26, 2020
17
21
23
Unless 1 is a marksman a gun is the wrong idea.. As said above CO2 would be a route for the sensitive..
 

Ruthster55

Crowing
Nov 23, 2013
987
1,658
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Northern South America
When I was a bit heavier, I could hold the chicken firmly, upside down, between my legs and use a sharpened knife.

Can’t do that anymore, so I got a cone and now use a small and sharp knife to cut the artery in the neck.

A scald pot needs to be on the stove, and a clean table plus a running hose or water source needs to be available for the gutting and piecing.

A good marksman can use a .22 or .177 to get feral or otherwise uncontrollable chickens. I don’t see the point of using the arm with average chickens unless the chickens are absolutely un-catchable during the daytime and at night they are roosting in trees or somewhere inaccesible.

A .22 is necessary for any serious chicken raiser IMHO to dispatch raccoons and other chicken predators, but it’s of limited use regarding the chickens themselves as long as the chicken flock is properly managed and roosting in a coop.

I prefer to raise manageable chickens that can be caught in the run or taken off the roost at night, and then placed in a cage for a few hours with water only to clear the gut. Then, I process in the morning.

The flock is under control at the moment, and I am glad I don’t have to do this right now....
 
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Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Feb 2, 2009
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Southeast Louisiana
A .22 is necessary for any serious chicken raiser IMHO to dispatch raccoons and other chicken predators,

I'm going to disagree with you on this statement that a '22 is necessary for different reasons. One is that it depends on where you live. In most places in suburbia any gun is not the answer. Too many people living too close together. Too much danger from ricochet's or just what is downrange. The images that come to mind are kids playing outside or babies in strollers. In the right circumstances maybe a pellet gun, nothing stronger. But even those would have to be the right circumstances. A guy was shooing rats in his back yard with a pellet gun, those circumstances did not bother me.

My personal preference is my 12 gauge shotgun, I practically never use my .22, mainly coyotes or foxes during daylight due to the range. #4 shot full choke turkey load will handle practically anything else with less chance of missing something vital. To me the biggest advantage is the limited range. There are too many cattle and horses all around me for me to be sure I have a clean shot with nothing within a mile downrange with the .22. A few people too. Due to the lay of the land about the only direction I feel comfortable with the .22 is toward the mountain. If the cattle or horses are in that direction I can see them. Remote as it is the chances of someone hiking up there are really low.

As far as raccoons go I like to trap them. At night I can't see downrange at all and trapping works well. For possum the trap works too and I've never shot one. I have used a shovel a few times. Why let it get away while you go looking for a gun when the shovel is handy?

I'm not against guns, I have them and use them. You need a predator plan. What that is depends on your circumstances. The part that bothers me about your statement is that a .22 is necessary for any. In my circumstances if I had to choose between my traps, my .22, and my 12 gauge, the .22 would be the first to go. It is by far the least useful to me.
 

Ruthster55

Crowing
Nov 23, 2013
987
1,658
271
Northern South America
A .22 is necessary for any serious chicken raiser IMHO to dispatch raccoons and other chicken predators,

I'm going to disagree with you on this statement that a '22 is necessary for different reasons. One is that it depends on where you live. In most places in suburbia any gun is not the answer. Too many people living too close together. Too much danger from ricochet's or just what is downrange. The images that come to mind are kids playing outside or babies in strollers. In the right circumstances maybe a pellet gun, nothing stronger. But even those would have to be the right circumstances. A guy was shooing rats in his back yard with a pellet gun, those circumstances did not bother me.

My personal preference is my 12 gauge shotgun, I practically never use my .22, mainly coyotes or foxes during daylight due to the range. #4 shot full choke turkey load will handle practically anything else with less chance of missing something vital. To me the biggest advantage is the limited range. There are too many cattle and horses all around me for me to be sure I have a clean shot with nothing within a mile downrange with the .22. A few people too. Due to the lay of the land about the only direction I feel comfortable with the .22 is toward the mountain. If the cattle or horses are in that direction I can see them. Remote as it is the chances of someone hiking up there are really low.

As far as raccoons go I like to trap them. At night I can't see downrange at all and trapping works well. For possum the trap works too and I've never shot one. I have used a shovel a few times. Why let it get away while you go looking for a gun when the shovel is handy?

I'm not against guns, I have them and use them. You need a predator plan. What that is depends on your circumstances. The part that bothers me about your statement is that a .22 is necessary for any. In my circumstances if I had to choose between my traps, my .22, and my 12 gauge, the .22 would be the first to go. It is by far the least useful to me.
By “serious chicken raiser,” I meant ppl who live in rural areas and have more than just a small city or suburban flock.

Don’t worry. I don’t recommend a .22 for ppl in the suburbs. Trap and pellet gun if there are raccoons attacking the chickens.

Once you trap a raccoon, you need something to humanely dispatch the raccoon in the trap. Relocation of raccoons isn’t allowed in many places.
 

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