What is the most humane way of killing a chicken?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by silkie7777, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. silkie7777

    silkie7777 Out Of The Brooder

    46
    3
    34
    Feb 22, 2014
    My husband has no problem doing away with my extra roosters and yes they do eat them. I am just curious what is the best most stress free way for the chicken? He usually snaps their neck at night when they are asleep in the coop. Is this the best way?
     
  2. alaskanchickens

    alaskanchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    165
    5
    63
    Jan 21, 2014
    South central Alaska
    We have tried many different ways and we have found that a round of wood and an axe works the best. It's quick and painless and if you catch them at night and put them in a sack before hand you don't have the flopping. My husband has tried what you mentioned and has a problem with the ones that don't die right away
     
  3. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,401
    172
    143
    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama
    Ther way I do it is I go in the rooster pen and say "Who wants to be next?" Which ever rooster walks up I pick him up and take him to the chopping block, stick his head between 2 nails and whack him with the hatchet.
    Never yet had one complain or refuse to die instantly.
     
    2 people like this.
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,843
    3,881
    441
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    We also use the hatchet and stump method. It's quick - over in seconds for the chicken. If they do feel any stress, it's only for a few seconds between the time I pick them up and the head is removed.
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    39,751
    1,254
    516
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Ditto. Just processed 7 this morning.

    Take food away the night before. It's easier to clean when their crop isn't full.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,311
    3,616
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I also use the stump, two nails, and hatchet method, but to me the most humane way is the way you can. As long as it is swift and sure, it’s humane. The worst thing is to try something you’re not capable of and you don’t follow through. If you flinch or close your eyes at the wrong time you might hurt yourself or just wound the chicken. That would be bad.

    I don’t put the hatchet, killing cone, the broomstick, or wringing the neck as one better than the other methods. It’s whichever you can do correctly that works the best.
     
    4 people like this.
  7. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,256
    405
    236
    Nov 10, 2010
    Ridgerunner, very well said! I whole heartedly agree.
    Decide how you will dispatch your chicken and just do it. No hesitation, no fussing, just get it done and move on.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
    2 people like this.
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I agree. Whatever gets them dead and bled out in the quickest, most efficient manner is the most humane, whatever that method may be. Your choice. Now, as to killing them off the roost at night...it's handy but I'd want to finish processing them right away and processing at night is a real pain. If you kill at night and then wait until morning to finish the process, you might want to do that killing in the early morning off the roost instead if you want a fresh kill and a quick process that results in fresher meat.
     
  9. silkie7777

    silkie7777 Out Of The Brooder

    46
    3
    34
    Feb 22, 2014
    Thank you for your replies, a lot of good information from all of you.
     
  10. 3KillerBs

    3KillerBs Chillin' With My Peeps

    591
    31
    153
    Jul 10, 2009
    North Carolina Sandhills
    I did my 5 packing peanuts with the broomstick over the neck. I was working in my in-town, corner lot backyard so I didn't want the visibility of the hatchet and stump or the mess of spraying blood where my then 7yo would come home and see it (he knows that they "went away" not that they're in the freezer). Also I was sure that I could manage the broomstick because it doesn't require strength or aim.

    3 of the 5 were perfectly clean, immediate kills. The two that the broomstick slipped on were, nevertheless, obviously unconscious and feeling nothing.

    The man who taught me said that the key was to calm the chicken first and then to make the end so fast that he doesn't know he's in danger until its over.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by