What to use to hang my kill cone? A rack or a tree?


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jul 1, 2010
Northern CA
So I'm preparing to do some processing for the first time, but am not sure what I should hang my kill cones on... I'm not super crafty, so building one out of wood isn't the easiest for me, but I also don't exactly want to hang it on a tree and then have a bloody tree. Can a non-crafty person like me still build a decent rack to hang cones on? Or does Home Depot sell metal racks that could work? Or should I just sacrifice a tree? Thanks in advance for the advice!
We hang ours on a wall of the shed. Plastic garbage bags stapled up help protect the wall. An occasional spurt does reach unprotected walls, but in our case it doesn't really matter; you may feel differently.
There really isn't that much blood, and if you hold the bird's head steady after you slice the blood vessels you can help direct most of it into a bucket. Or tack some plastic around the trunk. You shouldn't have to "sacrifice" the tree, any blood that gets on it will wash off fairly easily.

I repurposed a metal yard swing frame for my killing station. A length of 2X6 has been bolted across the top, on which I attatched 3 (home-made) cones. There are also hooks in between the cones, from which I can hang the birds by their feet after scalding, and more easily hand-pluck them.
We put a 2 x 4 on the ends of two saw horses on hang the cones on it, works with enough room for blood bucket below.
Thanks for the tips- I think I could handle "building" a 2x4 on sawhorses. Or I might just go with the side of our shed with some plastic behind it. I was hoping Home Depot would have a shelf or something I could just buy and use, but it sounds like I could use just about anything. Add plastic if I'm worried about the blood and go for it!

Do you do your killing somewhere so the neighbors can't see?
Yes, I think it's for the best. Unless you know your neighbors really well, and also any of their houseguests and other folks driving down your road where they could see it. Why upset someone unnecessarily? And in some neighborhoods, why upset someone to the point that they'll call the authorities? We know that we're simply producing groceries for our table, but some folks think it's cruel. Or gross or unsanitary. When I'm processing chickens I want to get the job done as quickly & efficiently as possible. I wouldn't want to be interrupted by anyone wanting an explanation of what I'm doing.
Yes, we do ours out of eye-shot of neighbors as well. And (here you may think we're crazy) we also do it out-of-view of our flock. They get put in the run when we do the deed. They get let out when we're done with the plucking and removal of the feet and head.
Sounds good. I will definitely stay out of view from everyone, and I like the idea of also staying out of view of the flock. I think I'll do both...

PatS, I don't think you're crazy for butchering away from your flock. But I don't notice that processing seems to bother my other birds at all. On the contrary, they circle the killing station and the cutting table like feathered land sharks, waiting for bits to fall to the ground that they can gobble up. Once I had a rooster who, after getting his neck cut, still managed to jump out of the cone and tried to run away (he couldn't get far with his legs hobbled, but he tried anyway). Several hens immediately rushed over to him & began pecking at him. "What did he ever do to you girls?" I asked as I stuffed the roo back in the cone.

I always cage my candidates the night before butchering, so there isn't a big chase & fuss when it's their turn to Cross The Road. It's rather quiet & calm in the yard. My birds don't seem bothered by any of this, but I wouldn't want to take a chance with a nosey neighbor or passer-by.

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