Category Archives: backyard chickens

Killing chickens

I wanted to use the title ‘dispatching chickens’ but lets be honest your making it dead your killing it. Yesterday was my worst day of poultry keeping, I’ve had to kill chickens before, I’ve seen the fox run off with one but yesterday really tested my resolve. Not that backyard poultry keeping caused the problem but I sometimes feel the close proximity to neighbors makes such jobs harder.


One of our hens must of had a prolapse while laying in the morning, sometimes this can be treated by cleaning and allowing to retract (sometimes) sadly as I just fed them that morning then didn’t go out again until later that evening I couldn’t do anything about it. Now this next bit still makes me feel queasy but I want to share it to try and prevent it in future.

I first noticed something was wrong as I looked out the kitchen window one hen was sat on the ground while the two others were playing with something. That something turned out to be the prolapsed hens intestines! I don’t think I’ve ever felt so shocked, guilty and sick.

There was no choice but to swiftly put it out of it’s misery, luckily there were two of us at this point. There are many ways of dispatching a chicken but for me as I don’t do it often we do it as follows.

Place the hen in a bag or cloth with her head poking out, make a noose with cord, place it round her neck. With one person holding the body by a wooden chopping block, the other ‘the dispatcher’ stretches out the neck, not tight but enough to expose to neck with one hand and quickly -using a sharp axe, you chop off the head. The body will kick and flap this is why having it already in a bag helps.

It’s perhaps not the only way but for me it seems to work well and most importantly it’s quick and there can be no mistakes. Image

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