Me crying, DH killing,me gutting first homekill roos,boo hoo : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Well after putting it off for several weeks now last night was the night. 7 to do.

DH not happy but had to be done after roos were starved for 24 hrs.

I was bawling as I got the first one ready for the axe, couldn't watch of course.

Decided that I would just put him in a hole and giveaway the rest. It was heartbreaking for me who loves my chooks. And besides one of them is Mr Gangles son and heir. (Mr Gangle got in a fight and was put down)

Anyway after blowing this first kill up with the aircompressor and slowley skinning it, it got easier. I did the gutting with very good descriptions and pictures at my side. We ended up only doing three as it was midnight already. 2kg sizes so that is good.

Question: What knifing should we have done to commence the skinning. It was difficult in places and does the whole hen blow up including the back and legs?. We were too scared to keep blowing. The people who do it say it only takes a few minutes. A detailed description or pictures of where to cut would be great.

Now I really wish I could get a grip on all this homekilling that you guys do and I go from hot and cold when trying to get positive. It actually annoys me that I like animals alive so much. Anyone else like me?

Thanks for listening to me. Beautiful Autumn morning here in the South Island of New Zealand. Ever want to come and stay well let us know we'd love to meet you. Enjoy your day and thanks again for all info re skinning poultry. Kiwikaren

-- kiwikaren (, March 25, 2002



I am thinking of raising our own meat chickens myself. I have layers now that I just love. Like you, I am going to have a hard time with the actual killing. I hope you get an answer to your question because I need to know the same thing. Hang in there, I hope it gets easier for you. You can tell me the same when I start. Ha Ha

-- AmyJ in SE TX (, March 25, 2002.

Most people ask if I have a hard time when we have to process out meat, but I say no. I look at it this way...they were raised to be eaten. Sure, I have some pets, and I've done my share of crying, but you have toput on a buisness face when you butcher. Done hmanely, and with time, you will see it get easier. Sorry it was upseting for you, though.

-- Wendy A (, March 25, 2002.

I would suggest that you not name or get overly attached to critters that you are going to process for food.

-- BC (, March 25, 2002.

The only consolation I can offer is that it does get easier with time. Eventually you'll learn to not make pets of the critters you are going to eat. With chickens, I don't even wait 'till they come in to roost, I just shoot 'em in the head while they are intent on a bait of grain. As far as skinning, the best way to learn is from experinece. Using compessed air certainly makes it easier, but it still takes a bit of knife work.

-- Tis I (, March 25, 2002.

Karen, I sure do understand your feelings. After having chickens and a pet pig for awhile, (a pot belly give to me by my kids), I turned vegetarian. Not that I think it's a sin to eat meat, it's just that I can't get over the thought that that piece of meat was once a breathing creature like my own sweet creatures. Our hens are for eggs only and the pig is "just because". My DH gets his meat from the supermarket but he happily eats vegetarian with me from time to time. Good luck, you're stronger than I am.

-- cindy palmer (, March 25, 2002.

Killing definitely sucks! (Articulate, no?) I never thought so much about my relationship with death as I did when I started killing my lovely chickens. If you look at it as, "How would they live and die if they were wild birds?" it helps a bit. Wild animals kill cruelly. Also, I try to kill as quickly and humanely as possible. Treat them well while they are alive. It's still hard as hell, but I managed not to cry the last time or two (episodes 7 and 8, maybe). If I dwell on their short lives and how they didn't really have much of a chance to grow up and enjoy life, especially with 8-week-old Cornish Cross, I get really sad. The "wild living" thoughts are much more helpful. Best of luck to you.

P.S. When you're skinning, use pruning shears to lop off the last wing joint before you try to skin the wings. There's not much to that last bit, and it's really hard to get the skin off. Definitely not worth the trouble. Also, a sharp pair of scissors can be really handy when cutting the skin. The knife is more for separating skin from flesh.

-- Laura Jensen (, March 25, 2002.

We butchered 6 a few weeks ago and still have 6 roosters locked in a separate hutch that need to be offed. I have rooster bites all over my hands and arms. It was hard because its been 20 years since I butchered and I had 2 inexperienced helpers. What was hardest for me is that I no longer have a proper killing knife to do a clean kill. It was severely traumatic for both the rooster and me whe he received a fatal bruise to the neck with a limply swung dull hatchet. I will spare you the details!

Once they're dead, skinning and gutting is quite easy. The next batch will be much easier, too. For me, the proper tools are important. Narrow blade killing knife, cleaver, hefty scissors and my pocket knife.

-- Laura (, March 25, 2002.

Silly, aren't we? I have several laying hens, and we also raise about 25 meat birds each summer. Two separate sections of the coop. When it comes time to do in the meat birds, I don't have a problem. However, last year when I got replacement layers, what happened to the old girls? They were given away to a neighbour. Just a wee bit of difficulty dealing with eating my girls. Even the hen that is now unaffectionately known as 'The Black Witch', the egg eating feather plucking psychotic (sp) chicken is probably safe from the axe. Lucky for her there is a local poultry auction coming up May 25. Any hen that is full grown, fully feathered fetches a good price. Bye bye birdy. Like I said - pretty silly eh?

-- Bernie from Northern Ontario (, March 25, 2002.

Oh, thank goodness!! When I read your heading I didn't know you meant chickens. We occasionally hear from writers in Australia and I thought you meant KANGAROOS!

It never gets any easier for me. Good luck.

-- Gayle in KY (, March 25, 2002.

We butchered our first batch of fifteen meat birds a little over a week ago. Actually my dh did the butchering... I helped to pick and to wash the finished product but did not kill, watch the killing or help the gutting. I may do that one day but I am pregnant now and sometimes the oddest smells/sights will make me so sick... we were very good to these chickens and we were always kind to them. I have made it a point to tell the kids over and over that God gave us these animals to bless us with meat and eggs and we have to treat them well. I was glad that the kids got to see the butchering process and that now chicken isn't just something they get to eat... they know now that if they want to eat meat an animal has to die. I felt a little guilty because these birds had come to know me so well and they came running to the gate every time I walked out to the coop (well, waddling, they were cornish roasters... they couldn't run very well...). But I consoled myself with the thought that these chickens had had a very good life and had been well cared for and the chicken we buy at the store might not have had such a good life.

And besides... the meat is soooooo good. My five year old daughter is already asking if we can butcher again soon. She wants a lifetime supply of chicken and dumplings.....

-- Leighanne T. (, March 25, 2002.

So far I have not killed my chickens, but I have butchered 4 of them. Let me explain, my own dog, a St. Bernard, killed them all. My daughter joked at the time that it would be an easy way around the killing, just throw it to the dog!!!! I am hoping for some chicks this spring, ( If the 3 remaining hens will go broody) I will replace the 4 hens I lost, plus a few more, and the rest will be my meat birds, however many they are. No, I will not be throwing them to the dog. I think I can kill the chickens, it's the rabbits I think I will have a problem with, so far I have sold all my bunnies to the feed store. I need to let 2 grow to butcher size with the intention of putting them in the freezer for us. We shall see. Susan

-- Susan n' emily in Tn. (, March 25, 2002.

I had nightmares after the first one, but it does honestly get easier, and faster. I must agree with the advice to not name the ones that will be for meat. Sure makes em tough.

-- mary (, March 25, 2002.

I think I have a really never bothered me to process our kills. My husband would take the animals out to the "killin' tree" and hang them by the legs, cut the throat and let them bleed, then he would skin them, I would take it in the house and clean them up. I think the worse time I had was when we did our own deer, it took forever and really began to gross me out towards the end. Now I love my chickens and will not get rid of one no matter how old she may be, but as for the roosters, the ones that I decide I don't want begin to annoy me and I have no problem offing them. I just wish they were meatier.

-- j willis (, March 25, 2002.

"I just wish they were meatier".

Tried penning them in a very small coop for a week or two, with plenty of grain, and nothing to relieve the boredom except eat? This could be the same coop you use to pen up a broody hen.

-- Don Armstrong (, March 26, 2002.

For those of you that are having troubles with the actual kill.....

the easiest method I have found by far is to use a broomstick....Lay the chicken on the ground, put the broomstick over its neck, put a foot on both sides of the stick and give a quick yank up on the feet.

It works faster and easier than even the axe. And it's over in a split second.

-- Tracy (, March 26, 2002.

Yep, broomsticking is much easier and you won't cut your hand off with an hatchet/axe! I cry most every time. Good luck next time!

-- Gailann Schrader (, March 27, 2002.

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