Aussies Living Simply

Killin' chickens

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    Well, the end is nigh for my table birds and I need to decide how best to despatch them. Last time we took to them with an axe – quick but ye gods was it messy. Warm chicken blood splashed on one’s face is not a good experience :rip: :rip:

    I’d much prefer a bloodless killing technique, especially as there’s a risk that my 2 and 3 year olds will wander out to see what I’m doing. I like the idea of breaking their necks before bleeding them, but I’m not strong enough to do it as per the instructions I have (basically, have chicken’s legs in one hand, head in the other and pull apart hard across your body). Is there another way to do it?


    nope – I prefer the axe personally. Drive two roofing nails into a chopping block about an inch apart, insert chicken neck and hold by the legs so the neck is stretched, then clunk. Quick, painless and does not leave you with the detached head in your hands which can happen when breaking the neck.

    If you hold onto the hen’s wings when chopping it can reduce the flapping to a manageable level so there is less mess …


    Yep I agree with you Hillbilly girl. Hold the chookens legs and top wing Rebecca to stop movement and have something like a rubbish bin with lid next to the chopping block. After the deed just drop the bird into the bin AND PUT THE LID ON QUICKLY.

    It pays to have a bucket of water ready and close to hand as well.

    Good luck.



    Perhaps you could look into a Killing Cone that confines the bird whilst you do the deed.

    Methods –

    Make your Own –

    Aussie Supplier –



    Won’t the killing cone put them to sleep and then eventually kill them too? Then you can make the cut with the axe to kill them without the thrashing.


    They go limp if you hold them upside down by the legs for a few minutes, then you can lay the neck on the block … that’s how my mate does it.


    I find if Im going to break the neck I tuck the bird under one arm and pull down on a slight angle. Easier to push down than pull across the body I find:tup:


    I’m with kristy,

    tuck the bird under your arm, hold the legs tightly and the body in nice in tight to your body – stops the flapping.

    the chooks head goes into the palm of your other hand, index finger and rude finger on either side of the neck.

    pull down firmly, and Sharply the neck should form a tight V just behind the head- this cause the neck to dislocate- the fingers block of the air waya dn blood flow to the brain.

    the chook spinal cord will be broken cleanly, the chook will flap spasm for about 30 seconds- but will not be able to feel any thing. keep the pressure on the neck till the spasms stops

    once the chook has stopped hang it upside down and pluck it – all the blood drains to the head- if you pluck quickly cut the head off afterwards.

    if you pluck slowly, cut the head off before you pluck- this alows the chook to bleed properly.

    p.s if no one has told you yet – make sure the chooks do not have access to food for at least 12 hours before you kill them – makes to job a lot cleaner.



    Or you could wimp out and find a willing executioner.

    Though from experience if you get the executioner over resist the urge to dispatch of every poor sole deemed a ready for eating- four ducks and a turkey have soooo many feathers. :uhoh:



    Yup Flea, been there … killed 7 in a day last time, we’re still finding old feathers in the corners of the shed.

    I’m determined not to wimp out this time (last time my father did it). If I’m going to be a self-sufficient urban homesteader 😆 I have to be able to do these things myself.

    I did think about a killing cone, but the idea of the poor thing hanging there bleeding to death – still alive – doesn’t make me happy :(. I’ve been told to pith them before cutting the throat, but if I can’t pith a cane toad I know I’m not going to be able to do it to a chicken.

    Roogz, I’m having trouble visualising the positioning of the chook’s head in my hand. Before pulling down should my palm be over the top of the head or underneath it? I’m assuming it goes underneath, cradling the head, and the palm is used to push the head up and back? Or not? I don’t want to do it wrong and have a hurt and distressed bird on my hands.

    Also, last time we scalded the birds to release the feathers. Is that strictly necessary?


    >killing cone, but the idea of the poor thing hanging there bleeding to death

    No direct experience myself but as I understand they go almost comatose hanging upside down and so wouldn’t feel anything anyway. perhaps the kindest way after all. But then, I haven’t used one so can’t vouch myself.



    Why make a big fuss about it just hit them on the head with a stick and cut there heads off. Other than that tie there legs and wings and buy a guillotine then that way you only got to pull the cord.

    Just trying to help.



    😆 Dennis you make it sound so simple 😆


    Good on ya Grumpster! :metal:


    Rebecca your hand goes over the top of the chooks head and fingers underneath.

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