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I just killed a chicken...

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

We've been having problems with an apparently flockless rooster that keeps coming onto our property and fighting with our roo.  It's been going on for about a week, and I had kept my birds penned up in hopes that the other rooster would lose interest and go back to wherever he came from.  No such luck.  Today I had let my birds out to range, planning on keeping an eye on them while I was home, then shutting them back up when I went to work.  The other rooster showed up and started a pretty bloody fight with my roo.  I tried to lure my birds back into the coop, and I had gotten them all in but one, so I couldn't shut the door (that particular bird is very flighty and won't let me near her).  The other birds came back out in the meantime, so I shooed off the other rooster again.  Within 2 minutes, he was back and wanting to fight.


I needed to leave for work and didn't want my rooster to get killed while I was gone.  So I shot the other rooster.


I don't want to get into a debate over whether I was right to shoot the rooster or not.  I cleaned him, and we will eat him, so it's not a waste.  I don't know who he belongs to, and the people I thought might have owned him have moved.  I feel justified in defending my birds on my property.  If I find out who owns the rooster, I will happily compensate them if they wish. 


But this was the first thing I have ever killed, and I feel strange.  I've never tended towards daintiness or being particularly feminine; I've been a "tomboy" my entire life and now work in a very male-dominated career.  But I now feel decidedly UN-feminine.  DH is totally okay with it and says I'm sexy in a Laura Ingalls kind of way (LOL).  My mother was rather shocked and dismayed, though if I'd told her that DH had done the same thing, she'd likely just brush it off.  I hate knowing that if I mention this to anyone outside of my two or three close friends, including the rest of my family, they will think I'm a freak.


I don't know where I'm going with this.  I just feel very odd and needed to vent somewhere.  Maybe someone here understands...

post #2 of 18

Jumping in here through the Unanswered Threads link.  I'm on the grid and in the 'burbs.  smile.gif  But I'm imagining myself in your place, and I can understand your feeling strange about this.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, people have been killing animals to survive and for food for forever. Doesn't make your first time any less significant! You had to summon harsh aggression and suppress...I don't know, gentleness I guess?  That would leave anyone riled up. The difference is the lens through which you view the act.


Sounds like you're a thoughtful person, and that's a good thing. Maybe think of this as an initiation ritual? This was your first kill. You da woman! Or, maybe it's best to not over-think it.  Be really practical and move on.


It's been almost a day since you posted.  Do you feel any less odd about it? 


I hope some moms with experience will speak up. 




post #3 of 18

I felt strange just sending our first "accidental rooster" to his death at our friend's place.  One of our surrogate eggs turned out to be a rooster.  We have a small, urban flock and a rooster would be out of place, so we packed him up as soon as he crowed and took him back to his place or origin to be butchered with the rest of his brothers.  It felt very, very strange.  


So, yeah, I'd feel really.... different.... if I'd just did it myself.  "Sexy in a Laura Ingalls kind of way." Love it.  

post #4 of 18

i loved this post and yes the sexy in a laura ingalls way. my goal in life perhaps. 

i support the decision you made and understand your feelings after and am glad you shared...

raising poultry we have encountered and accepted death many times and are about to host a poultry processing workshop. we want to raise our own meat chickens but need to get over the killing part. seems like your situation just helped that along...

post #5 of 18

I understand.  My first kill wasn't something I ate, though, so while I protected what feeds my kids, I felt extra awful.  I had to kill a dog.  It was in my chicken coop and had a belly full of my chickens.  Unfortunately, I ran outta shells and had to run get more before it would even die.  I know I did what I had to do because it may have gone for one of my kids!  People dump dogs out here and they turn into predators.  I'll never forget the look in that dogs eyes as I shot it.  It had killed 23 of my birds because after it got full it was just a game.  A horrible, senseless game.  It shook my birds til their necks were broken and just tossed them aside to run another down to "play" with it. 


Once I saw a neighbor's dog (on their own property) attacking one of their pregnant goats.  I was afraid to go onto their property because I didn't know what the dog would do.  I got a neighbor to go and he shut the goat up in their barn and all I could do was leave a note on the fence.  The goat ended up being ok after we got her cleaned up and gave her some penicillin, but they borrowed one of our  guns that night and shot their dog.


Life with livestock is very rewarding, but sometimes it's so darn hard.


You go, Laura Ingalls!

post #6 of 18

I think you are awesome.  You were protecting your flock and your family's food supply.  You are a sexy, Laura Ingalls Wilder, badass mama.  Good job!  And also, good aim.  I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, much less a live rooster.

post #7 of 18

yes - agree with all above support!  and SO glad you were able to get rid of that rooster.  sad he was coming around in such a bad way.


we're hoping to soon move to the country and right now I'm sort of wishing I had some gun skills.  because I know the moment may come when I'll want to protect our animals or - can barely type this - our kids.  would you mind sharing any tips on how to learn?  or did you just pick it up???  I did shoot a bb gun waaaay back in a girl scout sort of camp...  DH is equally or less familiar with firearms.  don't even know what to look for and don't even know where to look/shop plus I do have a stigma in my mind about guns (they're very dangerous and "bad" etc.)  don't mean to derail - maybe I'll post a separate thread...

post #8 of 18

You did what you had to do. We raised meat chickens a few years ago and it was strange going from a small chick you adored and tried your best to keep alive to this big thing you had to kill. I was lucky that DH did most of the killing and I did the cleaning. We were both happier that way. Give yourself some time and you will feel better about it. I have to admit though, when we finished butchering our chickens they sat in the freezer for a few months. Neither of us were hungry for chicken for some time after butchering eyesroll.gif They did all eventually get eaten though.



trumpeter - There are a few options for gun lessons, #1 google shooting lessons in your area and there are often classes for beginners. #2 google shooting range and see if they have classes for beginners. #3 go to a shooting range and there is usually a employee that is more than happy to show you how to shoot. Guys love teaching women how to shoot. I shot bb guns as a kid, but DH was so excited about teaching me to shoot his rifle. He keeps saying he wants to give me a refresher since we moved and the likelyhood of me using one has increased. Its really not as hard as you might think.

post #9 of 18

You did the right thing, but it's hard to explain to people who don't live close to the land.  I found it hard the first time I killed meat chickens (I was a teen helping my own parents out on their farm at the time) because it was something other girls thought meant I wasn't very nice, even though they ate meat.  Flash forward to now, and I have female neighbours, here in the country, who think I should avoid working in the woods in case of wild animals, even though the men do.  Last year I had to chase off a coyote with a shovel and he eventually ran.  I was glad I didn't end up having to kill him, but if he hadn't backed off from attacking me, I would have.  I only have a few female friends I know who can picture fending off a wild animal with a shovel.  The reality of what you have to do is sometimes very different from the concept of how you think things should appear.

post #10 of 18

This is a great thread!  OP you did what needed to be done!  I would have beat the poor thing with a shovel probably- just cause that is what is handy here :)  Anyway- on the topic of guns.  Of course we have them.  But what I really like is my air cartridge BB pistol.  That sucker can shoot :)  Most of the time I would be content for the predator to flee and my BB pistol with definitely make that happen.  It is way more powerful than a pump BB gun.  Anyway- that is what I like.  The little cartridges for it are relatively cheap- but if you don't use it for awhile you will obviously need to put in a new cartridge.  I also like it because it look pretty real with the exception of the little screw deal that holds in the cartridge :)  Cheap, easy, effective, and no permit needed...  


eta- on the subject of butchering chickens... I don't do that.  I did one and now I take them to a guy who can do 100/hr at the rate of $1.50/chicken.  My time is valuable.  I don't want to waste a day on butchering my stupid chickens...

post #11 of 18

Farmer Beth, I ran after a coyote one day w/a pick ax.  I did not know I could throw one that far.  I'd have been screwed if it hadn't run and came after me, though.  I never can seem to remember to grab my shotgun on the way out the door (it's on hooks above the door--we have one over each outside door).  Anyway, I was just ticked because it had just eaten a guinea and was coming back for more.  Grrrrr.


Gun skills....my dh taught me.  He grew up w/guns and hunted alot.  I would love to have an air cartridge BB pistol!

post #12 of 18

I appreciate the thoughts on becoming more gun-familiar!  My husband is less familiar than I am so we'd both need to learn.  I'll have to look into the air cartridge bb guns...  thanks, ladies.

post #13 of 18

way to protect your flock. we have chickens here too, and i would do the same. the fact that you are going to eat the bird is admirable (though i can't imagine shooting a bird and still being able to eat it. was it a head shot?) you mentioned feeling bad about the kill, but try to remind yourself that you first tried to shoo the bird away. if the bird kept coming back, you would have to assume he would continue to do so. also, i think that feeling something as a result of taking a life means you're a decent person.

i noticed you wrote 'aspiring homesteader' in your profile. sometimes these unpleasant things that have to be done. good for you...

post #14 of 18

I just keep thinking that chickens are descendants of dinosaurs and cousin to T rex.  Just imagine a brainless, psychotic rooster-brained goliath.  Lots of them, everywhere.  For millions of years.  Off-topic, I know, but every time I think of some stupid, silly, (terrifying) bird-brained thing chickens do I become grateful that they are small enough to kill and eat.

post #15 of 18
Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post

I just keep thinking that chickens are descendants of dinosaurs and cousin to T rex.  Just imagine a brainless, psychotic rooster-brained goliath.  Lots of them, everywhere.  For millions of years.  Off-topic, I know, but every time I think of some stupid, silly, (terrifying) bird-brained thing chickens do I become grateful that they are small enough to kill and eat.

energy.gif  I'm going to think of this every the the rooster rushes at me with malevolent intent.

post #16 of 18
Originally Posted by FarmerBeth View Post

energy.gif  I'm going to think of this every the the rooster rushes at me with malevolent intent.

Yes, thank heaven he's not a Allosaurus!


post #17 of 18

I would have done the same thing.  We have a bb gun, but I don't know if I would have the wherewithal to get it in time.  I have NO clue what I would do if a coyote tried to attack any of our animals.  Thankfully they only seem to come around at night, and most of our animals are put away, and our dog does a good job of keeping them at bay. 


We butchered a few roosters last summer (my first batch of chickens I purchased ended up being 7 roos and 1 hen lol).  It was VERY hard for me to be around when we did it, even though I forced myself to.  It took me three times of chickening out in order to butcher my favorite one, but he was becoming aggressive with us so we had no choice.  We have decided to no longer use our own chickens for meat b/c our son refuses to eat them. 

post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Wow, I wasn't getting my E-mail updates from MDC and didn't realize anyone had even responded! I'll read through and respond tomorrow when I have a real keyboard. Thanks everybody!

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