Hatch… and des­patch

Country Smallholding - - Poultry -

Don’t hatch un­less you are will­ing (or know how) to des­patch.

It is a mantra that I take ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to drill into peo­ple when I’m out giv­ing a talk to a group or dis­cussing breed­ing and rear­ing birds with first­timers. If you are not will­ing to take on re­spon­si­bil­ity for po­ten­tially need­ing to des­patch chicks or grow­ers then don’t hatch any eggs.

There are var­i­ous guides on the des­patch and dress­ing of full grown birds, but one which rarely ever gets cov­ered in the pop­u­lar poul­try books is how to cull a chick. Culling chicks in a back­yard or small­hold­ing sce­nario is some­thing you need to know how to do. What­ever the rea­son, and whilst this short in­struc­tion may shock some read­ers, if you in­tend to breed chick­ens then it is a skill you will re­quire and you will know when you need to use it. 1. Find a ta­ble or work sur­face with a clear right an­gled edge; 2. Hold the chick in the fist with your thumb up as if hitch­ing a ride so the chick’s head is just above the tip of your thumb; 3. Place the thumb against the neck of the chick and put the other side of the chick’s neck against the ta­ble edge; 4. Press firmly and quickly with the thumb against the ta­ble edge; 5. You will feel the neck of the chick dis­lo­cate. It is now dead. 6. The chick will be mov­ing in your hand (as if strug­gling). This is in­vol­un­tary mus­cle con­trac­tions and not ac­tu­ally strug­gling; 7. Hold the chick in po­si­tion un­til the move­ment sub­sides.

Prac­tis­ing on a dummy chick

Not easy... but some­times nec­es­sary

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.