I can’t kill a chicken

Yesterday I went out to collect eggs and saw poor Lily lying like this is in the bottom run of the chicken coop. They free range all day so this is just for chicks that need separating and an entrance to the coop for laying eggs in the nesting box and sleeping at night.


I at first thought she was dead. But she was still breathing. I am not cut out for squeamish stuff. I am embarrassed to say I could not even turn her over. The neighbour who has birds helped me turn her. But she kept throwing her head back and flopping over. Her comb was all bluish and she looked very out of it. I read that in chicken breeds like Lily they can have a heart attack and their comb goes blue, so I knew she was dying. She did not have feathers on her tummy as she was so fat that she would waddle a little and then sit down, so she spend a lot of time resting on her underbelly.

She is the last if the church fete disaster chickens. Disaster in that the eggs laying females we were lead to believe they were turned out to be mostly male and all broiler meat birds. These chickens have been breed to put on weight quickly and be slaughtered in 8-12 weeks.

Lily made 8months. She was enormous weighing 6kg but we promised the kids that that white meat birds, who they got as pets could have a good life with us as long as they lived.

But this time had drawn to a close for Lily. I could she was dying and I did not want her to suffer. I phoned The Geek and my first words were I am so sorry but I am not a chicken farmer. I can’t kill her. I made him come home from work in my panic that she could not suffer like that.I knew I could not kill her but I knew she could not stay like that. While he was on his way I spoke to Carle who suggested I bring the chicken to the farm and one of the workers would do it. I knew The Geek would not relish the idea of killing it either so this seemed a good plan.

If I had thought of it before I could have saved him a trip. But anyway he helped me load the 2 boys. Lily and Knight the rooster into the car.

Knight was now crowing all day and driving me mad so he was being re-homed on the farm.

Carle’s housekeeper and weaver were all too delighted to help me by ending Lily’s suffering and took 3kg of chicken home each.

So now we are down to 5, but 5 proper egg laying females. Let’s hope there is no more chicken drama soon .

Oh and The Geek told me to HTFU which is not nice but true. If I am going to have chickens I do at least need to be able to help them.  I will never be able to kill a chicken but I should stop being a wuss, I should have at least been able to turn Lily over and check she was okay.

3 thoughts on “I can’t kill a chicken

  1. OMG! I couldn’t be a chicken farmer either because like you I would not have been able to touch the poor bird so don’t feel alone. I would also have been desperate to end her suffering but unable to actually do anything!

    • exactly Sharon! And I feel so cruel that my squeamishness got in the way of my compassion. I could not even turn her over and make her more comfortable. I am a palliative care nurse for goodness sake. I let her down and I am sad for that. She would have died and I would have taken her to the farm anyway but I should have been the one to turn her over and consol her.

  2. You’re not the only one which can’t kill a chicken (or any animal) for that matter. So don’t feel bad and don’t stop farming with them either. You’re a good chicken farmer with a big heart.

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