If you’re keeping chickens as part of your survival plan, there will probably come a time when you need to know how to kill a chicken. Even if you just keeping the chickens for eggs, you might decide to harvest spent layers and use them as food. Young chickens are great when fried, broiled, baked, or barbecued, but older, tougher birds are usually best for soups and stews because their meat will be tougher.
There are several different ways to kill a chicken. My dad used to go into the chicken cook or chicken run, grab a bird in each hand, and twist the chickens heads until the neck broke. Some people prefer to insert a very sharp, thin knife or a special tool into the chicken’s mouth and through the brain. The advantage of this method is that it supposedly relaxes the feathers, making the birds easier to pluck. One more way to kill a chicken is to cut its throat at the jugular vein. The easiest way to do this is the place the chicken in a killing cone. You can see how this is done in the video below.
Another method, and the one that I prefer, is to simply chop off the chicken’s head with a sharp cleaver. For this, you’ll need a chopping block of some sort. A big, heavy piece of wood like a stump works fine. Try to keep the bird as calm as possible before slaughter. Go into the coop while the chicken is still drowsy, and pick it up by the feet with one hand, while holding it near your midriff with the other hand. Stretch the chicken’s neck over a chopping block, and remove the head in one swift motion. Death is instantaneous, so the chicken won’t suffer.
After the head is removed, the chicken will flop about wildly. Some people prefer this because they say it makes the bird bleed out better. Instead, you can place a slip knot around the chicken’s feet and hang it from a nail, upside down, to let it bleed out. This usually takes only five or ten minutes. Your chicken is now ready to pluck or skin.