“A chicken murderer in training”: The Chilling Reality of Slaughter


What follows in this entry is deeply disturbing. It’s the account of three roosters being slaughtered at Narrow Path Farm (location unknown). Especially disturbing is how a young boy witnesses, and then is taught to celebrate, a horribly botched slaughter.

I include this material not to be sensationalistic. Instead, I include to stress a claim central to my work: killing animals we do not have to kill hardens the human heart and perpetuates disdain for animals. Advocates of localized slaughter–DIY slaughter–like to claim that raising and killing one’s own animals creates heightened awareness of and respect for animals.  They talk about “connecting with their meat” and being “conscientious carnivores.” Well, here’s yet another example of what all that looks like.



“3 Roosters on Death Row”
While I was in Florida my dad called and gave us the news that Pigeon, my favorite chicken  had died.  Pigeon was the leader of the flock and the protector of the hens.  Whenever a rooster was being mean to a hen Pigeon would run over and cut them off.  Now, Pigeon is dead and there is no one to protect the hens.  Polly was getting attacked by the roosters and only has 2 feathers in her bottom right now.  That is why we killed 3 roosters.

It all happened yesterday.  Andie and I stayed in the house and watched TV. Dad, Mom, Shelby, and Cole killed 3 roosters.  In the the morning my dad and I let out the hens & left the 3 unlucky rooster’s in the coop.

After church the chicken slaughter started.  When my mom went to get chicken number one Morris escaped from the coop.  He took off like a rocket.  Dad went and got his gun.  You can guess what happens next.
My Dad tried a new chicken killing technique.  Instead of hanging the bird from his feet and cutting the head off (which got blood all over the barn) – Dad decided to cut off the head in the yard.  Dad put his foot on the chicken to hold it still and cut his head off.  He only did it once.  Why?  

Because it did back flips down the hill and into the woods.  Without a head.


Chicken still doing back flips – headless.



This is Cole while the chicken was doing headless back flips.




Here is a chicken murderer in training.



In this picture my and Dad and Cole were trying to get the skin off the first chicken.  They squished it and it said, “BOOARQ”.  It was headless & dead, but when you squeeze them they still make noise.  Cole said, “Dad, I think he said he doesn’t want to be dead.”

My little brother Cole now has 4 chicken feet.  Mom says chicken feet can be used to make soups. Our chickens feet are caked in poop and gross – I don’t think the soup would be very good.   My mom took the pictures of the chicken slaughter.



About James McWilliams
I'm a historian and writer based in Austin, Texas. This blog is dedicated to exploring the ethics of eating animals and animal-based products.

8 Responses to “A chicken murderer in training”: The Chilling Reality of Slaughter

  1. KathyLovesKale says:

    The child still has a conscience, he covers his eyes, and even says, “Dad, I think he said he doesn’t want to be dead”!!! So sad and perverted.

  2. this is so messed up.jesus was vegetarian or vegan.most christians are not practicing what he taught.pathetic.

  3. Rebecca says:

    It’s all awful, but the part that gets me is, “After church the chicken slaughter started.” What happened to “Thou shalt not kill”? It also always amazes me that people don’t seem to understand why animals in captivity fight.

  4. brian lindberg says:

    This is the reality of being a predator. And the point is, we are no longer required (Eskimos excepted?) to be predators. It’s a grisly business, and certainly not necessary (this morning, I was cracking pine nuts from the Digger pines that grow around here…boy are they good, 25% protein, healthy fat, and, hey, they are free for the gathering….amazing (those Chumash weren’t dumb)). The logic, however, of getting people to raise and kill their own is that such a process would produce a hell of a lot of vegetarian/vegans. Sort of like the mule trainer with the 2X4….”first thing is to get his attention”.

  5. Britt says:

    This absolutely breaks my heart. There is nothing “conscientious” or “connective” about unnecessarily murdering a living being. Nothing. Poor, innocent little Cole had it right–that rooster didn’t want to be dead.

  6. Go to church, and then commit both animal and child abuse. Lovely.

  7. Provoked says:

    Such callousness to life is deeply disturbing. I love my life choices and I wouldn’t change being vegan for anything. But there’s the soul crushing realities of what others do that I’d pay anyone almost anything… Just to not know. Often the internet has too many “glass walls”.

    Poor Morris. Sad Cole. Such a pity to destroy these innocent ones.

  8. Pingback: The Animal’s Almanac: “Cherish them with warmth” « Eating Plants

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