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Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The Terminator Tuesday

It all started with the purchase of an air rifle for putting sick chickens out of their misery. It worked very well as an almost blood free, very humane and stress free for both chickens and humans method of dispatch. 

However for someone the hobby of target shooting has grown and first the original air rifle was sold to a friend's husband (said friend was not impressed), a new more powerful air rifle was purchased requiring a shooting licence (which here in France requires a doctor's appointment and signature), an imitation Beretta air pistol somehow being thrown in for good measure by the gunsmith.... and then an upgrade to a real .22 rifle by trading in the air rifle. 

This person likes to call himself The Terminator on various fora. Here he is trying to teach me how to use it. I must say it is much easier to fire than the air rifle as there is no kickback. The Beretta pistol was a nightmare as try as I might with my best FBI stance I could not hold the thing steady. I hadn't realised how much my arms would wave around! The rifle is heavy though so I need a few more muscles in my arms, but that usually comes around in summer after lugging watering cans about. 

"I can't see down the viewfinder"
"It's called a sight, dear"

"Let me show you"

"Just hold it like this. Simples"
"Simples? It's bloody heavy!"

"Right, now I've got the hang of it". Blam.
"Oooh, this is fun!"

Please note no cows were harmed in the making of
this photograph. They are actually in the field on the right,
not behind the target.

This is some clever contraption my OH ('The Terminator') made that collects all the bullets
so that they neither traverse the fields and possibly kill things
nor pollute the environment with the lead.

On my second attempt I got a bullseye! There's no stopping me now ;-)


  1. Do you have a silencer on that?!

  2. Yes!! It's the lumpy thing on the end of the barrel. It would drive me (and the neighbours) mad without it as hunting season here is bad enough noisewise but that is over now, thank god.

  3. You would need an even stricter licence to buy and use a silencer in NZ (including a signed statement from your spouse/partner agreeing to the possession of a firearm and stating that you are fit mentally to own it)!

    Why would you shoot chickens? It is so easy to miss the head and inflict unnecessary pain by hitting some non-fatal part. Much easier to wring their necks or if they are healthy, to simply cut their heads off.


    1. Hi Doug - it's hard to miss an immobilised chicken from 6 inches away and as I said in the 2nd sentence, it's the most stress free for all of us. I've no idea how to wring their necks and have no-one to show me how - and I would be mega stressed by something like that therefore transmitting it to the poor creature. I guess everyone finds their own best method of dispatch....

  4. This reminded me of an incident when I was 18. The first time I left home, I went flatting with a friend in a 3 bedroom house in the suburbs. My friend decided to keep chickens as a way of getting cheap eggs & so he built a chicken coop against the fence & bought 4 chickens.

    We hadn't asked the landlord & the chicken coop was outside the neighbours window. After a couple of days the neighbour came over & complained. Of course we ignored him.

    Two weeks later the landlord turned up & said that the neighbour had complained (the landlord used to live in the house before renting it & knew the neighbour) & as a result we had 2 weeks to vacate! We offered to get rid of the chickens but we had probably had a few parties by then & the landlord was unimpressed & said "No, you will go".

    My first flatting experience only lasted a month & then I moved back home & my friend moved back to his parents home as well. His parents were not impressed with the chickens either & told him to get rid of them. We were a bit loath to just give them away or set them free & so over a beer one night I suggested cooking & eating them. Thinking ahead, I offered to cook them if someone else killed & cleaned them. My friend said that he knew how to pluck & clean a chicken & it was settled.

    The next weekend everyone came around to our house (4-5 of us). I had the oven ready & some tools for killing & cleaning the chickens. We had a few beers & discussed who would kill the chickens. No one was interested in this job & they tried to get me to do it because I had assembled the tools & sounded like I knew how to do it but I told them that I was the cook & so one else would need to do it.

    I had an axe & chopping block ready (used for firewood in those days) & I told them that if they held a chicken upside down that it would:
    1) go quiet (instead of lots of squawking) &
    2) it would curl its neck up & outwards, making it easy to cut off its head with the axe.

    The guy that owned the chickens offered to do the axe work while another friend offered to hold the chicken in position over the chopping block. Both of these guys were (are) big tough, burly guys. One a builder & the other an electrician & so "no sweat, eh".

    When it came time to do the chopping it became clear that both of them were a bit squeemish about the death bit & so the guy holding the chicken held it sort of over the chopping block & then turned his face away so that he would not see the head being chopped off. Meanwhile the guy with the axe decided that he was going to do something similar & so he lined the axe up with the chopping block & then turned his face away too!

    Meanwhile the rest of us watched a higly entertaining show from the porch with beers in hand. The first couple of axe strokes missed the chicken altogether but only narrowly missed the arms of the guy holding the chicken & he became very nervous.

    The guy with the axe gradually got better with his aim (still looking away). After 4 more strokes they managed to cut the chicken's head off but inflicted various wounds to the chicken in the process and luckily, no wounds to the guy holding the chicken.

    Afterwards we reviewed things over a beer & the guy who had held the chicken said he was unwilling to hold another one because of the danger & no one else wanted that job so we declared that chopping the heads off the remaining chickens was a non-goer & so we needed another way of killing them.

    We discussed various other methods over a few more beers & we finally agreed on a solution that I suggested. This is not-so-nice & so I will leave it out.

    All 4 chickens got killed, plucked, cleaned & roasted with spuds & Kumara. They were a bit tough but by the time we got to eat them we had drunk a few more beers & it didn't matter that they were tough, we ate them anyway.


  5. Ugh, boys! My brother is just as bad and loves to regale me with gruesome tales about what became of various chickens on some of the farms he has worked on. Suffice to say, farm machinery and free range chooks do not get on well together!!! But please keep what happened to the rest of your chickens to yourself....that one I really don't want to know!