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Monday, July 13, 2009

Killing Cone or Holding Funnel

Finally, here it is, the "How to make a Killing Cone also known as a Holding Funnel" posting.I sat down with Chance this evening and worked this out.The top photo shows the finished cone.We showed it first so you'd know what we are talking about.

The supplies you will need are shown in the one photo.
A drill
Pop rivets and rivet setter shown at top of photo
A hammer, ball peen hammer is best
Tin snips - shown in center
Paper to make pattern.
Sharpie type Pen. Not shown.
The next photo to the right of the supplies shows the final item on the supply list.Chance used a section of air conditioning duct for his metal.A 5 foot tall section at our local Depot was around $15 and gave us 3 cones total.

The photo with the paper is the first step.You will want to make a paper pattern for the cone.Follow the dimensions in the photo.
Next lay out the pattern on your metal and trace around it.Using your Tin Snips cut out pattern.Be careful! The edges of the metal will be razor sharp.

The photos below the ones showing the paper pattern show the outline of the pattern drawn onto the metal and then the soon to be cone.
The following photo shows the next step.You will now want to roll the long sides to the trapezoid/cone edges over and hammer lightly until it lays flat .Kind of like when you are doing a hem on a pair of pants.(not a rolled hem)
The first photo with the drill in use is showing the rolling of the cone.When you roll your cone you will want to roll so that the bottom opening/diameter is 3 inches across and the top should measure 9 inches across.Next you will want to drill a hole right where the metal overlaps at the bottom/narrow end. At this point set a rivet in the hole you just drilled.By fixing this hole you will now be able to make adjustments to the wide ends diameter easier,by rolling it and moving it around until you get the 9 inches you are looking for.
The photo with the pop rivet setter is showing you to set the next rivet at the top/wide end of the cone.After that add 3-4 more holes with rivets in between the top and bottom rivets.
Once your cone is riveted you will have what looks very much like a paper cone from the flower shop.Using the very first photo as a guide trim the top edge to look like it.
The top and bottom edges now need to be finished so they will not be sharp so you don't cut yourself or the bird.To roll the edges over take your ball peen hammer and lightly hammer around the edge,striking the edge from the inside out.This will start the edge curling.To get the curl to lay flat keep striking gently along the edge in the same manner.Once the curl becomes a right angle, tap from the curls edge, aiming from the outside causing the curl to lay flat against the cone.Repeat on the the other end.
The very last step is to drill 2 holes(check first photo) in the top end so you can hang your cone.
LA! you are now ready to butcher your own birds.
When we first started looking at using the cone we were not really interested in using one beyond teaching the classes.But now that we have used it and seen how it frees up your hands we kind of like.Another nice feature to using the cone is the bird is swaddled,this keeps them a bit more clam.
A trick we learned was to tie the chickens feet together.This step enabled us to easily slide them into the cone.Also this prevents them from getting their feet under themselves and scooting out and they will try,Chickens are not dumb.
So there it is Readers.Please let us know if you come up with questions or if we totally lose you some how.Good luck with this project and let us know how you did with it.
Chance also wants to add here that he is selling the cones for $25 and if need be we will ship for the cost of shipping and local pick up is possible,you can email us directly (hrafinstaad@aol.com) to order one.Or if you want to get a group of 3-10 people together Chance is willing to teach a class on how to make a cone.The class fee for this class would be $20 per person which includes all materials.
Chance and Rois


  1. Nice work, Chance! Thanks for sharing your design.

  2. Glen and any one else who should decide to make a cone please let me know how it works out.

  3. Thank you! We can't wait to try this out!

    Lacy Razor

  4. Thanks, and great pictures!

  5. Thanks for sharing the plans and the nice, clear pictures and instructions. My cones turned out as beautiful as any "store-bought" ones, however, I had a big problem, my Cornish Rock Cross chickens' heads wouldn't stick out through the bottom opening. I had to cut 3" to 4" of the bottom off for it to work. My birds ended up averaging 5 to 5 1/2 lbs. each. We'll modify the design from being "megaphone" looking, to something more short & squatty. Thanks again, Russ

  6. I'm going to try this, I'll let you know how it works, from the mountains in Central New York, yes I agree being outdoors is the BEST

  7. Thanks looks great! Will it do a Cornish cross or do i need to make it bigger?
    Thanks! Seth

  8. Thanks - I tried to make one once out of some galvanized roof flashing and gave up. I'll give it another go as my old flock of layers are about done.

    Cheers from Quebec, Canada

  9. could you please specify what kind of rivets you used, size and material? thanks, almost finished with my first and it is beautiful! laura

  10. Laura, Pop rivets from Home Depot and I can not remember the exact.You don't need anything heavy duty though since you are just going through the ducting.You can a whole a kit at Home Depots that come with a rivet setter and the rivets for fairly cheap. I hope this helps you.

  11. Thanks, the pattern worked! I used zinc machine screws instead of rivets since I do not have a rivet gun and only wanted to use what I had on hand.

  12. I used your design but tweeked it - instead of using metal I took an old black pot from a large tree, cut out the bottom, split it up the side and then used your template. I drilled 2 holes and bolted it together with washers and nuts. We nailed it to a sawhorse and it worked great! The cost was only the 2 bolts, nuts and washers!

  13. I was about to go looking for an old traffic cone that I saw around my dad's property years ago to use as a killing cone when I came across your DIY instructions. I think I'll go get a section of duct and build one of these myself. I already have the rivits and other materials. Thanks so much for posting.