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DIY HUMANE way to Kill Slaughter Chicken (Stun-kill, Gas) - Page 39

post #381 of 690


You brain poke them BEFORE you slit the throat?  Do you have a special tool for this? 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bairo View Post

did not have time to read 36 pages of responses. I'll just make some people angry and be blunt. We all have thought about this at one time or another and with varying degrees of intensity. The original poster though is so stressed about the whole thing that I would quite frankly suggest they just start going back to the grocery store. Yes you can say they can not due to the statement of economics. Does not fly, sorry. Anyone care to let us know what you think your cost is per bird in the freezer? Is it worth it to know what you are eating? Of course it is. Is it worth the cost of prozac to get over killing the thing....probably not. You have to have at least a dab of realism to be in this for more than pets. If that is all you want, then of course there is nothing wrong with that. But if that is the type of person you are and you suddenly want to slaughter your pet for your freezer, your going to cause yourself a stroke worrying about it.

So now to answer the original question. I use the brain poke method when they are in a cone, then I slit the throat to bleed them out. This is an acquired skill though and you will miss the brain the first time or two you do it. You may even run your poker through the top of the birds head and out the other side the first time or two. This will be traumatic.....so those first few paid the price for you to learn so the next don't suffer. Are you cringing yet? If so; seriously re evaluate if you need to slaughter chickens for meat or not. Sorry but someone had to say it like it is wink



 

post #382 of 690
I'm not speaking from experience but rather from what I've read here before. Yes, you brain poke first, then slit the throat. You use something like a stiff filet knife, a long skinny sort of knife with of course a sharp point. You can improvise there with whatever knives you have handy, most likely.

Edit: There is such a thing as a "sticking knife" available at some supply places made especially for doing this. While there is a specialty item for it, most don't seem to get it but rather use something they have that comes close enough.
Edited by galanie - 1/18/12 at 5:28am

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post #383 of 690

I'm considering keeping chickens and have been doing my research on all the factors and have watched several videos of how to slaughter and process the chickens.  I'm fully realistic about the necessity of it and feel that if I'm willing to eat the animal, I should have the wear with all to dispatch them.

 

I came across the gas stun method reading an NYTimes article about some commercial processors beginning to use CO2 for a more humane kill.  For a large scale operation, it might not have the benefits of a truly pain free death, but done at home it might work.

 

CO2 in small concentrations is an analgesic, at somewhat greater an anesthetic and at high concentrations will asphyxiate and kill.  The AVMA says that CO2 is the only safe home (ie, not a vet that does house calls, but you doing it yourself) euthanasia method according to the linked article.  But you should increase the concentration slowly as immediate exposure to high concentrations will cause burning of the eyes and lungs.  You need to put them under but keep their hearts pumping for proper and quick exsanguination for the best taste according to other articles on the internet.  Note the CO2 method in commercial settings is criticized because, it's not likely they could process all the birds in time after gassing (which for efficiency they would be gassed by the truckload), invariably some would wake up before throat cutting etc.  But if you're at home, you're doing one chicken at a time and can ensure the deed is done before the chicken wakes from its CO2 sleep.

 

Also, note that you should aim at slitting both the carotids arteries not the jugular.  Remember from science class that veins carry blood to the heart and arteries away from.  So you want to slit the arteries to stop blood flow to the brain which will render the animal unconscious.  And you want to render them unconscious before they wake from the CO2.  Cutting the jugular means blood is still getting to the brain and then bleeding out which means the chicken can take minutes to pass out and would be in pain during this time.

 

Personally, I also believe passage of time is relative.  Remember how "time flies when you having fun" but seems to drag on when things are bad.  Being in earthquake country, I myself have the subjective experience of earthquakes lasting much longer than the seconds that they actually are.  Not to anthropomorphize the chicken, but do we truly know how they experience time and pain?

 

The linked article provides a crude methodology using vinegar and baking soda.  But it gives you the basics of what needs to be done.  I would probably invest in a small CO2 tank, the kind used for beer kegs.  Even dry ice would be better than the vinegar/baking soda in my opinion.  This also allows for exact metering of gas.  In brainstorming, I think you could put the chicken in a cone, then the head in a small bucket/cup or 1 qt deli container.  The bucket should probably go up to about the shoulders so the head is fully inside the cup.  CO2 is heavier than air so you can trickle in the gas into the bucket.  The CO2 will fall to the bottom of the bucket mixing with the air and also displacing the air thus increasing in concentration slowly.  Once the chicken is under, you would slit it's carotids and let it bleed out using the still beating heart to help in the draining of the blood.  I think dry ice could also be very effective and highly controllable and much cheaper than investing in a beer keg tank and the need to go have the tank refilled.  Don't know if the cold temp would be stressful to the chicken though.

 

Anyway, just my preemptive brainstorming of what I might have to do if I decide to keep chickens.  I think there would be a market for a chicken retirement home for us urbanites too squeamish to do what needs to be done.  After the kill there is still the plucking and evisceration which makes the kill seem like a picnic in my opinion.

 

Also, I think this anesthesia method might also work for caponing to use all the cockerels that you will hatch but cannot keep.  The vet uses halothane to put my parrot under for procedures like microchipping and yet we'll pull out a cockerel's testes with nothing.  For me even though they will be exploited for their eggs and eventually eaten, they should at least be treated with as much respect as my parrot.

post #384 of 690

I can't imagine eating the meat after it has been gased!  I WILL be raising my own chickens if they start gassing my food commercially!

post #385 of 690
Quote:
Originally Posted by gg706 View Post

I can't imagine eating the meat after it has been gased!  I WILL be raising my own chickens if they start gassing my food commercially!



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gg706 View Post

You need to research Humane Societies in this country. Some of them use gas. The cats and dogs fight to the death in the gas room as the oxygen runs out .I would think this is a VERY INHUMANE way to kill an animal.  Also you are saying that you dont have any money. WHY would you want to go buy a bunch of gases to kill your food????  Have you thought about eating this meat after you have gased it to death?  Doesn't sound smart to me!   Do yourself a favor and make a killing cone out of sheet metal hang it from a tree that you can reach to adjust height. Get a tall trash can and line it with a black trash bag.  Put the bird in the killing cone slice the throat to get the blood going lower the bird into the bag a bit and walk away. Come back after a few minutes.  This is your food, you are raising them to eat. If you cant afford food you have no choice. GOD put animals here for us to eat.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gg706 View Post

I can't imagine eating the meat after it has been gased!  I WILL be raising my own chickens if they start gassing my food commercially!



You probably already eat "gassed" food and irradiated food as well.  Fruits and vegetables are commonly gassed with ethylene to hasten ripening.  Food is irradiated to prevent growth of pathogens.

 

CO2 is an inert common/naturally occurring gas in the environment that all creatures are exposed to as well as it exists inside organisms and is a part of our physiological processes.  You're producing it right now.  I don't think the OP had any intention of using Zyklon B or cyanide to dispatch the chickens.  The analgesic effects and the fact that it is heavier than air makes it ideal.  But really you could use other inert gases like N (N makes up 78% of air) or maybe He, maybe even NO2 if you know a dentist, to render the animal unconscious.  The key is displacing the O2 and doing so in a way that does not shock the system but slowly causes build up of CO2 in the blood stream and depletion of O2 putting the animal to "sleep".

 

Another advantage of the "humane" death is that the animal is not stressed and does not consequently releases stress hormones into it's system which on a chemical level would affect the meat's taste due to release of lactic acid into the muscles.  Here's some info from Purdue.  All said and done, whether you put the animal under first or chop its head off with an ax, it needs to be done quickly without letting the animal on to what will happen for the benefit of the animal and consequently your benefit in a better tasting food.

 

Incidentally, McDonalds buys all its beef from processors with mechanisms that cradle the cow and give it a "hug" to calm it right before the kill.


 

 

post #386 of 690
If you truly have the where with all to butcher your own chickens then you shouldn't need to complicate their dispatch to such a degree.

The gruesome and overthought methods on this thread are absolutely amazing. KILL IT. Just kill it. Quit stressing over it. You are ending a life. So do it and quit wimping out with wondering if they'll suffer. You want suffering? Watch and read how commercial enterprises (i.e. the ones you buy in the store) do it.

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post #387 of 690

Thank you, thank you, BYC for this informative  and helpful thread.

As a newbie (my flock is 2.5 years old) I have finally come to the need to take care of roosters.

 

Actually, I made my hubby do it the first two times. This time, I realized that I'm a big girl, and I need to take the FULL responsibility for my flock.

Even as a vegetarian (I cook meat for  DH and dog), I've been dreading this, so I read the first 26 pages of this thread (yes, every word!) and then felt like I was ready.

 

 

I watched the rrecommended youtube video on the broomstick method.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&hl=en-GB&v=UahVDgXszyM&oref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.backyardchickens.com%2Ft%2F14845%2Fdiy-humane-way-to-kill-slaughter-chicken-stun-kill-gas%2F240

 

First time:  this worked fine, thanks to all the suggestions and experience.

 

I wore good boots, started first thing in the morning, I used a sleeve from a t-shirt to keep the wings back, held the bird upside down and swung him gently until  he went into a trance. Then, carried him over to a plywood board on the ground where I had the big sledgehammer with the 3-foot handle waiting. Head on board, handle on neck, tug on feet (a pretty strong tug for a big roo).

then, thanks given to Mother Earth and carcass given to the coyotes in the woods, who have never bothered our birds in spite of  their trails crossing our  farm.

 

Thank you, BYC

post #388 of 690


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by galanie View Post

If you truly have the where with all to butcher your own chickens then you shouldn't need to complicate their dispatch to such a degree.
The gruesome and overthought methods on this thread are absolutely amazing. KILL IT. Just kill it. Quit stressing over it. You are ending a life. So do it and quit wimping out with wondering if they'll suffer. You want suffering? Watch and read how commercial enterprises (i.e. the ones you buy in the store) do it.


The method used to kill chickens at home may be "better" than those used at a commercial slaughterhouse, but that does not entail that it is humane.  Less suffering than a commercial slaughterhouse is still suffering.  How about we let our dogs wring their necks.  Borrow the neighbor's dog, you don't even have to watch.  One could argue this is perfectly orderly in the grand scheme of life and nature.  However, some of use are looking for a NO suffering method.  For many backyard chicken keepers, our flocks will number 2-3, 4 or 5 hens if we're lucky to have larger yards and neighbors who look the other way.  While we can make a concerted effort to not form an attachment, to not name them, some owners will naturally do so.  Just look at all the pictures on this site and all the named chickens and descriptions of their personalities and antics.  So slaughtering a living being that you have come to be fond of, may be difficult for some.  Wanting a quiet, stress free and respectful death for the animal doesn't seem over-thought and the methodologies being discussed here are specifically aimed at making the kill less gruesome. 

 

We had chickens when I was a child and on one slaughter day, a family friend was over.  He remarked how our bleeding out method was cruel and gruesome.  He then took a chicken by the head and whipped it across the yard ripping the head off the chicken.  The headless chicken ran around the yard squirting blood everywhere like a chicken with its head cut off (sorry, couldn't help it).  This as you can imagine is rather disturbing to a child of 5.  We can argue that the death was quick and the nervous system was immediately disconnected.  But there's also the issue of respect.  Do we make a spectacle of the slaughter or do we do it with the gravity and solemnity that some of us feel is necessary.

 

This "humane, pain free, stress free" death that some of us are locking for not only benefits the chicken but also the person doing it in terms of the physical and emotional pain/stress (for both chicken and human) but also arguably benefits the quality of the meat and the enjoyability of that chicken on the table knowing you did your best to limit it's suffering.  The bleeding out part is necessary for the best quality of meat and some of us would rather not watch the chicken twitch and squirt blood all over the place so we are exploring the gassing and stunning methods in this thread.  The gassing method to me, seems simplest (I am more and more leaning towards dry ice) as compared to the "brain poke".  The first few won't needlessly suffer due to the human's learning curve at perfecting his "brain poke".  At worse the CO2 method kills the chicken outright and you have poorer draining of the blood.  Another advantage is that CO2 can be used to quickly and easily dispatch a large number of birds in the case of disease or to cull cockerels if we are buying hatching eggs to have rare and heritage breeds.  CO2 is also good for those of us who are vegetarian and may need only to put down a sick chicken or one that's been maimed by a predator.  CO2 works for those of use who's chickens are companion animals.  If a raccoon hurts your beloved frizzle cochin the night before and you don't have it in you to bash its head in with a big rock, then maybe baking soda and vinegar is the humane thing to do rather than walking away and letting nature take it's course.  Some people can put a bullet in their dog's head if its critically injured or lame, others cannot.  Some people kill lobsters before putting them in the boiling pot, others let the pot rattle and roll.  Individuals just see the world differently.  We're just here trying to learn and share differing view points.

 

Adding a step to the "process" whether it be swaying the chicken, stroking it, "lobodomizing" it  or gassing it, is not over-thought or wimping out.  It's about respecting the life you're about to take so that your life can continue.  We need to remember that many backyard flocks are very small and many urbanites will only slaughter one or two chickens a year and these urbanites are not experienced farmers or hunters etc.  We're just here exploring different paths to the same ends that we would feel more comfortable with so that when its all done we can sit down at the table and respectfully enjoy our food if that may be the case.

post #389 of 690



I am fully aware of that. That is why I grow an organic garden EVERY year!   I dont want all that in my food. I try get rid of as much tainted food as possible!  Just because Carbon Dioxide occurs everywhere naturally in our environment doesn't mean I want my chicken dinner loaded with it. I think putting a chicken into a gas chamber and slowly poisoning it to death WILL create lots of stress for the animal.  There really is no way around it. ALL of us will die at some point...most of us don't get a pain, stress free death.  Life is a great giant circle......

Quote:
Originally Posted by paroiseau View Post



 

 


 



You probably already eat "gassed" food and irradiated food as well.  Fruits and vegetables are commonly gassed with ethylene to hasten ripening.  Food is irradiated to prevent growth of pathogens.

 

CO2 is an inert common/naturally occurring gas in the environment that all creatures are exposed to as well as it exists inside organisms and is a part of our physiological processes.  You're producing it right now.  I don't think the OP had any intention of using Zyklon B or cyanide to dispatch the chickens.  The analgesic effects and the fact that it is heavier than air makes it ideal.  But really you could use other inert gases like N (N makes up 78% of air) or maybe He, maybe even NO2 if you know a dentist, to render the animal unconscious.  The key is displacing the O2 and doing so in a way that does not shock the system but slowly causes build up of CO2 in the blood stream and depletion of O2 putting the animal to "sleep".

 

Another advantage of the "humane" death is that the animal is not stressed and does not consequently releases stress hormones into it's system which on a chemical level would affect the meat's taste due to release of lactic acid into the muscles.  Here's some info from Purdue.  All said and done, whether you put the animal under first or chop its head off with an ax, it needs to be done quickly without letting the animal on to what will happen for the benefit of the animal and consequently your benefit in a better tasting food.

 

Incidentally, McDonalds buys all its beef from processors with mechanisms that cradle the cow and give it a "hug" to calm it right before the kill.


 

 



 

post #390 of 690
Quote:
Originally Posted by galanie View Post

If you truly have the where with all to butcher your own chickens then you shouldn't need to complicate their dispatch to such a degree.
The gruesome and overthought methods on this thread are absolutely amazing. KILL IT. Just kill it. Quit stressing over it. You are ending a life. So do it and quit wimping out with wondering if they'll suffer. You want suffering? Watch and read how commercial enterprises (i.e. the ones you buy in the store) do it.

 

I agree 100%.  One can discuss many humane ways to butcher your own chickens and they are largely supposition on what a human may feel in the same circumstance or what is supposedly happening on a physiological level but such things have never been measured on chickens or tested in any way that could be called truly reliable.

 

Quote:
We're just here exploring different paths to the same ends that we would feel more comfortable with so that when its all done we can sit down at the table and respectfully enjoy our food if that may be the case.

 

I think this is the primary goal of these discussions and experiments with methods of "humane" dying...so that YOU will feel comfortable about killing a creature and not so much to do with the creature's comfort at all.  All these elaborate schemes/methods come down to being able to tell other like-minded people that you, unlike the usual run of the mill backyard grower, are approaching the whole killing thing with more thoughtfulness, compassion and humanity than most.

 

It's trying to reinvent the wheel and I'm sure you are not the first to have tried to think of a better way of killing/dying but the simple fact is that dying is messy, stressful and no one knows but the victim if there is any measurable pain during the process....and he ain't tellin'.

 

"Respectfully enjoy our food if that may be the case..."  

 

Do you imagine that those of us who just get the deed done in the most efficient and quick manner are any less respectful of our food?  It is because we have respect for the animal and the process of making it dead that we choose the quick and final methods that we do.  Gassing, pithing and then decapitating seems like an awful long path to the same door for the poor animal.  

 

I agree with Galanie....grit yer teeth, pull up yer panties and get the job done.  If you've never killed a chicken before or only killed a few, you can talk the chicken to death all you want but you still don't have the experience it takes to determine correct/good methodology.   


 

 


Edited by Beekissed - 1/19/12 at 1:24pm
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