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Wringing necks?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Is it acceptable/humane to wring a birds neck & if so is there any particular technique?

We tried to kill a friends big RIR roo yesterday, my DH pulled it's neck like a rabbit & it went limp.
We strung it up & were just about to cut it's throat to bleed it out & it ran off!!
How I have no idea what happened!

He tried again, but it still didn't look dead to me (it was blinking) so the owner of the bird took his head off (it squwaked as he did it)

I want to learn how to kill a bird properly, so I can take responsibility for managing my own flock at home,
but I don't fancy making a mess of it like yesterday.

Any advice you can give? smile

post #2 of 10

This is the hardest part of caring for a flock.  I told my husband what I gleaned from the net and If I need to put one down he does it because he has strong hands.
What he does is with one hand he holds both feet while using the other hand he places his thumb under the chickens beak /throat area  tilts the head back and pulls till you hear and feel a pop . At this point the head and spine are separated . You will get flopping till
the body muscles stop convulsing.  Unfortunately you need to be strong to do this. It doesnt always work on the first time.

I actually prefer to do the following.  Use an axe. I tie a strong loop of string around a small tree and loop the end over the chickens feet and  tie a second around the neck which you then gently pull on so you can then chop the head off. Make sure you place a flat board
under the neck and that the axe is really sharp.  You can pre wrap the chicken in a straight jacket of fabric to eliminate the flopping that will occur after the head is off.

post #3 of 10

I haven't actually done it myself (the weather that day was nasty so we were working quickly with no time for amateur error), but the guy who taught me held the body in one arm, bent the bird's head back with the other hand, then gave it a quick jerk that snapped the head right off. He suggested that since I probably didn't have the hand strength that I put the head under a bit of broomstick, step on said broomstick, and use both hands to yank the body up with a sharp pull.

They do indeed try to flap and run around without their heads if allowed, but he restrained it under his arm, using the same hand that took off the head to control the neck for the bleedout.

Some of the British chicken-keeping  books talk about doing it in such a way that the spine and blood vessels separate without breaking the skin so that the bleed is completely internal. Sounds to me like that one would take a lot of practice to learn.

PS -- My teacher emphasized that every effort should be made to ensure that the chicken is as calm and relaxed as possible both for humane purposes and because the adrenaline messes with the meat.

post #4 of 10

I have seen my hubby and my mom do it... they get the chicken... then get the neck and swing it around by the neck in circles.   Then chop the head off to bleed it out.

I've been reading up on it and it seems the most humane way is tie them by their feet (or use a killing cone - but ive read where they get out of those).  Once upside down hanging by their feet they get reallly still.

then cut the veins on each side of the neck,  the blood drains out and they fall asleep and die.

I agree with the earlier poster on wringing the necks would release adrenaline into the meat.

owned by 1 hubby, 2 daughters, 1 son, long hair german shepherd, maltese, chihuahua, wolf/malamute, Himalayan cat, 2 rescue cats, 8 RIR, 4 Plymouth Rocks, 8 Buff Orpingtons, 5 Bourbon Red turkeys, 3 game birds, 15 tilapia, 3 Bob Whites,  24 chicks just born, and 12 Wheaten Marans on the way!
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owned by 1 hubby, 2 daughters, 1 son, long hair german shepherd, maltese, chihuahua, wolf/malamute, Himalayan cat, 2 rescue cats, 8 RIR, 4 Plymouth Rocks, 8 Buff Orpingtons, 5 Bourbon Red turkeys, 3 game birds, 15 tilapia, 3 Bob Whites,  24 chicks just born, and 12 Wheaten Marans on the way!
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post #5 of 10

I also prefer throat slitting. We hang them up by their feet, hold their head in one hand and tilt it to the side. With a sharp knife cut thru the jugular right below (or above because it is upside down) the jawbone. Do a search on BYC for more info. It just seems less traumatic for me and the bird. I want to try pithing which is supposed to be the most humane and instatanious death.

post #6 of 10

Cervical dislocation is the most accepted method of dispatching a cull bird in the poultry industry. When large numbers of birds are to be terminated gassing them while they are asleep is most common.

I didn't read all the posts but here is how I have done it a thousand times. I am right handed-
Grasp both legs in L hand.  Wrap your R index finger and thumb around the bird's neck just below the head. Do it so that the back of the birds head is in the crook of the finger and thumb. As you stretch your R arm straight out you will put tension on the bird's body. When you reach the limit of stretching the bird bend the head back and increase tension so that the vertebrae is separated from the skull. You will feel the dislocation occur, it is unmistakable. With a little practice even smaller women can do it successfully. Guys may over do it a time or two and actually jerk the head off which causes blood that is otherwise avoided. Practice will make you proficient at the task.

Killing a bird for slaughter (THIS IS NOT CULLING)- The people who taught me to do this just slit the birds neck just below the lower mandible and let it bleed out while the heart beats were not disrupted by decapitation. Said it was better. I donno. I have seen no difference between slitting the neck and decapitation so far as meat quality is concerned.

Wringing the neck - that is grabbing the bird by the neck and twirling its body around and around. Seems gruesome and . . .  silly, to me.

Never use a big word when a diminutive one will suffice. Guilty. I have been writing tech manuals this morning and I cant turn it off.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thankyou neil, that was exactly the technique I was aiming for, I will put it into practise next time.

I will keep the cleaver handy tho, in case I don't quite manage it!

I didn't realise wringing was twirling the bird round, yikes... no I didn't want to do that!! lol

post #8 of 10

I used to work at "Delia's Poultry Farm" years back when I was a kid. I seen 'ol Sy Delia spot a sick hen in a cage, pull her out, grab her feet and head and stretch it a bit,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and bite her behind the head in the neck, breaking it for a very quick, painless kill,,,,,,,,,,sort of. No flopping, just limp. idunno

"Those who make Peaceful Revolution impossible,,,,make Violent Revolution inevitable"     President John F. Kennedy
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"Those who make Peaceful Revolution impossible,,,,make Violent Revolution inevitable"     President John F. Kennedy
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post #9 of 10

She bit the sick hen?!?!?!  sickbyc

post #10 of 10

He, and yup, broke it's neck with his teeth. and set her aside. He did it all the time.

"Those who make Peaceful Revolution impossible,,,,make Violent Revolution inevitable"     President John F. Kennedy
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"Those who make Peaceful Revolution impossible,,,,make Violent Revolution inevitable"     President John F. Kennedy
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