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Why Do Chickens Run Around After Head is Cut Off? - Page 2

post #11 of 37

Actually, pain receptors are located throughout the human body (I'm would like to think it is true of chickens).  The chicken won't "feel" any pain because those pain receptors won't reach the brain to integrate it as pain.  However, I THINK that chickens have local reflex arcs, that's why they can still move after being beheaded.  The local integrating arcs or system (spinal cords, if chickens have one of equivalent?) can process information from the efferent receptors and offer an afferent response while also sending that information to the brain.  For example, when a normal person puts their hands on a hot iron, they local reflex arcs will pull their hand away before their brain can eventually tell it is painful (we pull our hands out first, then our brain tells us it was painful).  It's kind of like a cockroaches; they can still live for a week without their heads, but that's because their brains are located throughout their body and not just in their heads.

post #12 of 37

Or it could just be natures way of taking our minds off the fact that we just chopped a chicken's head off! laugig

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Me, Hubby, 14 year old son(God help me!) Dude, Spike & Otter(pet Chihuahuas), Sassy, T.J. and Charmin(pet kitties), 1 Californian white bunny, 1 gold/silver laced wyndotte hen, 4 EE hens & 1 EE roo! 1 Plymouth Cochin Banty Roo & 1 Orpington Cochin Banty Roo!(So I was told!)Shew!!
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post #13 of 37

When I was just a mere lad, a neighbor chopped the head off of a rooster, then threw it onto the ground, that rooster then flew onto the top of a power pole and made the motions of crowing, but no sound. He finally dropped down to the ground after about 3 hours and joined the family for dinner.

post #14 of 37

Seems like an appropriate place to share the story of Mike the chicken.  If you haven't heard of him prepare to be amazed.

http://www.miketheheadlesschicken.org/story.php

Garrison Keillor tells a tale in one of his books that is likely based on Mike's story.  He describes how the axe misses on the first blow and gets stuck in the stump.  In the process of freeing the axe from the stump the blade gets heated to the point where on the second try it removes the head, but cauterizes the wound at the same time.  His narrative of chasing the now headless chicken around the town had me howling with laughter.

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You smell that? Do you smell that? Broody poop, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that.

I love the smell of broody poop in the morning.

It smells like... progeny

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post #15 of 37

I hope the head can't feel anything....I once saw a show about the guillitine and there was some speculation about how long a person might be conscious after head chopped off.  They said anywhere from a minute to maybe a few minutes.  So if conscious the head with brain might be feeling it... Some other stuff I have read about slaughter methods it was determined that the most humane methods render animal unconscious like drugs (#1 they said), blow to head, stunning, shooting.  I wish I knew what study, but they monitered brain & nerve activity, etc.  So, although chop is a quick enough method, it wasn't on the list.  Bludgening might be the way to go if you can do it with force & conviction.

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Currently selling Millie Fleur Cochin hatching eggs. Contact me for purchasing information.  Soon to be a preservationist of rare Icelandic Chickens! Read about them: http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=299038&p=1  NEW CRAZY EGG TRAIN http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=326027&p=1
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post #16 of 37

The brain has to have a constant arterial blood flow to function the moment that stops the brain goes unconscious. There could hypothetically still be brain function for several seconds to a minute but there can't be any consciousness. That's why fighter pilots have to wear g suits. The force of g's pushes the blood from their head and renders them unconscious. So when the the head is separated from the heart pumping the oxygenated blood to the brain it's pretty much lights out instantly.  I was an EMT for 20 years somewhere during that time I must have learned something. lol

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Plymouth Barred Rocks, Delawares, New Hampshires, Rhode Island Reds,  Bantam Barred Rocks and Bantam Buff Brahmas. But love my mutt bantams too.

 

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post #17 of 37

Chickens have a very rudimentary and archaic nervous system- much like lizards or other ancient species of critters.  There continues to be involuntary nervous response after the main part of the brain is detached from the head- allowing chickens to flop and roll and flap around for quite a while after theyre really dead. They dont feel it. its much like stepping on a spider- its long gone, but those nasty legs keep right on twitching for the LONGEST time.

You CAN have a chicken with its head lopped off that is still alive- but that happens when the base of the skull is not completely severed, leaving the instinctual part of the brain intact. Back in ripley's days there was a farmer who had such a chicken- it lived for weeks- they just stuffed cracked corn down its open throat and it went right on strutting around as usual. But that was all caused by an improper severing of the spinal cord and head.

Oh yeah, there he is up there- Mike the chicken.

Every bird does that. Most reptiles can, snakes can, bugs... things like that.

*ew*


Edited by Chicken Fruit - 1/9/10 at 10:31am
post #18 of 37

I remember in a Biology class (a hundred years ago or so it seems) we had a pithed frog dissected.  The frog had been alive before the class and a sharp skewer had been stuck into its brain so the frog was braindead.  When the frog was dissected the heart was still beating because it is in the class of involuntary muscle (it beats without us having to think about it).  In fact, the heart still beat by itself for a short while when completely removed from the frog and set on a dish. 

This might be why the chicken runs around, the heart is still beating and pumping blood to muscles that are reacting?  idunno

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I love gardening, chickens, baking, reading - not necessarily always in that order.    Mom to Lulu, the lame part-time house chicken who loves to travel. 

Check out my blog  http://mountaingardengleanings.blogspot.com/
New posting every Monday and Thursday.
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post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by fancbrd4me02 

I hope the head can't feel anything....I once saw a show about the guillitine and there was some speculation about how long a person might be conscious after head chopped off.  They said anywhere from a minute to maybe a few minutes.  So if conscious the head with brain might be feeling it... Some other stuff I have read about slaughter methods it was determined that the most humane methods render animal unconscious like drugs (#1 they said), blow to head, stunning, shooting.  I wish I knew what study, but they monitered brain & nerve activity, etc.  So, although chop is a quick enough method, it wasn't on the list.  Bludgening might be the way to go if you can do it with force & conviction.


I think I saw that show too.  Larger animals would take longer to pass out, I think.  Chickens, probably not more than 10 seconds or so.

I kind of doubt you would feel anything.  I would think it would just send your head into instant shock, so no pain...and then before you could possibly orient yourself, you'd be unconscious.

Bludgeoning would work too, but I couldn't do it...because I'm dumb enough and uncoordinated enough that I'd just hit myself instead! tongue2

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"Carte Blanche is like an avalanche, it kind of snowballs and sets you free...So if you're looking for a standard to which you can aspire, then baby, look at me!" ~ Shock Treatment "Carte Blanche" 
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post #20 of 37

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guillotine
Close
to the end, section: Living Heads

I don't know if it pertains to chickens.

Personally, I would still think the bird would still feel it for a moment.


Edited by quercus21 - 1/10/10 at 5:32am

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4 New Hampshire Reds - 1 Rooster (Little Roo), 3 Hens(The grumps),

Love is blind, but marriage is an eye opener - author unknown

The freethinking of one age is the common sense of the next: Mathew Arnold 1822 - 1888

 

My wood shop and our home are 100% solar powered.

 

Website - Etsy - Facebook

 

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