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Why not chop their heads off?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

We are preparing for meat birds in the spring and thinking about our processing ability. When I was growing up, my grandmother would just chop the chickens' heads off on a block and go from there. Now it seems using a kill cone and slitting their throats is the most popular method of slaughter. I understand that slitting the throats keeps the heart pumping longer and therefore they drain more easily. Other than this, why not just chop off their heads? I mean, is there really something wrong or bad about the decapitation method of slaughter?

Our chickens were wiped out by 'coons and we are living on the coyote battlefront. We're working on making our farm safe for more chicks in the spring.
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Our chickens were wiped out by 'coons and we are living on the coyote battlefront. We're working on making our farm safe for more chicks in the spring.
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post #2 of 11

I don't really understand the difference. I mean, we put them in a cone, and chop off their heads with an axe. Is there another way they do it?

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If you see me around the forum, please PM me and tell me to stop procrastinating and go: write my script; edit my movie; edit my TV show; edit my other script; write another script for next weeks TV episode; or spend time trying to figure out my animation program. This'll be interesting to see which one you pick.
The Mysterious One I try to live up to it. I love this smiley, BTW.
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post #3 of 11

Nope my grandma done it for years and still would if she could see well enough to tell which end to chop. big_smile The old methods still work. That's the method I will use when I slaughter because that's the method I know. Thanks to granny smile

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Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called Sons of God. Matthew 5:9
http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/cindiloohoo HERE Earn free stuff with me
I'm a blood bought bible taught born again child of God!
If we threw all of our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd quickly grab ours back
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post #4 of 11

We do the killing cone and cut the head off with a knife. Some of our egg customers were horrified when they saw the big red stain on the tree we have our killing cone on LOL hilarious.

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Lupin Farm [Labradoodles] + A Pretty Little Wilderness
Small Hobby Farm + Miniature Labradoodles
www.lupinfarm.com
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post #5 of 11

How ever you want to do it is up to you. I personally use the cone method (although mine is home made). The reason I use it is it contains the birds, all the blood can be drained into a bucket underneath them, and there's little likelihood of the birds breaking a wing when their nerves take over. The blood being able to be completely disposed of is important to us. We have close neighbors with dogs and no fenced yards. I don't need to be encouraging dogs to come into the yard. We also have young kids in the neighborhood and we don't think it would be appropriate to have the chickens flaling around for them to see. What their children see should be a decision for the parents. I don't need to upset my neighbors. Discretion also played into our decision. One added benefit was the birds remained fairly calm through the whole ordeal.

Best of luck in what ever decision you choose.

Currently chicken and critter free. Not happy about it, but sometimes life deals those cards. I'm thinking - temporary.

 

I'm an aquarium nut (freshwater). I used to have a fishroom but am limited to a 10 gallon aquarium for now. Well, I'm cheating a little with other "non-aquarium" containers with water. Live plants are the way to go! It doesn't have to be expensive or difficult. If you're...

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Currently chicken and critter free. Not happy about it, but sometimes life deals those cards. I'm thinking - temporary.

 

I'm an aquarium nut (freshwater). I used to have a fishroom but am limited to a 10 gallon aquarium for now. Well, I'm cheating a little with other "non-aquarium" containers with water. Live plants are the way to go! It doesn't have to be expensive or difficult. If you're...

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post #6 of 11

we give them the axe - no problem. make sure its really sharp and have a good sturdy block. just have a good hold on them when they start flapping. i think its more a personal choice than anything.

old school still works here!

The gander drew himself up to his full height, shrieking his war cry as he stomped into the warriors stance.. I swung my shepherd hook like a bat'leth and snarled in my best Klingon "Today is a good day to die!".....

http://adventuresinthegoodland.blogspot.com/
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The gander drew himself up to his full height, shrieking his war cry as he stomped into the warriors stance.. I swung my shepherd hook like a bat'leth and snarled in my best Klingon "Today is a good day to die!".....

http://adventuresinthegoodland.blogspot.com/
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post #7 of 11

We improvised a cone hung over a 50 gallon drum. It caught all the blood, so the only sign we had of butchering, was feathers from the plucker.
Chopping heads does work, but it is much messier.

The cone was a plastic pot from the greenhouse, two holes cut near the top edge, and a dowel stuck through that.
The bottom had a hole big enough for the head. Stuck the chicken in, slid the rid through, hung it over the barrel, and presto.
This also made it a little less traumatic for the little ones that were "helping" that day, as they could not see the blood letting.

post #8 of 11

To answer the question "why not chop"...

The bird doesn't bleed out as well as it does when properly slit.

That is the only advantage I can see to slitting. There is split opinion over whether more bleed out is a good thing. Some say the blood actually makes the meat taste better. However, if you sell your birds, blood in the bird might bother some of your clients, since they are used to birds from the store that have been slit. They might need reeducating.

I chop. I know folks say slitting is a fast death, but I can't imagine it being faster than chopping for someone who can do it with a single swing, and a fast, humane death is the big thing for me.

As to messes, well, wiring the bird's feet together, chopping, then hanging from that wire over a bucket seems to me just as clean as a cone. Nothing wrong with cones, mind you, and I don't blame or judge folks for slitting, but I prefer chopping.

"There are too many books in the world to read in a single lifetime; you have to draw the line somewhere." --Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

 

What I'm reading now:  Aquaponic Gardening, by Sylvia Bernstein.

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"There are too many books in the world to read in a single lifetime; you have to draw the line somewhere." --Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

 

What I'm reading now:  Aquaponic Gardening, by Sylvia Bernstein.

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post #9 of 11

Nope, nothing wrong with chopping. Some people just prefer slitting because they feel the bird is calmer, its less messy, and it bleeds out better.

And then there are clumsy dimwits like me who just shouldn't be swinging around sharp axes. tongue

A country girl in a city apartment. But not for long!
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A country girl in a city apartment. But not for long!
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post #10 of 11

Really good link on the topic http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/resource-room/meats/homeprocessingpoultry/index.htm ,but each to his own.

 I finally have birds again! 1 trio of mille & spangled OGEBs and getting 72 coturnix quail eggs shipped to me when the tax return comes in.

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 I finally have birds again! 1 trio of mille & spangled OGEBs and getting 72 coturnix quail eggs shipped to me when the tax return comes in.

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