A little something we just learned

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by LoveTheBarn, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. LoveTheBarn

    LoveTheBarn New Egg

    Sep 15, 2015
    I've been browsing the backyard chickens forum for a while now, but just learned something I think might be useful to others so wanted to add it to this post.

    I'll confess that I haven't read all 12 pages of this conversation, so if this is already posted, apologies.

    My husband and I culled five of our chickens last Sunday and we found that bolt cutters (proper heavy duty ones) worked very well. There is no humane-type advantage of this over a skilfully-swung axe, however there was a safety advantage for us humans. Neither my husband nor myself was completely confident that our axe skills would ensure a quick, clean, safe kill, so I'd definitely recommend this for anyone who feels the same about their axe skills and doesn't want to cause unnecessary distress to their chickens with a failed axe swing. We were also able to hold the chickens (they've always been comfortable with handling) and keep them calm until the moment that the blades were in their necks, and of course less than a second later it was over. This way we also had no need to induce the catatonia by holding them upside-down (I've not read anything that specifically studied chickens, but catatonia induced by being held upside-down has been shown to coincide with extreme stress hormones in rabbits and catatonia in humans is often linked with stress-related disorders).

    I hope this helps!
  2. lpatelski

    lpatelski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2015
    South Georgia
    [​IMG]Bypass loppers do a good job too. They go past the stopping point.
    Some have a large circular cradle end.[​IMG]

    There may be a possibility of a pinching without a separation of the neck vertebrae with a flat surface.

    Did you have to re-cut the jugular because pinching crimped the vessel?
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2015
  3. SJ

    SJ Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    If you go this route ensure that the loppers are heavy duty enough that will absolutely sever the vertebra. I had a horrific experience with loppers not cutting through the neck but instead bending around and "pinching" the neck. A slow and traumatic death. I have never used one for slaughter again. Fillet knife through the jugulars now days.
    1 person likes this.
  4. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 19, 2009
    The first chicken I killed I used some very heavy duty pruning shears. They worked well. However, it was not long before I replaced the limb loppers with a utility knife and severed the jugular. I find they bleed out better that way. You just have to find something that works for you and that you are comfortable with.
  5. LoveTheBarn

    LoveTheBarn New Egg

    Sep 15, 2015
    Thanks for the pics, yeah we used ones that cut with a bit of overlap and didn't experience any horrors, my husband works in a grounds-keeping job so I guess we have access to heavier duty equipment that the average homeowner. The ones we used had something like a bike chain just behind the axis (i don't know the technical terms)
  6. 123RedBeard

    123RedBeard Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 20, 2014
    Just to be clear ... The Red ones are "Bolt Cutters" and will cut through a 1/2" bolt or a padlock easily ... The Yellow ones are "brush cutters" or "lopper's" and will cut through 1.5" hardwood branches ...

    2 people like this.

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