axe alternative

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by trudyg, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. trudyg

    trudyg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 3, 2013
    I don't trust myself to accurately chop, so DH got me a machete. Still don't trust my aim, so I'm thinking I'll just hang dinner from the string up against the tree trunk, position the machete against his neck and use a mallet/hammer to whack the machete. Voila, head is chopped off. Any reason why this wouldn't work? I have used my large loppers and lopped off heads, but then blood gets in the joint of the lopper and, once it dries, it's hard to get off. I'm looking to lessen my cleaning chores and figured the machete method would work for me.
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    The machete, unless a very high quality one with an extremely sharp blade will be less effective than the hatchet because the hatchet has more weight behind the blade on a per inch basis.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Agree with Canoe. My teenage boys tried a machete and it didn't work near as well as a hatchet. I agree a hatchet is more of a two person job (for me at least), so I use a milk jug and just do a good, hard cut of the throat and let them bleed. I can manage that myself.
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I've seen peeps use a plastic cone to kill chickens. Kinda put the cone, wide side up and nail it to something, then pop the soon to be dead chick into the cone head first (needs to be wide enough for the head to pop through) and then choose your implement of doom. The cone stops all the flapping and mess, and can be done by one person.

  5. trudyg

    trudyg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 3, 2013
    I don't have any problem killing them, I was just thinking of alternate methods. I use a cord with a loop, attached to a tree. Secure the legs into the loop, then I use my tree loppers and 1 swift motion the head is off.
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I think I understand where you are coming from. My preferred method is to drive two nails to form a Vee in a section cut off from a large tree limb (like a tree stump), put the head in place and gently stretch so the target does not move, and use a hatchet. But I grew up swinging an ax, hammer, mattock, and hoe. I can hit what I swing at. I like the hatchet because it is lighter than an ax and easier to handle one handed but still has the heft to do the job as long as you can hit the target. A machete might take more arm strength if you are swinging it, which you are not.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that it is easier to get a clean cut if the blade sinks into the wood a bit. It’s better to chop into the grain rather than across the grain.

    Your method sounds like it might work better with three hands, one to hold the chicken, one to hold the machete, and one to swing the hammer. I’m not sure how close you can get the neck against the tree just hanging it from a string. I’d think you’d want the head firmly against the tree trunk. If you can’t swing a hatchet are you sure you can hit the machete with a hammer? I’d be a little concerned you might hurt yourself, let alone get a clean kill.

    Your problem with the loppers is cleaning. Maybe your question should be more on how to clean the loppers? Do you think dumping them in a bucket of water as soon as you do the deed will keep the blood from drying until you are ready to clean?
    1 person likes this.
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    That's exactly the way my dad taught me to do it.
  8. ldneel2007

    ldneel2007 Just Hatched

    Jun 30, 2014
    We use cones and I cut the throat with a knife.
  9. big medicine

    big medicine custom Brahmas

    Mar 6, 2009
    Also a strong proponent of large nails driven into a stump, or large round of firewood.

    I used to use a hatchet, but my Brahma males have such a large bunch of hackle feathers that getting a good clean cut the neck itself was not a problem. The neck skin was often wider than the blade width of your normal hatchet, resulting in the head being severed but still attached by a strip of skin flopping around, requiring a second hit, making a much bloodier mess than it need be.

    I have since gone to using a large meat cleaver. Having better than twice the blade length and just as much weight, resulting in a much quicker, cleaner, one hit job of it every time.

    A rough shot kinda showing the evolution of my instruments of choice. From the bottom, a standard hatchet, a bigger antique hewing hatchet, and then a couple cleavers. I have yet to try the knife shaped cleaver, the other does such a good job of it.
    1 person likes this.
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    I use the broomstick method. I find that I can dispatch even big roos with this method. It is far less messy, not a concern about missing the mark. Once the neck has been dislocated, I hang it till a lot of the flapping has subsided, then remove the head with a pair of pruners. I also use them to cut off the wing tips.

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