Chop or cut?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by blefky, May 7, 2011.

  1. blefky

    blefky life in the yard

    Mar 18, 2010
    stamford, ct
    Hi all. I ended up with 7 cockerels out of 19 chicks hatched this spring, not bad I guess. But so far I've only been able to find homes for two of them. I plan to keep trying, but chances are at least some of the remaining 5 will end up in the freezer. So, never having processed my own birds before, my question is should I cut their carotids and bleed them out, or can I do a quick chop? Is there a difference in the quality of the meat if I don't allow them to bleed out. If these were raised as meat birds I don't know that I'd mind as much, but they were raised with hopes of everyone turning out to be a pullet (what?!! [​IMG]) and I have to admit I'm gonna hate to see them go. I'd like to cause them the least amount of pain/fear while not being wasteful of their contribution to my family. Any advice?
  2. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    I like the fast chop with a sharp hatchet. It's fast and no danger of missing the mark or not cutting deep enough.

    They have to be bled out. They do bleed out if you chop the heads off.
  3. codymax2

    codymax2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2010
    Liverpool, NY
    We did the chop the first time and it was ehh kinda freaked me out and I was not prepared for the blood flapping eeekkk! Next time I'm gonna try the slit method, with a cone =/ Guess it's what you feel comfotable with.
  4. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    I find cutting much easier than chopping actually. With chopping, you have to have something to chop against such as a stump. With just cutting, you can more easily use a cone and that makes the whole thing easier imo.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    First off, use a killing cone---it makes it SOO much easier! We just improvised one from really heavy cardboard and duct tape. We didn't attach the cone to anything. Dh carried it while I caught a bird, I slid it into the cone headfirst, then I carried it to the tall bench we were using. Set the bird in the cone on the bench, honey grabbed the head and cut it right off with a very sharp buck knife, I tipped the back of the cone up to let the blood flow into the garbage can, it took less than five minutes for the bird to quit moving. The out of the cone, hung by the feet from the tree, skinned and gutted, rinsed and bagged, in the freezer.

    Okay, thinking about what Potterwatch said about having something to cut against--we didn't, but I don't know if anyone could do it the way my honey does. The man has like freakish upper body strength! You'd have to be very confident, not hesitate and it does take a lot of force to go through the entire neck. Plus a VERY sharp knife!

    Birds had a great life, one really bad day. That's the way to go, IMHO.
  6. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    Yep, the cone is the way to go as far as I'm concerned. I just dispatched a hen that was a year old and a complete nuisance to the rest of the flock. I hated that hen but she was one of the first chickens I ever raised so I was kind of weak kneed about it, being my first kill. I made a cone out of some flashing with a rivet gun and screwed it to a big tree. Slit the jugular vein and turned my back while she expired and bled into a bucket. Once she did and I went back and took her head off, it was just meat and I was fine with it.

    It was NOTHING like watching my dad (who was raised on a farm) do the deed when I was young. He just chopped their heads off and let them flop around the yard or if he had a washtub he'd put that over them so you couldn't see but you could hear them flopping around under there. It was awful! And the meat wasn't properly bled out either.

    Use a cone. Much easier on you and the bird. And if you scald and pluck, get ready for the stench. I skinned mine so I wouldn't have to mess with all that. I don't need the skin on anyway. She was delicious.

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