Crazy Idea for a Calmer Death


10 Years
Apr 15, 2011
So, this may be a crazy idea. No wait, it *is* a crazy idea.

Say you raised up some meaties, and culling time approached. That night, you put them in a special room that had low wattage red lights in it (supposedly calming for chickens). Perhaps you've had them sleep in there for a few nights here and there so the room is not new and strange to them. For dinner, they had some food with kava kava added, a natural herb sedative that is both muscle relaxer and sleep aid. It has been shown to work in chickens. Once the chickens are sleeping in their dark little room, you go around and cut their heads off cleanly. The muscle relaxant properties may make the meat more tender (artificial muscle relaxers used to be used: ). The process may be less...disturbing to those who are not at ease with the killing process, and may be more calm for the chickens. Heat seems to detroy all the active constituents of kava at 140 degrees, so a normally cooked chicken (160-ish degrees) should be well safe from any lingering side effects of the kava, such as drowsiness. Perhaps not so with chickens meant to raw feed dogs. Has anyone tried a process similar to this? Was the process any easier for you than traditional methods? Did it seem easier on the chickens? Do you see any possible health issues with this process? Would you be concerned about eating meat killed in this way?

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I imagine even with a relaxant given, there will still be some death throes that would disturb all the other birds around and I would think all the blood just running onto the ground would make for a very messy bird.
Should have specified. Specialty room with a drain. Hose that sucker down.
I really think the kava wouldn't knock the bird out where it would be completely unaware. And you have issues with purity. The loose herb isn't going to provide the kavalactone amount you need.

The full text of that research study is not available without paying, so it is useless since we don't have all the necessary details.
The most interesting idea I've seen, and not even the craziest. Suggest using a kill cone. It will contain the bird and you just have to put a bucket under it to catch the blood. IF they are sedated it won't bother them at all. All in all, probably the best "OMG I don't want the chickens to get upset over this" idea I've seen yet. Provided the capsules work. Now, how about any Kava in the meat?
If the reason for doing this is to make the meat more tender, just let them rest in the fridge for 3-5 days. We just had a roaster last night that sat for 6 days, and it was as tender as could be.
I find any change to chicken's routine is always stressful. The fastest calmest death is when I just treat them normally, walk them one by one to the back or carry them, and BAM, I just break their necks and bled them out. They don't even know it was coming. If you are not nervous, the animal won't be nervous.

That said, that reseach article is old and are just using chickens as a model system for testing of compounds for anxiety disorders. Briefly looking at more recent articles, they find liver toxicity in mammals and disputed carcinogenic effects even though people use it. There are plenty of all natural and organic poisons herbs out there.
Placing calm or sedated chickens into killing cones are looking really attractive to me, galanie. The flapping (even with the head cut off) seems to be the most disturbing part for people, even when their brains know the chickens are already dead. I know it really gets my stomach churning jut watching videos. XP

That's what I'm really worried about with any sedation technique for meat animals. The lingering kava. Will the cooking process get rid of chances of side effects? Or would long term eating of kava-laced chickens be an issue? The only serious side effect I know of is liver damage, but how often that happens and why seems unclear still.

Bigred, from what I understand, some like a speedier tenderizing process, which is why the machines in the link were made. For me personally, letting them sit sounds good enough for me!
Silkie, aye, the herb would be a one-dose thing for the chicken, so no long-term use issues to worry about as far as the chickens go. Wondering if heating means that the kava has any health effects to worry about in humans, or if everthing, good and and bad, is destroyed through heating?

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