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Culling methods

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Lumenflower, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. Lumenflower

    Lumenflower In the Brooder

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    Hi! In the sticky & a majority of the research I've done, people recommend exsanguination (bleeding out). This doesn't sit well with me, in mammals it seems very distressing to them without a captive bolt gun/other prior stunning and i can only assume birds don't care for it either.

    What are your favorite methods of culling your meat birds? Do you cut their throats? Are there any methods that should be avoided?

    I've seen a few techniques suggested from humane euthanasia topics that I'm interested in; Cervical dislocation and carbon dioxide gas chambers.

    Can I use the gas chamber on meat birds I plan to eat or should I look more into breaking their necks?

    Thanks everyone! :)
     
    KikisGirls likes this.
  2. Lumenflower

    Lumenflower In the Brooder

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    Update: Further research says carbon dioxide can be distressing and painful for the bird so I'm now less interested in that method.

    Do any of you use guns? I saw one person saying they weren't able to quickly dispatch their hen with a pistol and regretted trying but many other people seem to swear by shooting their birds.
     
    KikisGirls likes this.
  3. Maeschak

    Maeschak Songster

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    I've read about people using guns (22 long rifle or air gun equivalent to the head while its on the ground). I may try that for injured birds sometime as it is instantaneous but it won't bleed the bird out properly so it isn't the best for an eating bird.

    Cervical dislocation is a great method if done correctly (the spinal cord snaps back onto the brain causing near instantaneous unconsciousness and death) but the bird does not necessarily bleed out much. So it isn't great for eating birds but Europeans routinely use that method as its deemed most humane there for home butchering.

    You may want to try pithing. Look it up- that is instantaneous as well and the people who d it swear by it. Personally I can't bring myself to sticking an ice pick in the mouth and piercing the brain. But if I could get through my squeamishness with this method, it is a method I would like to try.

    I slit the right side of the neck on my birds. I stopped worrying too much about their discomfort after two botched cuts I made awhile ago. Each time the cut wasn't quite deep enough and the birds got out of the cone. Each time I found the chicken peacefully pecking around under the cone- extremely peacefully and happy. I realized then that it isn't as bad as I had imagined for them. They were much more bothered about being upside down than the cut. Cutting too deeply or cutting the esophagus is when they freak out horribly. So I avoid those two things at all costs.

    Good luck on your search!
     
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  4. NoFlyBackFarm

    NoFlyBackFarm Songster

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    My dad gets a rake puts the head between the bars and yanks up to break the neck of the bird.
     
    KikisGirls likes this.
  5. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Sing Brightly Premium Member Project Manager

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    Carbon dioxide is supposedly okay if the correct concentrations are mantained. PETA promotes it, but that doesn't exactly mean anything from an organization that mass releases mink into the wild to starve. Argon and other inert gases are also used. It's difficult to do in the backyard, though.

    I've used decapitation and cervical dislocation. They both work, but CD is my favoured method. For meat, decapitating right after would work well. It's probably just my imagination but I think they flop longer with cutting their head off. According to one vet, CD pulls the brain stem out which makes it quicker to actual death than decapitation.

    I've never done a bleed out. Mainly because the less equipment I use, the greater the chance of me walking away with all my fingers intact.

    I used to have my birds shot. I think it's the best way out there if you're a good aim. Instant brain destruction means death without the brain still being alive while it runs out of oxygen.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  6. BreanneRN

    BreanneRN Songster

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    Actually, bleeding out is pretty painless... It is why you take vital signs frequently on post op patients in the hospital. Internal bleeding is one of the big risk factors of surgery and the patient never knows because they can "feel fine" until they are dead... Medical professionals monitor the vital signs looking for a drop in BP and an increase in pulse rate to check for hemorrhage. And also check the incision site. If the patient experiences any pain at all, it is from the pressure that the blood pooling internally places on other organs... Obviously that would not happen with bleeding from the carotid arteries.
     
  7. Cheers2Ya

    Cheers2Ya Songster Premium Member

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    I've wondered the best method myself, and researched various ways. I've seen many people cut the jugular, or first cut one vein, then the other, but the "bleeding out method" seems sad to me. In my thinking (which is likely naive) it seems better to completely removed the head to detach the brain functioning immediately. I put mine in the cones and have there heads swiftly removed. The brain is nearly immediately detached and they bleed out quickly at the same time. The "dispatching" is the hardest part, for sure. I have others do it the way I described, then I take care of the rest. Sorry, not much help, all I have is my opinion. I still don't know the best, most painless, fastest way of culling.
     
  8. BreanneRN

    BreanneRN Songster

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    The trouble with that is you haven't destroyed the brain by lopping off the head immediately. The brain will, in fact still function until it dies of oxygen deprivation. Just like it would if it bled out. Perhaps the last thing it sees is it's own headless body... Unless you have pithed the chicken 1st, you have not caused it's brain to cease functioning. You have inflicted a lethal spinal cord injury that will cause death by cessation of blood flow and resultant loss of oxygen to the brain. In the end, we can't experience what the chicken experiences, and we are really choosing what makes us most comfortable with the process, based on our own opinions and whatever science we come up with. I do cervical dislocation, myself, because that is the "vet approved" way. But I have no idea if it is best or not. But at least I don't have to think about that chicken viewing it's blood draining out of it's headless body.
     
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  9. Cheers2Ya

    Cheers2Ya Songster Premium Member

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    All true. I have not attempted cervical dislocation because I am afraid I will only harm the bird, not kill it, while attempting. I really don't know the "best way". Thank you for your response. But now I feel like I'm a chicken torturer! :hit I'll have to keep researching...
     
  10. snow5164

    snow5164 Crowing

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    You can’t loose sleep thinking a headless chicken is thinking??

    Fast and humane , off with the head while in the cone , the part you missed is that we hold them upside down til they pass out first .... they are not panicked and scared since they are unconscious.....

    It’s never easy , but it must be done when you have animals ,

    Good luck on your research
     
    Cheers2Ya likes this.

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