1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

DIY HUMANE way to Kill Slaughter Chicken (Stun-kill, Gas)

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by tlordon, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. mhaines4102

    mhaines4102 Chillin' With My Peeps

    166
    0
    119
    Jul 26, 2008
    Stroud, Oklahoma
    tlordon, I can understand your hesitancy. I really do understand how you feel. It get's tough sometimes especially when a meat chick gets hurt and you nurse it back to health, or you name one because of it's personality.

    Maybe this will help, just kill the chickens. Line up 3 to 5 and start. When you get done it will be over. They will all be dead. You will be done. Then pluck them, gut them and clean them. I promise you by the time you get done, it won't bother you as much. Clean your hands and repeat.

    If you do more than 9, by the time you are done, you will be really tired of cleaning chickens. Nothing teaches like experience. Also, stop personifying them. These are not people. They don't think like people, love like people, feel like people or worry like people.

    I know it is over simplifying, but trust me, if you just start, it will be fine.
     
  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    You guys use latex or rubber gloves with your processing? I really like using them, even though I mostly get messy above the wrist when I process, but it keeps my hands cleaner and easier to wash later.
     
  3. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
    114
    281
    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I have to wonder how recently this topic has become an issue, and how widespread it might be world-wide. It really is quite a departure for many of us in the modern US culture to become so intimate with and so aware of the sacrifices required for our personal survival. We've gotten so detatched from our food sources, even detatched from the process of preparing much of it, we give little thought to where & how it was made, and at what expense -- except for its cost in dollars & cents.

    Life depends on death. Even if you are a complete vegan there are animals dying because you are living. Animals get displaced when crops are planted, they get killed during harvest. If you eat eggs & milk there are cockerel chicks and bull calves dying in almost equal numbers to the hens & cows kept to provide your dairy products. And of course, if you eat meat, animals die and other humans make a living processing them, usually in very unpleasant conditions.

    Butchering chickens in my back yard is a very recent activity for me. I was raised in the suburbs and was a vegetarian for a few years in my teens. But I am very proud of the new skills I've learned keeping chickens for eggs and for meat. I know my meat birds live in better conditions than most of those raised commercially, and are treated with more consideration at their death. The final kindness I can bestow is a quick, efficient end. In addition to the concluding act of respect, which is to have every morsel of their meat eaten without any going to waste.

    I've tried various methods of dispatching the birds and the way I prefer is to zip-tie their legs & duct-tape their wings to their sides, all the while soothing them with soft words and gentle strokes to their chests. I hang them by their feet from a reclaimed porch swing frame and they seem to go in a trance. Then I take hold of their heads, covering their eyes with my hand, pull to stretch the neck, and make cuts below their jawbones with a sharp knife. They go limp instantly, even though there is some reflexive flapping, mostly contained by the tape.

    I don't think they'd get the same consideration at a processing plant, certainly not at the jaws of a predator. I wish you all grace & wisdom tending your own flocks.
     
  4. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,836
    20
    191
    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    Cassie and Brunty, thank you. The pruning shears might be a good option for me. I can't speak for the OP, but that's what I've been looking for, a practical suggestion, rather than a bunch of pointless criticism.

    To whoever asked, the point of using a .22 for that little tiny head is that it would kill the bird instantly. Also, I already have a .22, and would not have to go buy another gun. My deer rifle would be too big.

    Chickens are also probably a lot easier to kill than a pig, the scull isn't as thick. What will instantly kill a small animal like a chicken might not kill a pig as easily. The comparison isn't valid. My deer rifle probably wouldn't take down a bull elephant, but that doesn't mean it's not suitable for a deer.
     
  5. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,450
    14
    171
    Jun 15, 2008
    I will never recommend or allude to the use of any firearm to dispatch a chicken as it is not an appropriate tool to use. I am well versed in the use of a firearm from hunting game animals as well as varmints to using one professionally and on the farm. I have eauthenized many a cow, steer, and bull as well as most other types of livestock with a well placed .22 captive bolt pistal. I have put down a very mean 2400 pound Brahma range bull with one well placed .22 rifle at over 20 yards since noone could come close to even load it into a truck to take to slaughter. I have seen a friend use a .308 deer rifle bullet and have it bounce off a pig's scull, then had the pleasure to put it down that enraged pig with a .22 bullet into it's brain. I was there when Animal Control officer shot an ( in the act) sheep killing German Shepherd with a .243 rifle ( gut shot) only to have it run over 10 miles and then shot in the head twice before it finally expired. The trick is to know where to place that bullet as well as have the physical ability to hold a gun steady enough to do the deed. Any person that has any physical disability is not a good candidate to hold any gun steady enough without putting themselves and possibly someone else in physical harm. I would never recommend using a bow and arrow, spear or any gun from a BB gun through an elephant gun to dispatch a chicken and would never even consider to recommend or allude to it's use of one especially on a public venue. Guns don't kill, people do, a firearm has the power to kill especially in the wrong hands and close quarters with plenty of inherent distractions.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2009
  6. estpr13

    estpr13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    622
    0
    129
    May 18, 2008
    Lexington, Ky
    I agree with the firearms approach Bossroo. I've killed rats, and dove with BB pellets. When reroofing my house in Austin TX, I found a .22 bullet lodged in the old shingles. The house was in the middle of the south side. .22's have a long range and can do lots of damage if they hit just right. They are not toys. They can kill beyond your line of sight.

    I just dispatched two cornish x's using the broom handle method. If you make sure to keep pressure on the handle and pull rapidly it is very quick and painless for the chicken. Uglycowbow's approach with the boot seems to be the same concept.

    Those of us who were taught young how to dispatch animals tend to seek the fastest method because it causes less consternation for us and less trama for the animal. The autonomic reflexes still occur but the neural impulses never make it to the brain only to the spinal chord where they bounce back and cause the bird to flap around.

    People who are new to dispatching animals tend to want a method which helps them deal with the dispatching as well as the animal. And that is okay as long as they can grow towards the quick and simple.

    Even tho harsh sounding and harsh looking the traditional methods tend to be quicker and less painful and less likely to have something go wrong. And things do go wrong too often. That's when it really hurts to watch the animal.

    Just my two cents worth.
     
  7. wvcruffler

    wvcruffler Out Of The Brooder

    79
    0
    39
    Apr 18, 2009
    Elkins, WV
    Well, I tie the feet together, step on the head and give a hard jerk of the feet to break the neck, then use a razor sharp knife to cut the side of the neck to drain the blood. I hang them by the tied feet as I finish with each one. Last time I did 12 or so and it took me about 15 min total and by the time I was done with the last one they were all dead and not moving. Gruesome but reasonably fast and effective. I don't feel they suffered much. It is what it is to me. They get treated well in all other respects and this is the quickest method that I have used to kill them. Just my $0.02.
    Dr.Phil
     
  8. KanakaNui

    KanakaNui Out Of The Brooder

    35
    0
    22
    Feb 28, 2008
    N.Central FL
    I would suggest getting a real live person with some experience to show you. If at all possible. You'll be more comfortable when it's your turn and can ask questions and form your own opinion about the amount of suffering and adjust from there.

    When I process my ducks I use a really sharp knife and slit their carotid while they're hanging by their feet. I don't use a cone cuz I'm cheap.They don't seem to suffer and there usually isn't much flapping. Most times they try to preen while they are bleeding out if they move much. 1-2 min max.Just like my teacher taught me.

    Having a teacher will make you feel braver, too.
     
  9. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
    114
    281
    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Quote:I agree. That's how my processing pal & I both learned. We had 2 different sessions with 2 different men showing us what to do. Then we realized that not only could we do the job ourselves, but being women, could do the job neater and better. No offense guys, but our tutors were just letting the blood flow into the grass, releasing handfulls of feathers into the wind, dropping parts & entrails on the ground.

    Each time we process now we discuss ways to make the job go even better the next time. We have a reclaimed porch swing frame for hanging the birds and a nice high table outdoors for cutting. We have our tools assembled and have collected some good big pots for scalding water.

    I would be glad to pay it forward. Let me know if you'd like to join us the next time we process here in Loxahatchee, FL 33412. That's in western West Palm Beach.
     
  10. jjparke

    jjparke Chillin' With My Peeps

    371
    4
    141
    Apr 20, 2008
    Boise
    Holy crap this thread still lives??????
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by