Do some breeds die slower when processing? Processing silkie roosters

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by pdirt, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have a bunch of roosters that we started processing for meat yesterday. We're both pretty new to this. After lots of reading on blogs and BYC and friends who have chickens...and watching videos, I finally felt ready to process the first chicken. This was months ago, with a Barred Rock hen and it went well.

    I sat down with the chicken on my lap, on it's back and massaged behind her ear, where I was going to cut. After about a minute of this, her whole body went limp and I sliced her arteries on one side of the neck. I could feel her "go" fairly quickly and then after about 45 seconds the body shuddered for several moments and it was over. The story I tell myself is that her consciousness was still vaguely attached to her body as she bled out and it seems that the pain is short lived.

    I did this with 3 roosters yesterday. 2 Americauna and 1 Silkie. With the Americaunas, the experience was similar, but with the Silkie, it "felt" like he was way more present/conscious to what was happening than any of the other birds I've killed. I thought this was horrible and we thought of a different way to do the killing. We did the broomstick over the neck/yank up on the feet quickly to completely sever the spinal cord and arteries and then cut the neck method, which seemed to work well for the 4th rooster.

    Silkies are considered "kidney tonic" in Chinese Medicine, which roughly translates as a good booster of physical energy. Low physical energy (feeling tired/fatigued) could be a result of "low kidney energy" and there are various herbs/foods and exercises designed to specifically improve "kidney energy". Eating the meat of a Silkie chicken is considered such a food to improve the kidney energy of the consumer. So my hunch is, perhaps the Chinese are right, since this Silkie rooster didn't die as quickly as the others, it could be due to the supposedly strong kidney energy of Silkie chickens.

    Has anyone else noticed a strong life force quality with Silkie chickens, specifically when it came to ending their life?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I wouldn't think so.
    If you catch the entire jugular, they should bleed out quickly regardless of breed. They're all chickens and internal anatomy is identical.
     
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  3. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, CC. I think I figured out part of the problem. The Silkie roosters have MANY more pinfeathers, which made it nearly impossible to to get completely inbetween them all and make a clean cut. I found another method that worked better.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    The sharpest knife possible for that task is key.
     
  5. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used a brand new, high quality fish fillet knife...extremely sharp. But it doesn't cut through pinfeathers worth a darn. I just couldn't get the pinfeathers (most of the neck was still lots of pinfeathers) spread enough to get a good clean slice for the jugular...especially with the Silkies. As brutal as it sounds, I think the best method for roosters was to bonk them hard on the head to stun them, then axe meets neck.
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I have to use a different knife for the neck cut than for the rest of the processing. I also have to sharpen it after every bird or two. The feathers dull a knife like drawing it across stone.
     
  7. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Same here - this is one of the few places I prefer cheap softer steel knives and constant sharpening - I actually ended up buying a bunch of cheap coated color-coded food service utility knives for just this purpose - sharpen them all up before I start and just go knife-to-knife. Naked Neck Cornies would be a fantastic thing.
     
  8. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I've used two different knives for the neck cut vs. processing...the super sharp one for the neck. Even with such a sharp knife, especially with the Silkies (all roosters), it seemed very difficult to get the knife against the skin and way too easy to simply rub a (very sharp) knife back and forth across the pin feathers. Perhaps my force was not strong enough but I think if I do that method again, I will just work harder at spreading the pin feathers (it was about 80% pinfeathers vs 20% mature feathers) more completely. But I also didn't sharpen the neck-cut knife after about 4 birds. Anyways, I think we may have moved to the axe meets neck method anyways.

    I sure don't like the killing part. The first chicken I did wasn't so bad, but after having done 9 more in the last few days, I'm still finding the groove. A hunter friend of mine said...it should hurt (you) a little, you've taken a life.
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    That brings about an interesting visual! I think you may be on to something [​IMG]
     
  10. nayeli

    nayeli Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have no idea but I'm glad some people eat silkies =) I have them for eggs and pest control and when I get males I'm glad to know there might be some people who will want them!
     

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