Dual purpose birds for meat

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by kesrchicky16, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. theuglychick

    theuglychick Crowing

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    I tried the ole hatchet method and lets just say I didn't grow up swinging one and I won't be doing that again.

    I honestly prefer a .22 but would be comfortable with a cone if I could be sure I could hit the artery with certainty.

    Is there a trick to finding it? I mean, do I feel for a pulse? How can I be certain I'm cutting the right spot?

     
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  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Enabler

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    Just like Ridgerunner stated. Make sure the deed is complete. A 22 caliber I have questions about. Would you shoot at body of chicken and make bird suffer until it dies???. Only Daniel Boone was known to be able to shoot a turkey between the eyes. You would have to immobilize chicken and then blast its brains out with a close range shot. I don't see it as a good option.. Lopping shears would do the job from the bottom of a cone. The end to the chicken comes quickly without unnecessary suffering.
     
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  3. Parront

    Parront Crowing

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    LOL, a 22 for a chicken! We hung them up by the feet in the garage, use some coat hanger wire to hook a bucket from the beak to stretch the bird out and hole it still. Put a little weight in the bucket, just enough to weight the bird down. Then use a sharp knife, either in the roof of the mouth or the side of the neck. There is a slit in the roof of the mouth, easy to feel with the knife. Put the point of the knife into the bird brain though that slit. Or, you can cut either side of the neck where it meets the beak, don't cut the wind pipe. Either way, blood runs down beak into the bucket. There is not all that much blood, but I think the hatchet or cutting the head all the way off makes a lot of UN-necessary splattering.
    Here is a photo of another way, this was the first slaughter by this poster, she did great! She made her own cones! https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/butchering-your-roosters.1191314/page-28#post-19053706
     
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  4. Parront

    Parront Crowing

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    Interesting -- there must be a breeder near you? There are a lot more chicken varieties available than the last time I had chickens in the 90's!
     
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  5. theuglychick

    theuglychick Crowing

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    No I wish we had a local breeder. I had some shipped from a breeder in Texas, the old farmhouse I think is the name. I have another shipment coming from Worth It Farms out of Georgia in about a week or so.


     
  6. theuglychick

    theuglychick Crowing

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    Well, keep in mind that up until this point we've only culled sick birds, not spry healthy lively ones, so we were able to do it with a very small rifle on very lethargic birds at fairly close range- arms length, well... rifle-length distance to be exact. Shot is delivered directly to the head. Which is why I'm asking for alternatives. It's always a direct hit and very quick. But I don't even want to try with a normal healthy bird.

     
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  7. chickendreams24

    chickendreams24 Crowing

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    Okay as far as the killing part of processing after much research we decided on the killing cone method for several reasons.

    I will first admit that I'm blessed in that my DH2B does the actual killing for me we work together on all the rest of the tasks. I am working up to being able to do it but I like others here don't want to hesitate or botch it and cause the bird to suffer.

    It can be done into a bucket meaning less mess. The bird does not run or flop around except for a little in the end death throes. It's more humane as the bird is naturally calmer in and upside down position. Also you can with skill cut the arteries on both sides of the neck bleeding them twice as fast. I've also heard that if botched you can thrust the knife up through the soft pallet in their mouths to go into the brain and kill them. We've never had to do this.

    We attended Mother Earth News Fair last year in the midst of our research and met a woman by the name of Meredith Leigh. She used to be a butcher and was a wealth of knowledge she gave a talk on ethical meat(which she has a book of the same name). I will mention that she said there that chickens were her least favorite animal when she raised her own meat. However she was raising Cornish cross and fully admitted that could have been the problem.


    Anyway she explained to us that what makes the meat go bad and/or bruise is blood. So the killing cone gives you better meat bc the blood drains more fully via the heart pumping and gravity.
    Also bc the bird is relaxed and particularly if your birds are familiar and relaxed with you the meat is also better because they're relaxed. There's no fear or tenseness.

    We walk around with each bird until we feel him relax before processing him.

    So to sum up so far
    A relaxed bird gives better more tender meat just like an animal that gets hit by a car proteins are released that tenses the muscles and generally makes the meat unsuitable for consumption, tough and stringy. Of course there are people who eat animals they hit. I'm not judging anyone here.

    Second a bird that is bled more fully will have better tasting meat and be more tender and less likely to bruise if run through a plucker. It usually will also take longer to go bad. We have had birds in the fridge 8 days before we got around to cooking them and they still smelled fresh no smell at all.

    Third if you aren't processing every bird you have and they see the process or see birds running around without a head this can and usually will traumatize them.

    Fourth it's clean and I've seen a set up where multiple cones drained into a folded piece of tin that was then angled dumping all the blood into a bucket. Occasionally a bird will flop out during the worst of the death throes but we've only had one do that bc we walked away. Again it's only happened one time.

    You do need to make sure you have a cone of the appropriate size for the birds you are doing.

    I will post more in this topic later as I think of it.
     
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  8. theuglychick

    theuglychick Crowing

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    Great info! Thanks for taking the time so share!

    I didn't want to have to rely on my husband to have to kill every bird by shooting it. He's the only one in our house that can cull the birds in that manner. I say I prefer that method because he has to do it, heh. Plus bullets cost money. Not to mention, the chickens are more my thing than his, so asking him to cull/process all the birds, to me, seems a bit unfair. But he would if I needed him to. He hunts and fishes regularly so it's not nearly as big a deal to him as it is to me.

    But I'm trying to put on my big girl undies and do it myself. That's why I tried the ax method and it was fairly traumatic to say the least. A lot of people made it out like it was very simple. But it wasn't for me.

    I'm willing to give culling another go. The kill cones seem like my best option as I'm certain I would botch cervical dislocation.

    This doesn't even address the conflicting emotions I have about the whole thing. I really love my birds, but I feel that giving them a good life and then giving them a swift, dignified, and peaceful death is more ethical and just than doling them out to strangers who might use them for cock fighting bait (it's still a big thing here).

    But anywho... thanks again for sharing!

     
  9. theuglychick

    theuglychick Crowing

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    This was a great read, thank you for sharing!

     
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  10. chickendreams24

    chickendreams24 Crowing

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    You're very welcome. I know it's not pleasant but look up the killing cone method on you tube or humane chicken processing etc. You'll find some really great videos. We watched loads of them before we attempted it. Honestly I cried the first bird we processed. It was a hard thing for me to come to terms with killing a bird I had raised and cared for and loved. It gets a lot easier if you have too many rowdy cockerals and the girls are in danger from their antics. Not easy I don't think it should be easy to take a life but its been a great life and a kind decent quick end.

    Also I wanted to mention that bc you cut the artery to their brain they're unconsious almost instantly from lack of oxygen and blood flow they really don't even feel it or react if you have a sharp enough knife. Be sure you don't try and cut through feather b that will dull the know and ruin your cut. Also don't try and process in cold wether if you can help it bc it can increase clotting. Roosters are especially good at clotting off an adaptation developed from their fighting and sparring.

    Again I've also heard you can stab through the roof of the mouth if you're worried bring they won't bleed out as well.
     
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