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Electric chicken stunner

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by BigTone, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. BigTone

    BigTone Out Of The Brooder

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    I was thinking of processing my meat birds this year but I'm not sure if I can dispatch with a knife. I was watching a Gordon Ramsey show where his birds were stunned with a electric stunner then dispatched with a knife, I feel like it's more humane for the chicken...and probably a bit easier on me. Does anyone use a stunner, where do you get them, and is it even common practice here in the states? thanks for the info, ~Anthony
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Beware of things that merely look more humane, many of them simply are not. Just because an animal is 'frozen' or stunned does not mean it isn't suffering, it merely means it cannot express its suffering.

    For example over here we have a 12-inch stainless steel dildo you insert into a bovine's anus, and it delivers enough voltage to immobilize the animal on the spot; this is advertized as 'humane' and that's just outright poppycock, excuse me. It's NOT humane. Trust me, I've had doses of electricity that immobilized me too, and just because I couldn't express the pain doesn't mean it didn't hurt! You've got to see photos of the cattle having that tool used on them --- they may not be moving but they are certainly suffering.

    Cutting the throat or beheading them looks inhumane, but can often be the more humane out of most cull methods. I've read accounts from humans who had their throats cut (and survived, obviously) and they didn't feel it. No pain because the nerves were cut, which prevented them from feeling the pain. Sure, it looks terribly gory, but done right, it's humane. Very unpopular opinion, I know. Still, a guillotine is an ideal tool for making sure they're dead the first time, and cleanly, too.

    A stun-gun to the forehead prevents animals expressing their pain which is nice and soothing and tidy for us, but means many of them experience the whole terrible ordeal of being eviscerated, having their guts and skins removed, etc, while looking like they're unconscious even though they're not. They're just stunned. Please, don't confuse what looks nice with what actually is nice. What looks gory is more distressing for most but can be the least distressing for the animal as long as it's done right.

    I'd rather know from the animal's reaction whether I've done it wrong or not, than stun them and never be any the wiser as I repeat an inhumane procedure regularly, inflicting untold amounts of torture and agony on victims that cannot express their suffering.

    Best wishes.
     
    4 people like this.
  3. BigTone

    BigTone Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the reply, I didn't think of it that way, thanks for the education. ~Anthony
     
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    You're very welcome, and thanks for being open minded.

    Best wishes.
     
  5. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Excellent post and excellent point. I've heard statements from folks who were "tazerded" and the experience was extremely painful. You comment above is why, even if I have help with the butchering/processing, I am always the one to dipatch my own chickens. I hate doing it, but at least I know that it is being done as quickly and with as little stress and trauma as I a capable and that I've learned from the errors I've made.

    I applaud BigTone for wanting to make the experience as humane as possible. I think that is the #1 concern for most of us on this forum but the goal should ultimately be to make it as stress free for the chicken, rather than simply stress free for us.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
  6. NEChickenNoob

    NEChickenNoob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As far as humane goes...When slaughter pigs and cattle, we used a .22mag to the skull in-between the eyes. It's almost fool proof as long as you don't look away before you do it. My sister's first go at it was such, missed the brain b/c the animal moved at the last second. Took two hours to get that injured bull out of a thicket and a .30-06 to the side of the head to finally put him down. Point being...to be humane, you must watch and commit to it through and through. Anything else and you're simply causing the animal to suffer because you are not strong enough to make sure what needs to be done is done right. I know this sounds kinda of contrarian but if you don't do it with a diligence, it probably suffered.
     
    2 people like this.
  7. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree. I've sometimes entrusted the culling to someone who generally knows better and is against animal cruelty, only to find that 'since the animal was going to die anyway, they experimented with some new cull methods' (which failed and resulted in the animal being put down as planned, but after suffering). I was initially angry at them, but then angry at myself, because really the fault is mine. My animals, my responsibility, my duty.

    I'd rather do it myself and know how it went, and why. You never know what people are going to do to your animals, and too often it's the craziest things you can imagine. I truly didn't see a lot of the bizarre incidents coming. It didn't make a difference that I'd known the people for all my life either... Unpredictable at best.

    My first deliberate cull was a hen run over by a vehicle, disemboweled but alive. I broke her neck. It was very fast, at least. Worth doing for those who are going to behead them and are worried about missing the stroke. But, that said, some will experience that nervous system over-reaction and run or fly away after beheading, and they may do the same after neck-breaking, so always best to restrain them. As NEChickenNoob's post showed. No method is 100% all the time, unfortunately, and it's pretty much always down to human error. Adequate restraints would take the fail rate down significantly because that's pretty much always what goes wrong --- the animal moved at the wrong moment.

    I raise my animals as pets, basically, so they are trusting and calm when cull-time comes, they don't stress due to human contact. I find this easier and kinder than keeping a distance during their lifetimes so you have to deal with a terrified animal come cull-time... I know that option's not available or feasible for everyone, but it works for me. They say you can't name it or it becomes a pet, but I know the names of all the roosters etc I've eaten, at least out of the home-grown ones, of course.

    Best wishes.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My hatchet seems to stun & kill them at the same time. Or at least they look stunned when their head is still laying on the chopping block with that 1 eye blinking back at me while their body does backflips across the yard. I know they prefer the hatchet because when I take one to the chopping block 30 more follow me and cheer me on in a festive like atmosphere.
     
  9. BigTone

    BigTone Out Of The Brooder

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    I bring my chickens to a local Mennonite family to have them dispatched and processed. They do a great job, I was just looking into doing them myself to save on the cost. I trust these folks, they have been doing it for a long time and they have a very professional set-up, attitude, and they treat my animals with respect, that's what's important to me. ~Anthony
     
  10. ChaoSS

    ChaoSS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just to offer a contrary point to think about, if you are going to struggle with making a killing blow with a hatchet it likely would be more humane to stun it first, because if it isn't moving it is easier to land a humane killing blow. If you are nervous about the animal moving at just the wrong time and you inflicting a painful injury on it, maybe just stunning it first will help with that.

    We can discuss humane all we want, but things happen. My first chicken I killed wad outside the run when I got home, flapping around with a broken wing, unable to get off of his back. I have no idea how long he had been like that. Maybe he heard me get home from work and got excited and injured himself a minute before I saw him. Maybe he had been like that for ten hours. Who knows? Doesn't seem very humane to me.
     

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