Butchered my first 3 cockerels last weekend. Went well, except my knives weren't nearly sharp enough. I felt bad because I don't think they bled out as fast as they should have - blood kinda dribbled, rather than spurting, and took about 2 minutes. I tried sharpening my knives with a stone, according to videos I watched on youtube. They felt really sharp when I tried them out on banana skins and lemons, but I had a hard time cutting through the neck deep enough to get a dramatic flow of blood to minimize suffering. Then, when I was cutting them open to clean them out, it was hard to cut through the skin. The birds were heritage breeds, 16 weeks old. Oh, and they were moulting. I tried a cheap knife and an old knife with good steel that were sharpened on a stone and honed with a honing steel, as well as my kitchen paring knife which is a chef quality knife sharpened with a sharpening gadget. Since I ended up using a disposable scalpel, and still had trouble with that, I'm also wondering if the problem has more to do with technique. How hard to you press the knife into the neck? Is there a sure way to slice into the artery, instead of just cutting the neck? I sliced at a 45 degree angle to the throat, just below the wattles. Is there some better way to grasp, angle to cut, etc, to be sure to get that vein? I've watched a bunch of videos, but haven't really heard anyone talking about that in particular. I'm butchering 5 more on Sunday, and hope to have this worked out, to provide the best deaths possible. Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated!