10 Years
Apr 15, 2011
Can you tell I've been reading up on chicken slaughter techniques?

Seems a few people have been interested in gassing birds in the past. Found this article to be interesting:

Next up is looking at the brain piercing method. Excited about raising healthy critters in healthy environments, but not so excited about the killing part.
The brain piercing method is good, especially if you can either hypnotise the bird first or have a well-lit room to do the skinning and stuff so you can do it at night. No stress or pain at all for the chicken, it dies instantly, and also the muscles around the feathers stay relaxed so it's easier to skin.

You can cut an artery too - apparently better for the meat than pulling the head right off and letting it flap around. Here's a video:
I use a kill cone, and hedge shears, I restrain their feet and place a small weight attached to a rope with a slip knot around the neck to stretch it out. After few mins upside down they're very calm, most likely due to the blood rush to the head. A quick snip with the shears and its over with minimal fuss, the cone contains the involuntary muscle spasms and being upside down for a few mins seems to speed up the bleed out process.
I've been watching all the videos I can find, and I'm liking how the arterial cut looks in regards to the bird's response, especially when combined with pithing/debraining. I'm just so worried that I won't be able to pith right. I'll need someone to no kidding show me that and coach me through it in real life so I don't miss or hit the wrong spot (I hear hitting the front of the brain will not only not render the animal free of pain, but also will tighten the feathers). There was one video that really made me rethink lopping off the head. The completely detatched head was sitting there on the ground with the chicken still looking around and trying to breath through the beak. You could see the little part of the leftover airway contracting.

I've been hearing a lot about hedgeshears. Is there a brand anyone can recommend? The ones I've used (for plants) have all been either really dull, or really hard and slow to squeeze close. They definitely weren't top of...well, any line though.

I'm wondering if there is a commercial debrainer/pither available. Something you squeeze and it hits the brain in the right location. I doubt it, but that would sure be nice.
The thing about the arterial cut is that you can't really tell if it hurts or not... I suppose it would, really.. Cutting the head off can be very messy too - since it runs around and all the muscles contract the blood goes everywhere. Going to have to find this guy and asked him how it felt! Though it sounds like he was knocked out cold at the time. Which brings me to another method, sneaking up behind the bird and whamming it over the head with a good burst of blunt force. Someone did this with their rabbits, and says they never admitted that high pitched scream/didn't know what hit them. It doesn't seem to be a common method though,a s I haven't seen anything on it.
It's muscles will fire after death and make a horrible scene if you aren't prepared for it. You're killing something. You're taking a chicken and making an ex-chicken out of it. It will be deceased. Deal. I hate to sound harsh but all these gassing things are so macabre and crazy and designed exclusively for people who are not willing to take a life. Kill cones are a great way to contain the bird while it goes through that phase after death. A milk jug cut down will work for a kill cone or a traffic cone. Or even tie it's feet together and hang it from a nail.

All these nutty ways to kill a chicken make me cringe. I hold mine, talk softly to them and thank them for the food and the sacrifice they are about to give me, then put them in a cone,wait for them to calm down again and SLICE the jugular. They expire peacefully but do flop in that cone for a minute. Make it easy on the bird, not yourself.
Yep, you are taking a life, just as one does with their beloved pet dog or the spider under the sink. There are many ways and reasons to do it. Gassing is quite commonly used in small animals for labs, and increasingly widely for vets, as it has some benefits for the *animals* as well as the people. Take a killing cone, but I really don't get the fuss over others discussing other methods.

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