graphic slaughtering question

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by laura625, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. laura625

    laura625 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2012
    I have assisted others who use a cone and slit the juglar.
    I will soon slaugher some of my own.
    IMO several different methods can accomplish a quick and mostly painless death.
    It is the minutes preceeding death that concern me.
    I have an idea for an alternative method id like to try
    that I havent seen discussed.

    All my birds can be held and stroked.
    So, why cant I while "petting" them, (Here's the graphic part)
    tear off the head?
    I imagine that with a quick backward snap and twist, the neck would dislocate or break, and the soft tissue would tear, removing the head.
    I accomplished this accidentally once when trying to euthanize an injured bird by breaking its neck.

    Beside the messiness, and having to continue to hold the carcass uuntill it was still( inverted) Is there a reason this wouldnt work?
    Anyone tried it? Would that sort of tear allow the bird th bleed out properly?
    Thank you for any input.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  2. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Cattywampus Angel <straightens Halo> Premium Member Project Manager

    Aug 23, 2012
    My Coop
  3. wsmoak

    wsmoak Chillin' With My Peeps

    I dunno... in Pastured Poultry Profits he mentions pulling off the head rather than cutting it off (less chance of bone shards that way).

    I tried it. Maybe there is some trick to it, but I couldn't do it!

    And... you are going to get blood all over yourself if you decapitate a chicken while holding it.

    I like the cone method. I keep them tucked under my arm on the way there -- no squawking and flapping about. Once they're upside down they stay pretty calm, and then a quick slice and it's over.

  4. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    I actually hold and stroke them and calm them before putting in the cone, then talk nice and let them calm down again once in it. Then well... SLICE. Death ain't pretty any way you cut it but at least I made it as calm as possible.
  5. laura625

    laura625 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2012
    Thank you. That is all helpful.

    The link described a dislocation techniqye that can be done
    by hand... if I get the nerve ro try that, I will then be able to see if I can remove the head at the same time. Just to be absolutely sure.
    Maybe that wont be necessary.
    The eorst fear, of course is trying and failing. But any method i use it will be
    my first time, so mistakes are a possibility.
    I habe Watched the vein openning before, so I will might stick with that, especially if they could actually calm down in the cone.
    Id hate to cut the windpipe, thats an awful way to go
    Any more tips will be appreciated.
    Wish me luck!
  6. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    Mistakes are possible and even likely your first time. Don't let that deter you though. I don't think there's very many that get it perfect the first time!
  7. 92Pony

    92Pony Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2010
    South Carolina
    My first couple, I did the jugular slice. On the second bird, I failed miserably, and had to cut her again.....[​IMG]

    After that experience, I decided to resort to more brute force; I have a little snub-nose .22 pistol. I hang the bird by the feet, and place the barrel right behind the eye. One 'pop' and the bullet is straight through the brain and the bird is dead, all but instantaneously (A jugular slice a few seconds afterwards allows more blood to gravity drain). That's my objective anyway. For a grown man, I have a tough time doing in a chicken. [​IMG]

  8. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2011
    Bristol, VT
    Okay I had to think for a bit about this idea before I posted. I do hold the chickens stroke them and keep them calm the entire time. For me a big part of this is not talking and me staying quiet which helps them to stay quiet. All my birds even my meat birds are used to being held upright, sideways and on their backs from a young age so that part is not scary for them.

    Once in my lap I wrap them in a towel (an apron would work too) and hang them between my knees and use my knife to cut the jugular. For the cut I move quick and make sure I apply enough pressure the first time to cut deep enough. Easily done with a razor blade.

    Here is my dilemna with your idea though. Personally myself being a fairly tiny person with small hands I don't have enough strength in my hands to dislocate the head with my hand. I tried with one bird very early on when I was learning to process and cried because the bird didn't die right away and I ended up having to cut his head off anyway. If you feel strong enough to do this with all your roosters then it might work for you though.

    I agree with what others have said. Cutting the jugular or cutting the whole head off they will still bleed out. If you are concerned that there is still blood inside afterwards then you can put them in icy water with some salt and the salt will draw out any blood that remains. It has much more to do with what you are comfortable with.
  9. OldChurchEggery1

    OldChurchEggery1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2011
    I think pulling the head off would be a lot harder than you think from a seated position. When we dove hunt, I am usually the one (by default) who has to pick up the doves. Oftentimes there are live (but mortally wounded) doves; that's why the job is called "the wringer" because you often have to wring the necks of the downed doves. Doves are very fragile compared to chickens and their heads pop right off. I tried doing the cervical dislocation with a cock bird that had gotten out of control and was ready for the pot and I couldn't pull hard enough for it to work. I'd suggest going one of the other routes listed here- cut the jugular or chop the whole head. We chop off the whole head for the ones we butcher. I carry the bird sort of like a football (head tucked up under my arm against my body and the chicken's body cradled against my side) and then I hold the feet while either my husband or dad, depending on who is helping me, does the hatchet chop.
  10. laura625

    laura625 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2012
    Good to know!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by