Hold head on ground with stick/pull up on legs--OK method?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Sunny Side Up, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I saw this method pictured in the book "Living With Chickens" by Jay Rossier. The person doing the butchering is holding the roo's head on the ground with a broomstick under her feet, and she pulls up on the roo's legs. The book doesn't go into much more detail than that.

    When we try that method it doesn't always work as easily as we would like. Sometimes the head & some tube, the esophagus or windpipe or cock-a-doodle-do-er, come off completely. That sure was surprising the first time that happened, I thought we were just breaking the neck somehow. Other times it takes an extra strong pull & some twisting to get it to give, and it seems we're prolonging the bird's execution.

    Is anyone familiar with this method? Any recommendations to make it easier & faster for the birds' sakes? I thought this would be a good method to kill the birds so they could do their flipping & flapping with their heads attatched & not have blood splattering all over. Then, once they were still, we could behead them & let them bleed out neatly hung over a pail. But if we're just pulling their heads off, we might as well use a machete or axe & make it quicker for the birds' sakes.

    Which is not as easy as I would like that to be either. My neighbor was able to behead them with one sure stroke of his machete. When my girlfriend & I tried we had to whack several times to get the head off. Do we need a sharper/heavier tool? A more stronger & decisive swing of the blade? Perhaps we're hesitating to whack with all our strength, still instinctively withholding our heaviest hit subconsciously not wanting to "hurt" the bird, when actually it would be more kind to hit hard & get it over with faster?

    Now that we're past the "ewww" and the "awww" factors it's not that bad of a job to do. But we'd like to find the best method of dispatching that would be the quickest & kindest for the birds. Thanks for your advice & support.
     
  2. FarmGirl01

    FarmGirl01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2008
    AR
    I always use that method. You really have to pull very slowly and you will feel the neck dislocate. There will be a lot of wing flapping. I like to do it this way. I had rather not have blood everywhere. I than take the birds to another location to bleed them out. Just keep trying methods till you find one that works for you.
     
  3. skeeter

    skeeter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Parma Idaho
    might as well slam their neck in a door
     
  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    My first concern is to find the method that will be as quick & effective as possible for the birds' sakes. Even though some folks consider the term "humane butchering" an oxymoron, I do not. And second, to be as neat as possible for my sake. Because why make more of a mess if you don't have to? And also, I'm concerned that blood & guts left around the area will attract predators that otherwise would pass my yard.

    So once you dislocate the neck, feel that crunchy give as you pull, is the bird dead? To me it's hard to tell if their flapping is their after-death dance or a still-conscious protest. When you chop their heads off you know it's not feeling any more pain immediately, but when I just stretch their neck I'm concerned that I'm prolonging their agony.

    I appreciate your imput. Thank you.
     
  5. FutureChickenMan

    FutureChickenMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've heard of this method for use on rabbits but never chickens. Hatchet would probably be better quicker method, but if you don't want blood all over, use the blunt side if the hatchet and a good strong whomp!
     
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Forks, Virginia
    In my experience dislocating the neck does not end the birds life. I really am not willing to believe that is a painless and quick method of dispatching. Does it paralyze the chicken? Probably, most likely. Does it kill it - I don't think it does.
     
  7. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Douglasville GA
    When contemplating a butchering method I put myself in the animals place, so the question I would be considering is do I want to have my head pulled of slowly or a nice sharp hatchet strike?

    I'll take the hatchet everytime.
     
  8. FarmGirl01

    FarmGirl01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2008
    AR
    I would consider the bird being dead when the heart stops beating. To bleed out the bird the blood needs to be pushed out by the beating heart. I don't want blood all over my yard attracting predators. So I use the said method and slit the neck to bleed out in another location. You are right, it does work well for our rabbits. We have chopped the heads off in the past and the birds still flop around on the ground. It is your choice and decision to find what works for you. I don't think there will ever be a way that everyone agrees on. Just keep researching. This is a great place to answer questions.
     
  9. tenthingsfarm

    tenthingsfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    I've tried a lot of the 'snap and pull' techniques that I've seen in books, read about online, etc. In person, in the moment, I'm not always sure that I've done the job as quickly as I meant to.

    A few years ago, I was in Harbor Freight and got a big (about an 8" blade) and quite heavy meat cleaver for about $7. I will never go back to anything else - ever. It's quick, the blade is long enough that I never have a partial cut (that happened once with an axe, bless that chicken's heart) It's heavy enough that I can even have the tip on the stump, pull the chicken's head into place, and just bear down/chop.

    Quick and certain. For me, it's been the most humane way to go.
     
  10. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    That sounds great. Can I borrow your cleaver this weekend?

    Better yet, you've given me a good excuse to go shop for toys -- excuse me, tools -- at our Harbor Freight. It's not close by, but now I really need to make that trip...
     

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