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How long does it take a turkey to expire...

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by phoenixmama, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. phoenixmama

    phoenixmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2009
    Gilbert, Arizona
    ...if utilizing the throat slitting in a killing cone technique?

    We did our first two turkeys last week, and it seemed to take them a lot longer than the chickens. I believe this to be a humane technique, so I wasn't sure if I did something wrong when it took 5+ minutes for them to appear unconscious. We slit both sides of the throat (near the ear) and blood was gushing, so I'm sure we hit the right spot. I wanted to finish them up tonight, but I'm not feeling confident anymore.

    I guess I'm looking for a little reassurance here or else some guidance as to what I'm doing wrong.

    Thanks! [​IMG]
  2. kooltex

    kooltex Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2009
    NE Tx
    I've never processed turkeys, so I really am not sure about how long, however they are bigger than chickens so it would seem they would take a little longer to bleed out.
  3. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2007
    Turkey's take a lot more time to bleed out then chickens. Why? I don't know... maybe since they are bigger?

    Your doing everything ok though.
  4. freemotion

    freemotion Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2008
    Western MA
    I'm certainly not experienced with this, but....earlier this year my father killed two of my toms for me. I watched for the first time....I want to raise more of my own meat and needed to know if it was really humane or not, if it was something I could ever learn to do. It was quick and looked painless. Certainly not five minutes....maybe a minute, two at the MOST. He held one upside down until it became quiet, slipped a loop of cord that was tied to a tree branch around it's feet, felt for the coratid artery, and made a quick cut. Stood back, and the turkey very quietly bled out, rather quickly. Once obviously unconscious/dead, there was some brief flapping about. Could it be that you got the jugular vein rather than the coratid artery? That would be much slower. The coratid is deeper than the jugular and it has a strong pulse.
  5. phoenixmama

    phoenixmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2009
    Gilbert, Arizona
    So the coratid is on one side and the jugular is on the other, correct? Because isn't that the reasoning for slitting both sides, so that you hit both and expedite the bleed-out process?

    I certainly assumed it would take longer for a turkey to bleed out, I just wasn't prepared for that massive amount of blood loss to occur and still have the turkey looking around. I know lung and heart function continue to work after the bird has lost consciousness, so I wasn't expecting a turkey that was "dead as a doornail" so to speak. I just couldn't believe they didn't pass out sooner. Maybe I'll just do the same with the next ones and try to cut deeper just in case. I was positive I had cut deeply enough and in the right spot since there was gushing from both sides, but anything is possible I suppose.

  6. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

    Nov 26, 2008
    Neenah, WI
    I slit both sides, they bleed faster, 30 sec, unless I don't hit the mark, but I hang them for a min or two before I slit, they calm down and bleed faster, I use a dog chock chain to hang not a cone
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2009
  7. kcravey

    kcravey Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 10, 2009
    East Texas
    we are about to do ours next monday... All my trees are in view of the other birds. Can someone just hold the turkey while the other person makes the cut? Do all of you use tree branches to hang them?
  8. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

    Nov 26, 2008
    Neenah, WI
    I use my cloth line pole with a hook in it, my other birds come and watch, or ignore whats going on.
  9. longranger

    longranger Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2009
    laguna hills CA
    I use a very sharp thick knife with a stiff blade that cuts the head clean off in one stroke about 90% and has never failed to get the major vessels and spinal cord. The turkey is in a cone with a helper to keep the bird in the cone. Even with the carotids and jugulars cut on both sides a larger tom will bleed actively for at least 2 minutes and it seems a lot longer if you don't expect it. The long bleed time makes me strongly prefer severing the spinal cord so the bird does not suffer.
  10. TarzantheChickenMan

    TarzantheChickenMan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2009
    Guthrie, MN
    feed sack with a hole in the bottom stuff the bird in the and then pull his head thought the hole
    let his hang for a minute or two and then slide the knife right in right behind the jaw that should get both jugular veins
    death is in about 45sec-1 minute but then the heart keeps beating pumping out blood much lighter meat event the dark meat is much lighter

    i dont cut the head off becaus that causes the heart to stop beating quickly and you get darker meat

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