Ok, so go easy on me because I feel pretty sick about it as is but I need to get it off my chest and ask for advice. I processed 2 birds today. My second and third birds EVER...So I am still really new to this adventure. The first bird did NOT go well at all. I used a cone and that wasn't the problem. I had a brand new really sharp knife too so that wasn't the problem. I even pushed the feathers back on the neck so it would be easier to cut. I made a terrible cut on the neck. I went right through the poor bird's wind pipe and apparently didn't get enough of the actual artery. The bird was not bleeding out well and not dying. So freaking out I pulled the bird out of the cone and tried to get the head off with one clean HARD whack with the cleaver but it took 3 whacks! I am strong enough to do it with one because after the last bird I did was bled out I got the head off with one solid chop no problems. This poor bird. I feel absolutely terrible and I was basically sobbing as I tried to get it's head off completely to just put it completely out of it's misery. So I really didn't want to do the other bird after I cleaned the other one and gutted it and threw it in the ice water to cool. I HAD to do the other one though so I sucked it up and thought about what I did wrong and the second bird went MUCH better. I think I figured out that to get just the artery and not the windpipe I need to cut right below the jaw/ear? It seemed to be so much better and less awful for the second bird. It actually bled out like it is supposed to. I think. So that went ok but I noticed that it didn't completely bleed out when I was butchering it after it was dead. Did I not leave it to bleed out long enough? So my questions are... Where EXACTLY is the ideal place to slice for the artery? How long does it generally take for a bird to bleed out? and how do you know when it is done bleeding out? Is chopping the head off in the beginning just a better idea? I am feeling really sick about the first bird. I love animals and I certainly don't want them to suffer at my hands but I also want to process my own meat birds (these weren't meaties) and I feel like I suck too bad to be confident. I did MUCH better with the second bird but I am feeling miserable about the first. Will I get better with practice? I don't have any help at all in this process. I had to do everything from killing to burying the guts/feathers by myself and clean up as well. It is exhausting and emotionally draining. I want DH to help but he isn't that into it and I don't really have anyone else who can help with the process...How can I ease DH into it so I'm not doing everything by myself?