My husband wants to use a cone to bleed the Cornish X's this year rather than the off with their heads method. Is there any advantage of one over the other? I think he's trying to get always from the frantic wing flapping, if that's even possible.
I like the cone ( around here it is called "The cone of Silence," but I loved Get Smart!). Last year I had a couple of chickens that were too big for my cone and had to hang them from a ladder by a rope around their legs. I butcher in my garage because I have neighbors close. The blood got everywhere with the tied birds, but with the cone it just goes straight down. Also, the cone stops the thrashing so there are no broken bones or bruises.
I would say that the best method is the one that a person is most comfortable and proficient with. If I tried the hatchet and stump method and couldn't manage to make a quick, clean chop, it would not be the best for me. Fortunately, my husband does that part. If I had to do it myself, I'd invest in a good, sharp knife and fashion a cone. I don't think I could handle just slitting the jugular, though. I think I'd still try to decapitate with the knife. I just have a hard time with the idea of something hanging there bleeding to death. Just my personal opinion.
I highly recommend the "killing cone" method. It is much less mess and also seems less stressful for the bird. No bruised meat either. No flapping. Give it a try and see if you like it better. We sure did.
We use the axe and chopping block method but with two people and we do it in the garden. We dig a hole about a foot deep right beside the block and the heads and blood all goes in the hole. One person holds the wings and body while the other chops, then just hold the bird over the hole to bleed it. For bigger birds like turkeys we use a feed sack with one corner cut out, put the bird in the sack with just the head and neck out, wrap a short piece of rope around the sack to hold the wings down.
We are going to try the cone this weekend, just to see how it goes. A few birds are ready and we want one for Easter. I like the idea of digging the hole next to the chop block. We do it out in our wooded area. We have a fire pit for the hot water and we are out of sight in the event of a squeamish passerby.