Well, at least for me. I've tried cutting off the head and I've tried slicing the neck. Both of these procedures have good and bad points. I just finished butchering 25+ meat birds and what I did was sort of the "best" of both. For me, the secret is killing the bird BEFORE slicing the neck and cutting off the head. I chose to kill the bird by simply giving the neck a quick twist and pull, either by hand or by swinging. The bird is throw into a tub where it flops around. At this time, I hose of the crap and dirt which has accumulated on the bottom of the bird. The flopping greatly helps this problem. After the bird is done flopping, it's hung upside down by its feet and his head is cut off. There's only one thing I want to do differently. I want to throw the flopping bird into a washtub filled with water. I'm curious if this will reduce all the flopping and the occassional broken wing and/or bird flopping onto the ground. I've come to the conclusion that owning meat birds is like owning a boat. The best day is when you get the birds (buy the boat), the next best day is when you butcher the last bird (sell the boat). Everything in between is expensive, messy and generally a pain in rear end!