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Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by the43k, Feb 21, 2013.
That was GREAT!! If we had made a video from our rookie experience a couple weeks ago, it would have been exactly the same. We had the same issue with our first rooster - it was a little traumatic because it felt like we just kept cutting on the poor thing. We definitely learned that you had to apply a lot more pressure than Russ made it look like. We were fortunate in the fact that after we "butchered" our first (pun intended), we had an experienced person there that showed us how to do it right on the next one. After that, it went a lot smoother. I agree completely, that the easiest part was the plucking. Though the smell didn't bother me too much, there definitely is an odor and my boys didn't care for it, though they still helped. My husband also mentioned the same thing you did - how it felt a little strange to have your hand in a warm animal that was alive just a few minutes ago. All in all, we were proud of ourselves for accomplishing it and had a good, organic meal from it. Having a super, sharp knife and using some muscle is key to a quick, painless death! Even still, the actual killing is still difficult from both my husband's and my view. I was fine after they were dead and the head was chopped off, but it was hard on my husband doing the actual killing on all 5 roos and I didn't like to be around until they were already gone. All in all, it was a good learning experience and now we know that we can do it when and if we need to - and everyone loved the tasty chicken! It definitely makes you appreciate your food more!
Thanks for your kind words. Sound like we had identical experiences. If and when we need to go for another round, I'll just give you a call, since you're experts now, I'll stick to the video camera.
... yeah right...
Great vid I never killed any roosters myself but my dad does it and I have seen it many time, I just can't do it... I hope to get over this fear but my dad lived in a small village and you killed your own animals if you want to eat. Maybe someday..
really good video and good perspective. i've had chickens for a year now & have yet to kill one. i think the kill will by far be my hardest time & your perspective will be firmly tucked in my head when the time comes. i definitely will remember the part about their neck feathers. i can see how that would be an issue - my rooster has amazing neck feathers. i have this havels knife that uses disposable blades. i have read that it works very well & quite a few hunters use it as well. it enables me to have very sharp blades.
did you slit his arteries & let him bleed out w/his heart still pumping as many do - or did you simply cut his throat? i'm strongly leaning on killing as fast as possible & not worry about the heart pumping. i cringe at the idea of the death taking long enough for them to suffer.
btw, i liked how you had your kids in on it & how you talked w/them through the process. oh, your chickens are very pretty birds
If you watch the video I referenced, Russ recommend letting it bleed for both the purposes of removing blood and animal kindness. Cutting off the head, sets off the nerves to run and flap. I did one side and let him bleed. The are still pretty calm hanging upside down. Kids handled it pretty well too.
We did the slicing of the jugular and let them bleed out. I am assuming that's what the43k did as well as he also learned from Russ's video. We found after much research for it to be the most humane - blood pressure drops and they drift off, only flapping toward the end most of the time, just as the heart stops. When done right, it took most of our chickens about 30-45 seconds. Most people say that when a major artery is cut like that, there is a warm, sleepy sensation as you drift off to sleep. For meat purposes, it also is best to drain the blood quickly. The cut is made just under the jaw on either side of the neck. You only have to cut one side. We found we had to cut deeper than we thought. The guy on the survival skills video made it look too easy and we really needed to put more force into it, holding the birds head and gently stretching the neck out. The first time, we only cut through skin and feathers. It's good to have someone experienced with you the first time - it is difficult to take when you mess up and feel like you are causing suffering. One good, sharp, deep slice will make the death quick. Someone mentioned on another thread that they sliced the throat, not cutting the jugular and it was a more traumatic death. No matter what, we did not find any of it easy, but necessary. In the future, I would definitely have a set of "meat" birds that we do not name or raise like pets... that makes it much more difficult. We had just ended up with a badly sexed group with a ridiculous amount of roosters. So while we thought we were raising our "girls", it turned out that we had to get rid of a bunch of roos.
Oh, and I thought I would add, though graphic, the blood draining from the right cut will be more of a draining, not a slow drip and it is a deep, dark red. If you just cut the skin or other part of the chicken, it's a bright red blood. (Sigh) It makes me sad to even think of this but I still know it had to be done.
Very good video. Good points for us beginners!
Very informative! Thanks for posting.