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Ok, that didn't go quite as well as i had hoped.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Fourgirlsoneboy, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. Fourgirlsoneboy

    Fourgirlsoneboy Pullus Parvus

    Aug 16, 2009
    West Virginia
    So it took two attempts to off the poor rooster. It was still fast but I really didn't want him to suffer (he didn't for long, but still).

    So now I think I am opting for a hatchet (or axe if that would work better)- do I just go to Lowes or TSC to get one? How big of one? What kind of sharpener?

    Besides that, it actually didn't go as bad as I thought. Since he was a egg layer type mutt, there wasn't too much meat on him, but it was enough- and skinned him so from coop to fridge was 20 minutes.

    He bled out really fast- is that normal?

    I am worried about the next one- I've got a log I can use as a chopping block- I just hope I can get the next ones head off in one chop. (What should I practice on?)

    Thank goodness I had my 9 yo dd turn around when I did it (no one else would help me). At least I haven't scarred her with my incompetence (yet). I know he had a nice life and all, I just wish I could have done it better.

    Oh well......

  2. Buster52

    Buster52 Songster

    Jan 28, 2009
    Geronimo Oklahoma
    I'm sorry. I hate when that happens. I used to use a curved blade axe but have now switched to a flat, straight blade. I bought the below brand at Home Depot for $22. It has a very nice heft to it and a nice, broad blade which makes it easy to find the target. I sharpened it to a very fine point using a table grinder, although a file or sharpening stone could work with a little more effort. This thing will easily take the head off a good size tom turkey with one whack.

    I use a stump with two nails in it far enough apart to fit the neck in but close enough together to hold the head. I wire the feet together with a long wire and hold the bird upside down in my hand until it calms, place the neck between the nails and gently stretch the neck, feel the neck with the fingers of my axe hand to get a good aim, then one swing of the axe and it is done. I then hang it with the wire from a hook to let it bleed out.

  3. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Crowing

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    A 22 cal. works just as well and it's quick. I don't have enough faith in myself to deliver a quick blow with weak hands.
  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I too found the chop method unreliable for me. The guys who showed me how to butcher were able to take the birds' heads off with one neat blow of the axe or machete. But I think I lack their upper arm strength, plus I found myself hesitating right at the moment I needed to be the strongest. I couldn't bring the hatchet down hard enough to sever the head with one chop.

    I think it might have helped to use a heavier hatchet/axe, and a sharper one. But instead I learned to do the cut-throat method and found it works the best for me & my birds.
  5. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Well I took a couple of tries with the knife and like you I was really upset about hurting him without getting it over with quickly!
    I finally got a bit upset and put a broomstick over his head and yanked his feet. I was happy with that method. I will do it again.

    I do not have faith in myself to whack their heads off, and I think I'm too scared to try pithing.

    Don't be discouraged though!! You did it, now you know what doesn't work for you and you can do it better next time!!
  6. petrelline

    petrelline Songster

    Feb 13, 2009
    Los Gatos, CA
    The broomstick method works really well for those of us who don't have a lot of upper body strength or who are squeamish about the blood. I found that if you're going to cut off the head a machete works better than an axe because you don't have to be as accurate. A really big cleaver also works well. Bigger is actually better because the weight of the cleaver actually makes it easier to use -- you don't have to worry about arm strength or hesitating and holding back at the wrong moment, the tool will do the work for you.

    It gets easier the more chickens you do. It's never *easy*, and it never should be, but you become more sure of yourself and you are better able to make it a quicker death for the animal.
  7. Miltonchix

    Miltonchix Taking a Break

    Jul 14, 2007
    Milton, Florida

  8. hankus

    hankus In the Brooder

    Dec 13, 2009
    Only time I used a broomstick I swung it like a bat. Rooster wouldn't hem in and I was tired of chasing him. Heavy and sharp is the way to go.
  9. Ibicella

    Ibicella Songster

    Nov 13, 2009
    Everett, WA
    I'm sorry it didn't work out well for you. It DOES take a bit of practice and it's disturbing while you learn.

    A small hatchet should be fine. It doesn't take much. What's most important is that it's SHARP. Never try to butcher with dull blades of any sort. It's just asking for accidents.
  10. Agricola

    Agricola In the Brooder

    Aug 24, 2009
    South Jersey
    Sounds like you did a lot better than I did with my first chicken (or second for that matter). I felt bad for the chicken for too, but we are all doing our best here. For the last few I have done I just used a hatchet I got from Lowes, sharpened with a grinding wheel to very sharp edge. I think the hatchet was around $20.

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