On killing cones and cutting throats

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Fredster, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. Fredster

    Fredster Songster

    Feb 21, 2007
    This is perhaps a dumb question, but I can't seem to find an answer (or better, pictures) anywhere.

    We processed our first chicken last week, using a hatchet to take care of dispatching her. We have more that will be ready soon (later this week, even), and I'd like to try the sharp knife / killing cone method this time.

    I understand I need to cut the throat without cutting the windpipe, but that just isn't enough detail for me. Is it one cut across the throat or a slice on either side, or something different altogether? My goal is to minimize stress and pain on the birds, and I want to make sure I do it right. If anyone has links to pictures or video demonstrating this, or can explain it so simply that even someone from Alabama can understand, I'd be most appreciative.

    Thanks in advance. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
    1 person likes this.
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I don't have a pic, but you'll want to cut deep under the chin so to say on either side of the head. The windpipe will be in the center of the neck in line with the beak when you pull the neck out. You'll know when you get the artery.
  3. perfectly_polish

    perfectly_polish Crowing

    Mar 1, 2007
    Quote:I would think that hanging one upside down would stress it out more, the chopping method is quick and easy and they don't feel a thing. JMHO
  4. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    I've done both methods and strange as it may seem, they seem to calm down when upside down. Laying them on the block and trying to immobilize the head and body seems to cause more stress.
  5. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    Quote:I the artery on the left side of the neck like ours' or by the way you described it it sounds
    like it's in front. I should have looked more closely when using the hatchet method.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  6. farm_mom

    farm_mom Songster

    Mar 11, 2008
    I just did a series of posts on chicken butchering on my blog per requests from my readers. If you're interested, click on the link below and scroll down to the post on culling. you'll see just where to cut and descriptions on how we did it. Good Luck! [​IMG]
  7. Psittizen Shikkin

    Psittizen Shikkin Songster

    Jun 14, 2008
    Oroville, California
    I think either way is going to be stressful on the bird and I'd rather not have to watch it hanging around waiting to bleed out and die. Just get it over with.
  8. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    You know, the processor I go to cuts both the artery, vein and windpipe. They're upside down, so I'm really doubtful any blood is reaching the lungs. I too struggled to cut just the one artery; then I started just cutting the whole thing and things are working fine.
    1 person likes this.
  9. carress

    carress Songster

    Mar 26, 2008
    Orange county NY
    I've slaughtered exactly ONE chicken, so... treat my expert advice like it's gospel.

    The guy who showed me- showed me how to just cut the artery and not the windpipe. He didn't tell his reasoning, but I saw that having a hold of the head kept the bird from moving around too much, and forced the blood to drip into the one specified place (bucket). Leaving the head attached dind't present any problems.

    I think having the cone made it MUCH easier than it would have been had I used the washpail n woodstump method my father told me about.
  10. starbrite

    starbrite In the Brooder

    May 25, 2008
    South Brittany, France
    This is how I do it, as taught by the British army, quick and simple. Hold the chicken, head down by its legs and gently rock it back and forth, the chicken relaxes, place its head and neck on the floor, place a piece of wood across its neck, stand on both ends of the wood and pull, head comes clean off.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008

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