One person processing question....

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ladyrua, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. ladyrua

    ladyrua In the Brooder

    Jun 9, 2008
    So I am, despite being the city-girl, the chicken butcher in the relationship....DH is a country boy, but hates the smell of processing chickens (the scalding, eviscerating, etc.). I am questionably blessed with a lack of sense of smell, so it doesn't bother me at all. Here's the problem - he is the fetch-the-bird and neck-chopper, and I do everything else. But he drags his feet getting started on chicken day, and it drives me a little crazy waiting on his schedule while we lose light and opportunity. So I'd like to take my next step in learning, and do the killing myself.

    The only way I've heard about for one person, is to use the killing cone, is this true? Is there any other way?

    I've only got 3 left in this batch, but I just want to get them done - we've been doing them 2-3 at a time because of his foot-dragging and they're now 10 weeks old.

    Thanks so much!
  2. Salt and Light

    Salt and Light Songster

    May 20, 2008
    Osteen, FL
    Here's an idea that I read and PLAN on implementing.

    Large stump, two nails, one axe, one chicken

    Drive the two nails close enough to allow a chickens neck but not their head to easily slip in. Stretch the neck, remove the head from the body.

    To reduce wing flapping, I've been thinking about placing a large rubber band around the chicken.

    I've never done ANY of the above, but it's what I'm considering.
  3. ladyrua

    ladyrua In the Brooder

    Jun 9, 2008
    That's actually how we do it now! My problems with this system are...
    1. takes two people - one to hold, one to place the head and make the chop
    2. DH is not confident enough with the ax/knife and doesn't always get it the first strike, which means I get sprayed until he gets it and I can drop it into the bucket
    3. maybe a bigger bucket would help, but almost every single bird broke it's wings while it flapped and finished dying!
  4. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    The nails on the stump work great.

    You can wrap the body of the chicken with a towel to help you get a good hold on it if you need to.
  5. You can use string to tie the bird up and hang it upside down, that's what I did. I used plain ol kitchen twine to tie the feet together and hang up and then more around the body with the idea of preventing the flapping, but I need to perfect that part as the two times now that we've tied the body it's come undone...

    But yes it can be done. I did the very first one all by myself, and then the next day my DH did his own all by himself as well. We actually learned alot this way and I think we'll do fine when we do the other 23 as a team.

    We also did them seperatly our first times because neither of us had ever killed anything larger than a spider and it was very intimate in a way and personal. We didn't want to have to worry about having an audience, even the spouse, our first times slaughtering.

    * I wanted to add that we will be using the axe method from here on out. I found slicing the throat to be a tad too slow and almost too intimate for me. Almost ritualistic in a sense, just MO. I want it over fast and with the least amount of having to touch the bird with my hands to make it die as possible. My first attempt as slicing the throat took so long for me to actually carry it out and get pumped enough to do it that I panicked and broke the neck instead. *
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2008
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    On dispatch day I get up at 5 or 6 am. I have everything ready to go in a matter of an hour less with prep work the night before. My DH drags his feet and seems to think if he gets started about 10 or 11 am he is doing good. Not only does it drive me insane it makes me very not nice for the first couple hours. Doing it myself is the next thing on my list - preferrabley when he is at work and unable to get in my way. I can pluck and clean 2 (sometimes 3) for his every one. I think he drags his feet so that i will just do it and get it over with.

    I am so on the same boat you are riding!

    We string them up and chop the heads.
  7. kenman

    kenman Songster

    Jul 10, 2008
    Southwest Missouri
    I have killed chickens using three different methods. I've used the pop and drop, where you hold the chicken upside down by its legs (I would use my left hand for this) with its head pointing toward your right hand. With my right hand I would take a small solid stick, preferably 15-18 inches long and would pop the chicken in the head hard, then drop it to do the flapping and bleeding out. I've never used a bucket to drop my chickens into. This may be where your wings are getting broke. The second method is to wring the neck, this takes some hand and wrist strength, esp. for large birds. You grip the chicken by the head and neck with one or both hands and whip the chicken in a circular motion, again very hard, breaking the neck or even decapitating the bird, then drop it to let it flap and bleed out. The third method is the one you wrote of with the knife, clever, or hatchet. If all you have is a knife then I would suggest grasping the bird by the back legs with one hand, laying it out on your board or stump, and instead of chopping with the knife, put the blade edge (up close to the handle) of the knife through the feathers next to the skin and draw the knife forcibly to yourself with a downward motion, thus slicing the head off. Then drop the chicken to let it bleed out. I have used each very successfully. The key is to commit to the act and do it with force. Hope this helps.
  8. Poler

    Poler In the Brooder

    Jul 1, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    Best way that I've found to do it is to locate yourself a good sturdy tree, hang bungee cords from the tree branches.

    Get your chickens and tie their feet together, and then hang them upside down on the bungee cord. Take a sharp knife, locate the jugular and do one quick slice, then remove yourself to a safe distance as the chicken begins to flop around. Let them bleed out for about 5 minutes then get to work scalding and plucking, you can remove the entrails when they are cold.

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