I processed my 2 Cornish Xs today, and tried dispatching them by pithing -- you know, by sticking a sharp knife up into the roof of the mouth, poking in & twisting. At first I thought I was quite successful, the bird barely struggled, then went limp & quiet. My processing pal & I were impressed, no flapping or flopping, no blood spattering all over. Next I cut the jugular veins for the bird to bleed out. But then we noticed its belly still moving, as if it were breathing. And then it started moving its head & flapping its wings! Igor, it's alive!!! I stuck it again in the roof of the mouth, twisted the knife, cut again the veins in the neck. I tried to do better with the next one, tried to stick the knife deep & twist. But this one also continued to keep its eyes open, and flap & flip. It was so heavy & moved around so much it fell off the hook on which it was hanging (suspended on a porch swing frame) and into the garbage can below. I waited until it finally became still, and when I pulled it out it looked awful, its white feathers now all red. Everything else went well, scalding, plucking, & gutting. This is the first time I've tried Cornish Xs, they sure look good, can't wait to compare them for taste. But what did I do wrong with the pithing? At first I was thrilled with the ease & lack of drama it seemed to involve. Did I not stick the knife far enough into the head? I know I tend to "chicken out" when doing the Actual Deed, and have trouble being firm when I really need to be. I don't lower the axe hard enough when chopping, so I thought this would be a better method for me & for the birds. I did twist the knife after inserting it in, but never got that sound from the bird that indicates success that I've read about. Maybe I didn't have the correct angle, and was poking them in the back of the throat instead of up in the brain? They weren't hard to pluck, but we had good hot water for scalding. Would it be better to put them in a cone first? When they're in the cone can you dispatch them simply by cutting their jugular veins, without pithing? We also wanted to get our birds to bleed out more than they've been doing, would that be a better method for us?