I keep seeing these posts on pithing as a means of dispatching/killing a chicken. Pithing was never intended for this purpose. In reality pithing is a means of rendering a specimen immobile for disection/study purposes. We used it in biology class with frogs & kittens. The objective is to have a brain dead but still breathing/heart beating subject that can be cut open without muscle reflex. If done correctly, pithing will scramble the brain & sever the spinal cord. What you end up with is a animal that is very much alive, but unable to feel pain, or move. If your chicken actually dies from PITHING, you are doing it WRONG From a BIOLOGY book.... What is pithing? Pithing is a means of destroying an animal's central nervous system in order to study various physiological processes. Frogs and turtles are two species commonly used in pithing labs, and the procedure is commonly performed in undergraduate-level classes. If conducted properly, pithing severs the spinal cord of the live animal and destroys the brain by inserting a needle into the back of the skull and moving the needle around in order to "scramble" brain tissue; the needle is then inserted into the vertebral canal in order to destroy reflexes. The animal continues to function physiologically for hours following the pithing procedure. The organization is opposed to pithing of animals in the classroom and further believes that the overwhelming ethical and animal welfare concerns associated with pithing far outweigh its educational benefit, especially when there are suitable alternatives available to teach the same curriculum.