Processing question: cut arteries or head off?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by below_gravity, Jun 19, 2016.

  1. below_gravity

    below_gravity Songster

    Apr 2, 2009
    Jutland, New Jersey
    We are getting ready to process our first batch of Cornish X. We have donea few on our own and have always just cut the head off, but have noticed in all the instructional posts here, it is suggested that just the arteries get cut. Why is that?

  2. i'm not 100% sure why the arteries are cut instead of the head, i know its for medical reasons, but i do know that there was a chicken named mike, and he had his head chopped off on slaughter day, only he got back up and walked around, he lived for 18 months, his ownerd hand fed him, he chocked on his own saliva
  3. below_gravity

    below_gravity Songster

    Apr 2, 2009
    Jutland, New Jersey

    I heard that story. There must have been brain left intact for the organs to function.
  4. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Songster

    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama
    Lots of chicken owners aren't professional killers and don't feel comfortable with the violence of Mr. Hatchet and find cutting the throat is almost an uneventful drama-free event.
  5. from what i can tell in pictures only a small amount of his head is missing. i know that when i slaughter my chickens i'm going to cut their throat, i don't want a headless chicken walking around!

  6. eviemethugh

    eviemethugh Chirping

    May 14, 2015
    North Carolina
    When you cut only the arteries there is still enough going on for the heart to pump all of the blood out of the body, quite quickly and efficiently. We experimented a bit this year, because my husband and dad are of the "bigger cut it better" variety, and I prefer a smaller cut. I made them do everything from all the way off, to as small as I wanted, and smaller was better in the opinion of the 3 evisceraters (AKA our hands were less bloody after removing the organs.)
  7. Lelilamom

    Lelilamom Songster

    Feb 28, 2013
    This is our 5th year raising broilers. The first year we went for the artery and after the first two or three, we started just taking the whole head off. We did this for two reasons. Cutting just the artery felt wrong to us. The chickens hung upside down and blinked at us - and they did struggle. We found it awful. Second, we had to cut their heads off afterwards anyway. So here is what we do:

    We have a hunters knife, it's serrated (we use a Bear Grylls Knife

    We hang the bird by the feet, hold the head out thereby stretching the neck, and go from back to front take off the head in one cut. It's extremely fast- and since we're starting at the spine, the momentum doesn't stop at bone and we get through in one try. Since the bird is hanging, there is no running around. We feel it's important to be as humane as possible and this was the easiest. We do this with our turkeys too, but we have to duct tape a burlap bag over their bodies so they don't break their wings flapping.

    Good lucking processing and let us know how you make out.
  8. ShannonR

    ShannonR Songster

    Sep 17, 2015
    northern California
    With most birds I just do the arteries. With broilers I will often take the head clean off; I have learned it is better to use some force in these lethal knife strokes and sometimes the broilers's heads come off when I don't really intend that.
    Compared to a turkey or heritage type birds the CornishX kind of fall apart under a knife like butter.
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    It's purely personal preference.

    Bird winds up dead either way.

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