Proper place and depth to cut throat

OlekLorenc

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jan 31, 2010
12
0
22
Harrington Park, NJ
I killed my first two roosters today. I placed them in a "cone" made out of a gallon milk jug, cut their throats on the left side and let them bleed out. The first one went as well as I could have hoped, very calm and quick (about a minute). The second did not go as well. The blood did not flow out as quickly, slowed, and stopped after not that much had come out. I also realized I had cut the trachea and the blood was also in its beak. The chicken was clearly still alive, breathing heavily, and aware. I made a second cut a little further down the neck hoping it would flow better, but it also slowed and stopped soon. I made a third cut on the right side this time which eventually finished the job. It took over 5 minutes and was very stressful and unpleasant and I felt really bad for the bird.

I'd like this process to be calmer and smoother in the future so I have a few questions:
1. I made the cut starting on the outside at a 45 degree angle down towards the beak on the left side right below (towards the body) the wattles. Is this the proper location and angle?
2. I use a very sharp 8" chefs knife and didn't apply much pressure so the cut didn't go much into the meat of the neck. Is this the proper depth?
3. What can I do to avoid cutting the trachea? Unfortunately, I didn't pay much attention as to its location while eviscerating...
4. Where exactly is the jugular located? Is it on the between the neck skin and meat of the neck, alongside the trachea and esophagus?
5. Any other advice?

Thanks.
 

underground chickenman

Songster
10 Years
May 30, 2009
562
10
131
Orlando, Florida
What ever method you use, if you botch it, take the head off immediately.

As for the jugular, it is right below and slightly behind the jaw on the side of the neck. You are better off using a razor blade than a regular knife, in my opinion. Put the blade next to the skin, not on top of feathers. Cut firmly enough to get a little deeper than skin deep, but not so deep to cut into the neck or esophagus. Maintain your grip on the head and bend it to the side slightly to keep the cut open and let the blood drain. You will develop a feel for it with practice. It is understandable to make a mistake the first few times. That's why your back up plan needs to be immediate decapitation. Always be ready to take the head off immediately upon realizing a mistake has occurred.

Better luck next time.

UGCM
 

chickenwhisperer

Songster
12 Years
May 29, 2007
927
2
159
Chicken Country, U S A
I have been studying these videos, in preperation for the upcoming slaughter . . .
Very helpful, I think.

Cone

Cleaning

I guess these guys are the "creators" of the tractor method of "freeranging" or something, Storey's mentions Joel Salatin.
Very matter of fact, and very helpful.
 
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aggieterpkatie

Songster
11 Years
Apr 26, 2009
740
9
164
Maryland
I always cut on the left side when the bird is haning upside down in the cone. I put my left thumb just under (technically "over" because the bird is upside down) the bird's jawbone, then slice. You want to slice on the side of the neck, not the front where the trach is. Make one deliberate slice. You should immediately see lots of blood flow. Sometimes all you have to do is kinda turn or bend the head to get it flowing.
 

OlekLorenc

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jan 31, 2010
12
0
22
Harrington Park, NJ
Thanks for all the advice. I'll be sure to keep holding the head to keep the cut open and have an ax on hand, just in case. Those videos were very helpful!
 

Bossroo

Songster
11 Years
Jun 15, 2008
1,450
28
171
You may want to consider having a long handled tree branch loppers nearby as an insurance for a faster dispatch should knife method go incomplete while the bird is still in the killing cone, instead of using extra time to possition the bird for an axe execution.
 

aggieterpkatie

Songster
11 Years
Apr 26, 2009
740
9
164
Maryland
Quote:
If you have a sharp knife, all you have to do it hold the head and make a good solid cut on the neck. Head is off in 1 second flat.
wink.png
 

jaku

Songster
12 Years
Jan 13, 2008
2,134
6
191
Howard City, Michigan
Cut on both sides of the jaw from the back of the neck, all the way around, but stop before you get to the very front, where the trachea is. Cut as deep as you need to. You won't be using the meat in that area, and even if you REALLY like chicken necks, you'll be cutting the head off anyway. CUT DEEP to be sure. I believe that the carotid is deeper than the jugular, and you want to cut both, so don't be afraid to cut.
 

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