Question about the kill...

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Bettacreek, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Crowing

    Jan 7, 2009
    Central Pennsyltucky
    Well, with the excitement of the eggs having veins, I'm beginning to wonder if I'm going to be able to just whack the heads off of the quail before butcher. I said something to hubby, and he's not sure if he'll be able to. Sending them to a processor would defeat the purpose of raising them ourselves (to save money). So, the thing that popped into my head was C02. We use the C02 to prekill rodents before they're fed off to snakes or the fish, but would it change the taste of the meat or anything? We would be able to bleed them out within minutes of them dying, but, would that be too long? Any input is appreciated.
  2. jaku

    jaku Songster

    Quote:I don't think you'd get as effective of a bleed out, and if your issue is getting the most humane kill, I'd say the head chop is the fastest method. Seems like CO2 would be depleting oxygen, like suffocating, which doesn't sound all that pleasant.
  3. menageriemama

    menageriemama Songster

    Feb 2, 2008
    Lake Nebagamon, WI
    If you are able to konk them out with the CO2 without stopping their hearts, then I dont see it as a problem. I believe you want the heart still beating when the veins are cut so that you get a good bleed out.
  4. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Crowing

    Jan 7, 2009
    Central Pennsyltucky
    Jaku, honestly, I need it for myself as well, I just don't know if I can sit there and hold a living creature and snip the head off. I have a hard time co2ing critters, and that's a pretty "instant" and uneventful kill.
    Maybe I will try to use it on one to knock it out only, then kill. At least a dead LOOKING bird would be easier, plus it wouldn't be painful or anything for the bird. I just want some type of happy medium for myself AND the bird, lol.
  5. josh

    josh Songster

    Mar 22, 2008
    Western Kentucky
    Well if you gas is that kind of like sufacating? I would reather you chop my head off than gas.
  6. speltier

    speltier In the Brooder

    Jan 25, 2009
    Berkeley, Califonia
    Right! If you're talking about CO, like from car-exhaust, then sleepytime would simply set in. With CO2 (where are you going to get CO2?), the hypoxia-panic would set it and it would feel like suffocating. How about making it a little less 'choppy' by slitting their necks with a knife? I think the risks of botching the timing and or administration of whatever asphyxiation you chose might be high. Sorry you're having a hard time with this. Is it the first time for you? Perhaps having someone with some experience there to guide you...? Good luck.

  7. jaku

    jaku Songster

    I wouldn't recommend slitting to someone who's uncomfortable with the whole process. You get the best bleed, but they take a couple of minutes to die, and that might make you never want to process chickens again if you're squeamish. To make sure I can get them safely in the cone, and get a vein without them flapping, I "tap" them on the head with a 1x2 board. It knocks them out pretty efficiently for a few minutes.
  8. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    Quote:I've never processed quail, but I'd like to try CO2 to knock out chickens before killing them. I just don't have a clue how to go about it. I doubt it would affect the taste at all.

    How do you use it to pre-kill the rodents? I've read that they just take a breath and it's lights out. Do you have a box or chamber of some sort? (I have a mental image of a little gas-mask stuck over a chicken's face.)

    I wouldn't worry about the quail not bleeding out well enough, you can soak them in salt water to get the rest of the blood out, if you find they don't bleed out enough. I've done that with chickens that were dead for a few minutes before I took the heads off, no problem at all. (A few have been it by cars here, and my neighbor once brought me a roo killed by another roo. Still fresh, but dead before beheading.)

    ETA: What kind of fish do you have that you feed rodents to?
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2009
  9. jaku

    jaku Songster

    Quote:I used to have piranhas that would eat full grown live mice every day when I was in college. The entire floor of my dorm would gather to watch.
  10. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    For quail it's easier to cut with scissors/gamebird shears than chop with something or slice. Less need for aim and mine died quickly. Honestly I covered the head of the first one in a paper towel and used feel to guide the head into the bone notch on the shears and cut. No aim required. I could have done it without looking. I almost did it without looking.

    All those methods that make us feel good are actually usually harder on the animal. Personally I'd rather put down even my pets by a bullet or bolt gun than chemical euthanasia. We don't see them react but they've measured the brain waves of animals being put down chemically and everything spikes the same as when an animal panics. Given the info we have so far cutting the head off or damaging the brain is really the fastest and most humane way to kill something. It just looks more traumatic to us. I still stand by that despite nearly throwing up while butchering my first quail. It would be great if there was a reasonable way to make them not feel it but I'm not going to risk making it worse for them to make it easier for me. From everything I've heard and read the faster the better and the only exceptions would require chemicals (gas) or meds we don't have access to.

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