Question on culling methods

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Justanother Brooke, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. Justanother Brooke

    Justanother Brooke Songster

    Jan 29, 2011
    Goldendale, WA
    Okay, I mean killing [​IMG]
    Is there an advantage to slitting the throat vs. cutting the head off? A co-worker told my husband there is less mess slitting the throat, and less flopping around. He recommended a traffic cone, but I have also read on here that a milk jug works. We may need to be one less rooster soon, so I'm trying to figure out the best method.

  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    A milk or bleach jug is easier to come by than a traffic cone and works wonderfully. I was raised butchering poultry by cutting off the head but now I find it so much easier and less mess to use the milk or bleach jug killing cones and cutting the throat. Less effort is involved, less flopping and spraying of blood by the bird and really no chance of missing the mark as one can do with the hatchet/axe chopping of a neck.

    I find the 2 gal. bleach jugs much more sturdy than a milk jug for mounting on a surface and bearing the weight of big birds.
  3. DianeS

    DianeS Songster

    Feb 28, 2010
    I think it often depends on how much you trust your aim with an ax. Or how much you want it to bleed out. Or how tightly you can wrap it to keep it from flopping. Etc.

    If you can use an axe perfectly and don't have to worry about missing the mark, then at least you know the bird is dead instantly. If you aren't sure of your aim (or have no way to hold the body and head at the same time) then perhaps you want to do it a different way so - again - you don't have to worry about how long it takes the bird to die if you miss.

    If you are insistant on the bird bleeding out as much as possible, then you want to cut the neck veins but not the spinal cord (so the heart keeps beating), which requires slitting the throat while the bird is upside down.

    If you want to avoid the bird flopping around after death, then the bird needs to be held still somewhere it can't struggle out of. If laying on its side, loose, that often requires duct tape. If upside down in a cone there's really nowhere to move to.


    Both methods kill. Both methods kill humanely if you do them right (although some can argue one method or the other for that). Neither is "best" all the time in all situations for all people.

    I am a good aim with an axe... but the first time my bird flopped around after death I was certain I had missed at least part of the neck. I never want to have that worry again, so now I use a cone and slit the neck. Works for me. I use some old leftover hardware cloth for a cone, I just roll it up to whatever thickness I need for the bird. Skinny roosters need a skinnier cone than fat Cornish crosses - just FYI.

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