slaughtering method - cutting jugular vs slitting the whole throat

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by evergreen1, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. evergreen1

    evergreen1 Out Of The Brooder

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    how do you folks do it? does slitting the whole throat instead of just cutting the jugular causes the chicken to pass out more quickly?
     
  2. Matrix Escapee

    Matrix Escapee Out Of The Brooder

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    Cut the head clean off with the sharpest knife I have. Simple, quick, and no, the meat isn't tough from "chemical releases" and no the bleed out is not slower.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    This is how we do it, too. Although we've never tried another method, to know if this one is really "better", but it works well for us. Catch the bird, slide it into the killing cone, then lay it on the table with the head hanging over the edge. I hold the body in the cone while my honey grasps the head, holds tension on it and swiftly slices with a very sharp knife. He drops the head into the trash can below, I tip the back end up to allow the bird to bleed and hold it firmly, cause our cone is pliable and not rigid. Wait a few minutes, about when my arms get tired, then pull it out of the cone and finish up.
     
  4. McButterpants

    McButterpants Out Of The Brooder

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    I too have questioned if the bleed out is really affected by simply cutting off the head vs. the jugualr. I have processed 1/6 dozen or so of my capon slips in the last 2 weeks.
    I did the arterial cuts with a surgical scalpel (avalible online and works extremely well).
    I can tell you the scalpel made it very easy to just cut the jugular which when I had used larger knives I tended to end up cutting into the windpipe.
    I also debrained most of the birds- when this worked in conjunction with minimal scalding it was truely a miricle of ease for removing feathers.
     
  5. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have done both ways, cutting the head off and cutting the jugular. Cutting the jugular does take a little bit longer than cutting the head off since cutting the head off is immediate but when I cut both the jugulars it takes seconds for them to die which is not a long time. It feels like a long time since I really truly don't like doing it so it feels like it stretches on forever.

    I can say I prefer cutting the jugular better than the head and here's why. When I do that it's one quick cut and they pass peacefully. I don't use a kill cone I hold them and I can say they will shut their eyes and just lay still and then start their death throws so I can verity they pass out and then go. I have noticed that after the fact the birds seem much less stiff and rigor seems to pass quicker than when I cut the head off. Also the feathers seem to pluck out easier than cutting the head off. Not sure why just telling you what I notice.

    In the long run how you do it depends on you and what works for you. Whether you cut the head off pith the bird or cut the jugular, dead is dead in the long run but what can you live with. I have heard of others on this forum talking about gassing their birds or shooting them instead which are also options. Those aren't ones I would be comfortable with though so I have to stick with what works for me.
     
  6. laura625

    laura625 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Debraining?
    Pith?
     
  7. McButterpants

    McButterpants Out Of The Brooder

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    You can find several threads in here regarding the process, but pithing/ debraining are the same thing. During harvest either just before or just after the artery/ vein (carotid artery is actually the target) is cut a small pointed blade (of heavier weight than the scalpel) is inserted into the roof of the bird's mouth and then into the skull/ brain and turned. The bird gives a squawk sound and then relaxes while it bleeds out. The theory is that the process immediately breaks a part of the nervous system causing instant brain death, but allows Th eheart and lungs to continue for a short period reducing any suffering with the added effect of relaxing the follicles holding the feathers. After the bleed the feathers come out extremely easily, literally by the handful. Having now done multiple birds both ways I will personally always go this route. I have to admit it is not for the squeamish (especially the first cpl of times), but I'm glad I worked through it. Theory aside, I can tell you that in my experience a good deep cut with a scalpel starting at the back of the skull and coming under the ear to the side of the throat stopping prior to the trachea coupled with the stick into the brain seems to produce the quickest and most peaceful end with just a little minor spasm at the very end of the bleed.
     
  8. laura625

    laura625 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you mcbutterpants!
    Do you personally, do the " stick to the brain"
    Before or after the slice? And do you access the brain through th roof of the mouth, or is there another way?
    I also started the thread" graphic slaiggtering question"
    I am approaching my first " all on my own " culling day.
    Lilly D -
    Can you describe how you slit thr vein while holding the bird? That might be the solution i am looking for
    Thanks!.
     
  9. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What I do is to quietly grab the bird sitting in a chair and wrap it in a towel to contain the wings and feet with the head sticking out. I then lay the bird between my knees with it's head over a bucket. I make sure my movements are quiet and slow so I don't scare him. This is the only part I take my time with. Once he is between my knees I hold his head with my fingers around his comb and my thumb under his beak tilting it just a little bit. This seems to calm him a bit. I look for the jawbone with my other hand and the place to cut is right below the jawbone and under the ear. I do a long probably inch and a half to 2 inch cut. When you do it use a scalpel type knife and apply pressure as you slide then knife down away from your other hand. You can also do the same on the other side as well and they will pas much quicker. I wear disposable plastic gloves so I don't have to worry about the blood holding his head to do the second side. Most birds will just close their eyes and then start twitching. This used to really bother me but I keep reminding myself that they are already dead at that time and it helps.

    It is basically a revised version of the method seen in this video. Not everything worked for me like the part where she breaks off the head. My hands are not strong enough for that so I don't do that part until the bird is totally gone and then I use my pruning shears to do it which is easier for me.

    Hope this helps :)
     
  10. McButterpants

    McButterpants Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes I do not fun, immediately after the vein slice through the roof of the mouth. There is a squawk/shudder then- [​IMG] . They do thrash for about 5-10 seconds as the last of the blood drains, but it seems easier on them even if harder on me. When I've done the vein cut alone, Ive experienced thrashing throughout the procedure several times although most of the time they go quietly this way as well. The other real advantage is of course the feather plucking- not an issue if you plan to skin, but if you want the traditional carcass then they defeat her MUCH easier this way. Other methods Ive read on here of shooting to produce the same result and from what I understand the commercial electric shock both also accomplishes the same results when done properly (sadly too many times not the case and not practical for the home flock raiser).
    After placing the birds in a kill cone (upside down) I allow then to rest for a few minutes- they appear to relax (its noticeable). Then I hold the birds head and gently extend the neck down. With the scalpel starting at eh base of the skull on the back side of the neck/spine I make a steady pulling cut under the ear/jaw/ neck extending towards the front of the throat but stopping short of cutting the trachea & esophagus. I use moderate pressure to insure the cut is at least 1cm deep. You'll know when you hit the veins. I then stick the brain using a separate sturdier blade ( a mini Flathead screwdriver sharpened to a point - Dexter Russel make a poultry sticker for about $8 too). The birds are done in less than 5 minutes. I really believe the scalpel is the right tool for this job, I have plenty of sharp knives but they surgical cut is extra clean and I believe less painfully (I've accidental cut myself with these and not noticed). Hope this helps.
     

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