Slit Throats or Decapitation? What should I do??

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by JayUmmelVT, May 16, 2010.

  1. JayUmmelVT

    JayUmmelVT Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 13, 2010
    Planet Earth
    I have several weeks before processing my Freedom Rangers and am trying to decide which is best. I'm not overly sensitive, but the reason I raise my own birds is for the piece of mind that my meat was treated humanely prior to being on my plate. That being said, I was planning on using a killing cone and some large garden shears to quickly sever the brain stem through decapitation. But now I have read a couple of folks saying that slitting throats allows the heart to continue to pump for a moment or two longer, aiding in bleeding them out. They claimed this helped the meat keep longer. But without severing the spinal column, I would swear the bird feels a good deal of pain before passing out if throat is slit.

    I'm sure this has been addressed many times before on this site, but anyone have any thoughts on the matter?

    On a related thought, I have seen a video on YouTube of a gal who has swinging the bird over her head, hitting the head on a sawhorse knocking the bird out before slitting. She was sure the chicken didn't feel anything that way, but it seems to me that you would stand a good chance of killing the bird with the blow, defeating the purpose of utilizing the beating heart to help pump out the blood.

    What a fun topic for a Sunday Morning!
    Thanks in advance for any thoughts,

  2. Foleys

    Foleys Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 12, 2010
    I have no idea..Dont think I wanna find out either. Ill leave that job for the butcher... Goof luck..
  3. One Acre Wonder Farm

    One Acre Wonder Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2009
    I use the killing cone/decapitation method and I think it is just as effective as the throat slitting. The heart does pump for a couple more beats and the bird bleeds out quite well. I like knowing that it is over for the bird quickly and without a doubt. I think there is no difference in the finished bitd whatsoever. Just my two cents.
  4. nivtup

    nivtup Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2008
    Shelton Washington
    We slit. Just seems right to me.
  5. MareeZoCool

    MareeZoCool Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] I haven't experienced this chore, I've been looking for that cone thing to use the decapitation method. I saw a video, it looked humane and the chicken seemed not to suffer.
  6. CoopCrazy

    CoopCrazy Brooder Boss

    Mar 3, 2009
    Honestly I usually just use a hatchet but almost all my Cornish this year ended up with bruised meat or broken wings dye to flopping around.. I will be trying the killing cones next time...
  7. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    After yesterday's experiment with the decapitation, I'll stick to a single slit to the side of the jaw line. No muss, no fuss, and the birds just drift off.
  8. Buster52

    Buster52 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 28, 2009
    Geronimo Oklahoma
    Quote:This is just me, and no offense to those who do slit, but that is pretty much my thinking. The bird does die more quickly, and since humane treatment all the way through slaughter is my big deal and the primary reason for raising my own meat, that is what matters most. Even if you are talking a few seconds (most folks mention 30, but it can go to a minute a half), that can be forever for an animal in pain.

    It will not bleed out as quickly or as thoroughly, but there is no basis for the belief a better bleed out means it will keep longer. There is a difference in taste apparently (some say it is better), and of course there is the presence of a little blood in your freezer bag, but there really isn't much of it.

    I don't use cones, though. Waste of money for me. I instead wire the feet together, chop, and hang the bird from the hooks on my deer dressing stand (although a nail in any board parallel to the ground would to the same thing). I have yet to have a bruised or broken bird.

    This is my killing implement of choice...

  9. mxpres

    mxpres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 21, 2009
    I put mine in my homemade bleach bottle killing cone,Use prunning shears to cut the neck right below the wattles,,fast,clean,and the bird seems to bleed out just fine and no flopping around to break wings or bruise the meat,,works for me
  10. KatieH

    KatieH Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 17, 2010
    I've tried both and I think I prefer a good head chop. Not for humanitarian reason, it just seems to work better for us. I think you can still use the cone to do it to avoid bruising/broken wings. We have ours on a tree, just pull the head out with a string and chop it off.

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