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Slit Throats or Decapitation? What should I do??

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

  1. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Overrun With Chickens

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    I've done the bonk method with quail. You don't whack them hard enough to kill them, just enough to stun them. Makes life MUCH easier when butchering quail. I plan to do similar with the chickens. I hope that I can just walk up to them and smack them in the back of the head with a piece of rebar, then hang and cut. I'll probably be hanging them with clothesline from a tree branch.
     
  2. randyandmegs

    randyandmegs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From everything I have read and heard if the meat is brusing then has not been bled out well enough because its the blood that causes the brusing. No blood no brusing. From watching Polyface use the slit method in a cone they claim that, that kills the bird and the movement afterwords is just muscle twitching/spasms. Just my 2 cents
     
  3. Peruvian

    Peruvian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If this is your first time processing you will need to decide what you are most comfortable with. Everyone decides what they feel is humane and then stick with it. I originally cut off the heads with a hatchet but found that using a killing cone with two slits to the arteries was how I could deal with doing my own processing. Have respect for the animal and you will find the best solution for you.
     
  4. Dust Bunny

    Dust Bunny Chillin' With My Peeps

  5. bja105

    bja105 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 3, 2009
    Western PA
    I have been cutting the carotid and jugular, on the sides of the neck near the ears, not the throat. If you cut the wind pipe, the bird breathes blood and could panic. A sharp knife to the sides of the neck couldn't hurt much, and the bird calmly bleeds out.

    Last year, I did one with a hatchet, just to see. It ran around like a chicken with its head cut off, after me, then into the creek.
     
  6. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Overrun With Chickens

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    Do they actually run, or is it more of a flop and flutter? I've done quail before, but never let them down to see if they'd run. I'm morbidly curious.
     
  7. bja105

    bja105 Out Of The Brooder

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    The legs and wings moved vigorously. The result was it moved, but didn't really run. It also was good at rolling downhill. We thought it was funny, but went back to cutting arteries.
     
  8. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I cut... if you have a sharp knife it is painless in my opinion but hey I'm not a chicken. I can tell by their reaction that it's not overwhelming pain, it would be like getting a slit from a razor blade to your finger. You freak out more than anything but it doesn't actually hurt, you look at your finger and realize how much blood is coming out of your finger and think you may have cut it off and completely lose it. I have a feeling that a cut to the throat would be the same.

    As long as you do not cut the windpipe the bird remains calm, but if you cut the windpipe they suffocate.... which is no good.

    But I will be honest if your looking for what is the most humane.... taking an axe is your best bet. However since I sell mine and we do 200-300 at a time I can't have chickens flopping all over my yard. I have to be efficient and humane at the same time.
     
  9. SteveH

    SteveH Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2009
    West/Central IL
    Quote:I worked in a pork processing plant where the hogs were all stunned and then bled out while living . We [ those of us working the pens to drive them to the stun chute ] were not allowed to use anything other than " poppers " to drive them because , even though thoroughly bled out , every mark from a sorting cane , whip , or even the two spots from a shocker showed on the meat . Of course the marks were from before they got to the chute and had minutes to hours to form . Truckers and farmers did use the shockers and you could sometimes see the marks on the backsides of the ham skin . [ Poppers is one term for a stitched piece of broad canvas that makes a loud noise but no pain or bruise ; kind'a like the effect of clapping your hands together . ]
    While I've always slaughtered chickens by wringing their necks and turning them loose in the past , now that I'm getting back into it I'll use cones and decapitate with a filet knife .
     
  10. Kylena

    Kylena New Egg

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    When we first did the dirty deed we chopped...and it was shocking to see how much they did run around. The second time we slit...and it was easier for me, but I'm not sure how the birds felt. I think I did cut the wind pipe...so, not good. Otherwise the birds seemed calmer as they left this life.
    I lived in India for a while and it was interesting to see the butchers kill chickens there. The chicken was weighed, given a last drink of water, throat slit, and thrown in a drawer to flop around. Once dead the bird was gutted quickly. the skin was slit in a few spots, and the butcher pulled the skin and feathers off like a shirt. I've never seen anyone do that in America, though I would like to know how. The bird was cut up and bagged for you within 5 minutes of being alive. Amazing...and still warm.[​IMG]
     

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