Slitting vs Chopping

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by SKILLET, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. SKILLET

    SKILLET Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2010
    What are the advantages of slitting vs Chopping?

    I processed 5 this weekend and used a timber with 2 nails, I put the head between the two nails and stretched, then i choped...

    they flopped for a minute while i held them, it seemed quick and easy...

    Is it better for the chicken? the end is the same...
     
  2. klnlehmann

    klnlehmann Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 25, 2007
    Growing up we always chopped. then they would flop chickens, around the yard turkeys, we would hang so they wouldn't break a wing or leg.

    My family is the 'if you can't kill it in one shot, don't shoot' kinda family. When my dad agreed to dispatch my extra chickens for me he looked at the slitting method, with the cone. He didn't like it, said it looked awfully mean and stressfull. He would never do it that way.

    Me, I could never do either, so maybe my opinion doesn't matter.
     
  3. JohnL11935

    JohnL11935 Chillin' With My Peeps

    You will hear many opinions on this subject - it comes down what works best for your.

    I am a proponent of using cones and a very sharp knife to slit the carotid/jugular vessels on both sides of the neck. Its my experience that chickens placed upside down in the cones provides a sedative effect and the blood letting causes a quick death with very little struggling. On processing day I usually set up four cones. Chickens are placed in the cones, the cut is made, then this person is able to assist with other parts of the processing while the chickens bleed out.

    Chopping causes struggling by the bird (with the potential of damaging wings and legs) and inefficient bleeding. It also causes a slow down in processing as one person is tied up chopping and holding the bird, or supervising it when it flops all over the ground. Depending on the size of your crew and the number of birds this may not be an issue.

    Once again this is MY experience and opinion, YMMV.
     
  4. klnlehmann

    klnlehmann Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 25, 2007
    Thank you for that. Like I said, I could not do either so you are right, whatever works best.
     
  5. glassparman

    glassparman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I agree with this process. It seems as if GOD did not give chickens much in the way of nerve endings in their neck. When you use the cone and slit the jugular, they don't seem to fret or squak. I even noticed that when I did this process on CXR, they pass out when they are upside down and don't even know what's going on. I think that was because of the weight and blood pressure when upsided down but none the less, they all seem very calm when they are upside down.

    My opinion, (even though it's based on Biblical princibles of not eating an animal with the life blood in it), is that you should allow the animal to completely bleed out. I do not think they bleed out properly when you just cut the head off because the heart stops too quickly due to severerd spine. The cone/jugular process allows the heart to continue to beat until all the blood is gone.

    Just my 1.2 cents worth.
     
  6. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A quik Biology 101 refresher...eather with decapitation or arterial/ veinoid bleed out, a heart will continue to pump, even without any blood, untill there is no more oxygen and other nutrients being delivered to it's cells. So, due to lack of further essential nurishment and lack of removal of accumilating toxins in it's cells by the lack of blood causing them to die, then the heart slowly stops beating.
     
  7. mike67909

    mike67909 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pinckney, Michigan
    The heart actually beats independantly from the brain. Hearts have pacemaker cells which send electrical signals to the heart muscle to contract. So the heart will continue to beat for a short time after the head is severed from the body.

    I have used both methods, cone and chopping, and I prefer to chop the heads with a hatchet. I then put them in a cone to allow them to bleed out. I then throw them in a salt bath for about an hour to help draw blood out further (after gutting of course).

    I once disected the heart of a frog and put it in a salt solution and it kept beating for about a minute.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  8. mike67909

    mike67909 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 22, 2009
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    Quote:looks like we were thinking the samething
     
  9. sfessler

    sfessler Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 27, 2007
    I slit my first 10 this last weekend. The birds were calm and everything went smoothly, quietly, in a controlled manner with nearly no way to screw it up. Swinging an axe/hatchet leaves obvious chances for error that could result in a very unpleasant experience for all. I believe that the heart will keep pumping for awhile either way, however, it will beat longer with the head attached since the animal continues to breath and be pretty happy until the lack of blood finally kills it. Does a headless chicken continue to breath and supply the heart with the required oxygen? I don't think so. As such, the heart will stop sooner on a chopped bird.
     
  10. bigchicken2

    bigchicken2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chopping is less cruel. Slitting makes them have to suffocate. Chopping makes them die quick n' easy. They sometimes flop on the ground, but that just means they don't know they're dead yet. My dad told me when he was a kid his dad was chopping off a chicken's head, after it was chopped off, THE CHICKEN FLEW!!! It hit the side of the barn neck first and then it knew it was dead so it died.
     

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