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Straight razor for dispatching meat birds?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Sunny Side Up, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I want to improve my technique for dispatching the birds quickly & humanely. I consider it my final courtesy to these animals. What would be the best instrument for making a sure clean cut right to the neck arteries? The knives I use sometimes don't cut all the way in with the first stroke, I find myself having to saw back & forth a few times & feel so bad for the birds.

    The last time I was using a utility knife blade. But I'm always concerned about losing it in the grass, it's so small, and with such potential for danger if left undiscovered in the yard.

    What do you think about using a straight razor? The kind barbers use, a long sharp blade on a folding handle? Where could you buy one?

    Also, please tell me if I'm doing this correctly. I hang the birds from their zip-tied feet, their wings are held in place with duct tape. I hold the bird's head in one hand, over its eyes, & stretch the neck a bit. Then I slice right under the jaw bone, until I get a stream of blood. I do the side to my right, the bird's left, first, then do the more tricky other side, without letting go of the bird's head. I figure when I have 2 streams of blood going, I've cut the right places -- correct?

    It always unnerves me when they keep twitching & flipping after they've been cut, it's difficult to tell if it's a dead reflex or a live protest. That's why I was chopping heads at first, at least you knew you killed the bird with the first stroke.
     
  2. jnjross

    jnjross Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    edwards, ms
    dh uses a fish filleting knife, it's thin slim and a nice thick rubber grip
     
  3. wisdom_seeker

    wisdom_seeker Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 27, 2008
    CT
    I use the same fish fillet knife as I said in your other thread.

    You might want to get a killing cone also. Home depot has the orange street cones that you can quickly modify into one. I just cut one side of the neck and then lower the cone/chicken assembly into a bucket. Keeps everything clean and out of sight.
     
  4. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've used a fillet knife, and it didn't seem sharp enough. Then I switched to the utility knife blade also. The straight razor seems like a great idea if you can find one. Everything you're doing sounds fine.
     
  5. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Since I first posted this question I've been using a variety of tools, trying to find what works best. Today I was at WalMart to buy a new package of utility-knife blades for butchering today and found a type of blade labeled "Extra Sharp Paper Blades" made by Stanley, the package claims "Sharper than a scalpel". The package has a small picture of a hand using a utility knife to cut wallpaper, that must be what these blades are intented for. But I bought some to use for cutting the throats of the birds I was butchering today.

    I attatched a folded piece of yellow duct tape to the back of the blade, so it wouldn't get lost if dropped in the grass. And they really did seem to be extra sharp, they sliced easily right through the neck skin into the blood vessels. So if you try these, be extra careful to not cut your fingers while you're slicing!
     
  6. jamieneenah

    jamieneenah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 2, 2009
    I use this knife sharpener:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CSG9BE

    I did get a Henkle $110 knife also. But I have found, even with cheap knives ($20 Chicago cutlery), once I have a knife sharpened properly, it takes about as much effort to cut a head clean off as it does to cut through a carrot.

    Even the really expensive knifes doesn't hold a razor edge for that long and need honing / sharpening fairly often if you want to to cut effortlessly.

    In terms of utility razor blades, Irwin Bi-Metal blades are the sharpest on the market. Lenox utility blades are very sharp as well, but not quite as sharp as the Irwin, they are however a stronger blade and do last a bit longer. I'd use the irwin if I was going to use a utility blade for birds.

    Jamie
     
  7. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Wow... $150 for that knife sharpener... I guess if it works.

    Once again, my roo is almost 16 weeks, it's time to dispatch him and I'm going to rehome instead. I am such a softy and my little girl is so mad we are loosing the rooster.... but he is way TOO NOISY!
     
  8. jamieneenah

    jamieneenah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 2, 2009
    Quote:I bought mine on amazon at a christmas time gold box special for $70, but I would say it is easily worth the $150 to have really sharp knives. They make less expensive sharpeners as well, which might work just fine, I just don't have personal experience with them.

    Jamie
     
  9. Homesteading_Bound

    Homesteading_Bound Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2008
    Madison,Ohio
    I went to our local meat market. They sell there retired knives for $4.00. that they used to cut up all there meats...I'm going to try it this weekend.

    I also picked up a razor knife at one of the larger stores around here that opens and closes like a pocket knife. It has a safety latch so it won't close on you.
     
  10. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    You can buy the razors and the blades at beauty suppily stores.
     

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