Stun Before Slaughter


Aug 3, 2019
I am culling roosters and was taught to cut the jugular and let the chicken bleed for 10-15 seconds before cutting/pulling the head entirely off. After a few birds culled, I am not sure this technique is humane and would like to know if there are ways to easily and quickly stun the chicken before slaughter. I do not want my birds to feel any pain. They are owed utmost respect for giving up their lives to nourish my family, and I want to give them a quick and painless death, to include a calm 24 hours after capture and transfer from their isolation pen to the butchering area (a 70 foot walk)..

Truly, it would be nice if we could humanely stun the birds, as I understand is done at commercial slaughterhouses. Someone with knowledge of the process should invent a stun machine for personal/small farm use. Maybe just a sealed rooster-sized box that can be filled with carbon dioxide...?


Sep 10, 2018
Chop the head right off without cutting the carotid artery before hand, shoot it in the head with a .22 or high power pellet gun, any way to instantly end its life should work. That being said, I let mine bleed out because I think the quality of the meat is better that way, less blood in the joints. I use a single cut from a razor sharp knife so they don't feel it. Have you ever been accidentally cut by a razor without knowing it? I have. You could go five or more minutes bleeding without noticing a cut from a very sharp object. That is more than enough time for the bird to bleed out and die before it even feels the pain from the cut. It does take practice and I defintiely believe all lives need to be respected, but ultimately, every living creature dies. More often than not it is in a painful way. I think as long as you gave the bird a good life, and it's death is quick, you are doing the bird justice.
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Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Jun 7, 2020
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
I remove the whole head, one slice, with a SHARP! chef's knife. Not merely Sharp, or was once SHARP, or worst of all ShaRp!, but actually I just honed it and took it to the steel, SHARP!

The bird still moves plenty, i assure you, even though the head and the body are well and truly separated. Like the tail of a lizard dropped to distract predators.

With a little practice, you can feel the spot between the vertebrae where the knife will slide right through. Then draw back in a single clean motion.
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