Trouble "offing"

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ChickenPotPie, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. ChickenPotPie

    ChickenPotPie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 23, 2009
    California
    So, I thought I was a tough girl. I can off, skin, gut, and divide a cute, fluffy bunny rabbit with no problem at all but, apparently I have trouble with chicken. [​IMG] The "offing" part mainly.

    I've used several humane methods to kill my rabbits and have settled on "broomsticking" (cervical dislocation) as top choice, hands down. When it comes to chicken I've chopped off their head and broomsticked. Both work well but the broomsticking seems more gentle.

    Well, I was planning on butchering a big batch of meaties yesterday. Prior to this, I had only done the occasional small batch of multi-purpose cockerels or individuals. I had high hopes that I could get 10 done in no time. I decided to try slitting their throats and just let them "drift off" like I've seen in so many Youtube videos.

    I tried it and it seriously sucked! First, I had to try to cut their throats at least 4 times each. By the time I got one side done, I was so rattled I just let them bleed out on the one side. No animal wants to get cut twice. >.< And bleed out was NOT an easy "drift" for the birds. Sure, they were confined to the cone so it was convenient for me to not have headless chickens running around flinging blood everywhere but I'm more concerned about the bird. They seemed quite uncomfortable as they tried to struggle, twisted their necks, and gasped. [​IMG]

    I don't like the idea of hurting my food. I'd much rather they never see what's coming. Is it possible to have a nice, drift off into the next life for these birds by slitting their throats? What am I doing wrong?

    I had to stop at 3 birds. It just didn't seem right. I have about 25 more to go and they're quite heavy so I need to process them this weekend. I could really use some help/advice. [​IMG]
     
  2. Salt and Light

    Salt and Light Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 20, 2008
    Osteen, FL
    Killing should NEVER be easy or fun. It's a job that must be done but it's not an enjoyable one.

    You mention slicing their throats. If that's what you are doing, it's not the best way. Instead, you want to slice the chickens neck on the side just underneath their "jaw". This way you cut carotid artery and jugular vein. The bird's windpipe stays intact and there is not the sudden loss of oxygen. Instead, the bird dies within 30 seconds. There is no flapping until after the bird is dead, at least that's my belief. I usually slice only one side of the neck but will occasionally do both sides.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Use a sharp knife to the side of the head below the jaw line, as stated. If you just grabbed a knife without running it on a steel, or sharpening beforehand, you may have the results you encountered. I bought a linoleum knife just for killing.

    http://www.shagtools.com/pages/fullsize.cfm?Item=221
     
  4. terri9630

    terri9630 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2009
    New Mexico
    We remove the whole head to be certain of death. One cut from the back. They never see it coming. Now if I could just get myself to eat some of our rabbits..... I have a hard time with those.
     
  5. ChickenPotPie

    ChickenPotPie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 23, 2009
    California
    Hmmm, I was sure I had replied to this. In any case, THANK YOU all for your advice. I need to get my knives sharpened properly and cut closer to the jawline.

    Terri, I wish we live closer together, we could trade butchering chores. [​IMG] You should look up your state rabbit club or 4H extension office and ask for someone to teach you. That's how I learned. That and a lot of support from friends plus practice.
     
  6. terri9630

    terri9630 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2009
    New Mexico
    Quote:Come on over! We have fewer taxes for the moment.
    I can butcher them just fine. It's the eating I have problems with. The chickens aren't pets, I've had lots of rabbits for pets and just can't get them down. It's all in my head....... Does that make me nuts?
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2010
  7. ChickenPotPie

    ChickenPotPie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 23, 2009
    California
    Quote:Come on over! We have fewer taxes for the moment.
    I can butcher them just fine. It's the eating I have problems with. The chickens aren't pets, I've had lots of rabbits for pets and just can't get them down. It's all in my head....... Does that make me nuts?

    No. Not at all. You just need to not name your food. [​IMG] I've learned to reserve names for my show animals and I'm very picky about what I keep. Sometimes, I'll even distance my heart until they've proven themselves on the show table. I give them all the same care but I only let a very few into my heart. Those I let in, I cannot/will not eat. [​IMG] Those are my pets.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2010
  8. terri9630

    terri9630 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2009
    New Mexico
    Quote:Come on over! We have fewer taxes for the moment.
    I can butcher them just fine. It's the eating I have problems with. The chickens aren't pets, I've had lots of rabbits for pets and just can't get them down. It's all in my head....... Does that make me nuts?

    No. Not at all. You just need to not name your food. [​IMG] I've learned to reserve names for my show animals and I'm very picky about what I keep. Sometimes, I'll even distance my heart until they've proven themselves on the show table. I give them all the same care but I only let a very few into my heart. Those I let in, I cannot/will not eat. [​IMG] Those are my pets.

    All of my ainmals have had names. Dinner, supper, rotisseree, BBQ, pork chop, bacon, Tbone.. Porterhouse was my favorite. He broke my foot but man was he delicious!
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2010
  9. annageckos

    annageckos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 6, 2009
    SE PA / NJ
    My suggestion for a good sharp knife is actually a scalpel. Get a metal handle and packs of 100 blades are cheap. You can get them off Ebay or any medical supply shops.
     
  10. AlaskGirl

    AlaskGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2010
    I just took my non-layer to a friend's house tonight and watched what I could while preventing my 3 yo from seeing too much! I didn't get to see the dismembering but I was very curious to see what her reproductives were like because she'd been laying shell-less eggs sporadically for a while after our dog attacks this summer. She was my piggy and loudest besides, I wasn't sentimental but I am still not to the point where I could do all the steps comfortably. So far, dinner for them, knowledge for me! One step closer.
     

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