Where exactly is the jugular?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by SomeChickinTN, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. SomeChickinTN

    SomeChickinTN Songster

    203
    359
    126
    Nov 19, 2018
    E TN
    I'm thinking of processing a few chickens for the first time this weekend, and I'm leaning towards using a cone. I've been trying to watch YouTube videos, but idk if the videos are censored or if I am using the wrong search terms, because there aren't many videos....

    I'm gathering that you want to cut above the (upside down) ear, and you want to do it hard enough to hit the vein, but not hard enough to cut the wind pipe? And how long does it take to bleed out before you can scald them? Would it be easier to put them in the cone and just cut the head off?
    I have no idea which method I'll prefer, I just don't want to screw up.
     
    NewBoots, black_fleet and Melky like this.
  2. Cyprus

    Cyprus Master of the 'never give up' attitude

    9,369
    38,201
    1,047
    Jan 19, 2018
    The jugular has two parts and is located on either side (left and right) of the neck. The Windpipe is slightly behind them. A clean, shallow cut (about 1inch) should slice the jugulars but not the windpipe.
     
  3. BGcoop

    BGcoop Songster

    201
    592
    146
    Aug 5, 2018
    I’ve never butchered anything, but what would be the problem with cutting the windpipe?
     
    TwoCrows and black_fleet like this.
  4. A_Fowl_Guy

    A_Fowl_Guy Crowing

    753
    4,179
    273
    Jan 29, 2019
    Newberry, Indiana
    They would suffocate and that releases adrenaline into the meat and gives it a gamey taste.

    You want to let it bleed for 10 minutes OP.
     
  5. black_fleet

    black_fleet Chirping

    38
    60
    81
    Feb 4, 2019
    Florida
    NewBoots and TwoCrows like this.
  6. BGcoop

    BGcoop Songster

    201
    592
    146
    Aug 5, 2018
    Oh, thanks.:thumbsup
     
    NewBoots and black_fleet like this.
  7. A_Fowl_Guy

    A_Fowl_Guy Crowing

    753
    4,179
    273
    Jan 29, 2019
    Newberry, Indiana
    That is an advanced technique. I use the sticking method for my chickens. Beheading is the quickest and most newbie friendly way of dispatching a bird. They flap like crazy though.
     
  8. Farmer Doc

    Farmer Doc Chirping

    87
    134
    71
    Feb 24, 2018
    We use the cone to calm and restrain them and then decapitate them with extremely sharp tree loppers - quick and clean. They do go through the death throws but they are typically contained with the right size cone and, if you want to be sure, a bungee across the top. Do what you feel you can do well so that there is no unnecessary suffering on the part of the animal. You will also "feel better" too.
     
  9. SomeChickinTN

    SomeChickinTN Songster

    203
    359
    126
    Nov 19, 2018
    E TN
    Did you try different methods before you settled on one? I'm leaning towards a cone, but maybe trying the loppers instead of slicing. It seems to me that cutting the head off is more fool proof than possibly screwing up the vein. But I am worried about losing control of the bird trying to lay it down and cut it's head off. So I could put it in the cone and use the loppers and let it bleed out there, right?
     
  10. Rose Quartz

    Rose Quartz Crossing the Road

    there is a video here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/where-is-the-jugular-vein-and-carotid-artery.883355/

    I'm right handed. Generally I have someone else to hold the birds legs. While it's upside down I have the chin toward me. Left hand holding their head comb kinda sits in the middle knuckles of my hand, and thumb across the bottom of their beak/chin. I put the knife just under their jaw bone on both my, and the birds left. And use as much pressure as I can to cut. Depending on the breed it may take 2 goes with the knife. some have thicker skin, some have more feathers that mess with the knife. there should be a steady stream of blood. There's a lot less blood than I originally expected. Myself I only cut the one side, because every time I've tried doing both I've ended up cutting myself.

    Before you cut do a double check your fingers where are they? Do your best not to cut yourself. Your face, and shoes how close are you? You should be about 2 feet away, or more if you can, to avoid getting blood on you.

    If you have to do it on your own it is possible. Once you have them in the cone, hold their legs with one hand have the knife in your pocket or within reach. use your other hand (if you're right handed preferably use your left to hold their head so you don't have to switch) to pull them down and stretch their neck down. Hold on to their legs and head until they're calm. Cover their eyes if you can, it helps them settle faster.

    Once their calm let go of their legs and hang on to them in case they try to back out. Get your knife with your free hand. And kill them as quickly as you can. Once they're bleeding there is usually about 30 - 60 seconds before the death throes start. In that gap of time you can grab their legs again. Which both keeps the bird from backing out of the cone, and from damaging itself.

    Some birds actually don't kick that much, some kick for far longer than you expect.

    What I watch for, for the end of the kicking is the neck feathers will stand on end, there's usually one more kick after that, and then the body will fully relax.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: