Where the 'blinkety-blank" is that jugular vein?!!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by goldnchocolate, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. goldnchocolate

    goldnchocolate Chillin' With My Peeps

    776
    4
    143
    May 9, 2008
    Massachusetts
    I have just killed my third rooster and still can't find the jugular vein when I cut. Can someone please help me out by being very specific on locating the jugular vein on the chicken while it is in the killing cone? Is one side of the neck better than the other? I feel as if I am failing my roos since I had only wanted to kill them quick and humanely and it's turning out to be quite an ordeal for them as I keeping trying again and again to find that vein.

    I have on more rooster (for today) ,waiting in a cage, that I am going to do in a minute. Hopefully things will go well for him.
     
  2. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,429
    49
    173
    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    In parrots the jugular is larger on the Left side of the bird. I'm not sure if it's the same in chickens, but I don't see any reason why it would. The jugular is very lateral, more to the side than the front, and located in a "featherless" tract on the neck which you can probably find if you use a spray bottle or wet rag and dampen the feathers on the neck and part them. You should be able to apply pressure at the base of the neck with your finger and cause the jugular vein to "pop" up the way a nurse would apply pressure to the vein in your arm before sticking you with a needle to draw blood.
     
  3. Hillsvale

    Hillsvale Chillin' With My Peeps

    922
    2
    131
    Oct 20, 2009
    Hillsvale, Nova Scotia
    I have found that below the ear and back a bit works great... it is definate further back than I anticipated. Even when you get a great bleed they still can kick long after I would expect.
     
  4. goldnchocolate

    goldnchocolate Chillin' With My Peeps

    776
    4
    143
    May 9, 2008
    Massachusetts
    Thanks to all who replied! Well, I found it this time. I took my big Cutco chef's knife with me, got behind the chicken in the cone, grabbed it by his head and stretched. Then I took a deep breath and did one deep cut. It started bleeding heavily right away. It was so much faster than my other attempts. I also have a sticking knife which I tried to pith with first but it didn't kill him outright--still blinking his eyes at me---so that is when I did the deep slice.

    I would love to hear about other's botched first attempts and how you improved your methods.
     
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Seriously, you really do not have to isolate the carotid and jugular on these birds to insure a humane death. A quick and deep slice from left to right under the wattles will hit all the right spots. I severe everything but the spinal vertebrae and you can feel this bone scraping your knife blade and enable you to measure your depth of cut.

    Cutting the trachea will not choke or impair the birds ability to breathe in the last few moments of its life, so avoiding this area is not necessary. Upon examination of the trachea after a full cut, you will find no bloody residue in the trachea past the cut site....it is impossible for them to breathe bloody drainage into their lungs as they are hanging upside down. After examining many, many birds for this, I can verify that no blood can be found in the length of the trachea or bronchial trees.

    On the contrary, if you do not open this additional airway, the blood may drain down into the nasal and throat passages as the bird attempts to breathe cause some obstruction.
     
  6. goldnchocolate

    goldnchocolate Chillin' With My Peeps

    776
    4
    143
    May 9, 2008
    Massachusetts
    Quote:I had read that they panic in the last few minutes because if the trachea is cut they struggle to get a breath. My idea was to let them bleed from the cut and slowly lose consciousness without any stress except from the initial slice. I guess anything would be better than the botch jobs I did on the first three. I am encouraged by by how quickly it all went for the fourth roo when I actually found the vein on the first try.
     
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    When someone's airway is blocked and they cannot breathe, a doctor can open a stoma at the tracheal notch...in effect, opening a hole in the trachea. Problem is solved. Why then, would opening a hole in the trachea by slicing it fully open, create a panic of not being able to breathe? What you have been reading is someone who is imagining how they would feel if their trachea was cut open....it is not factual in regards to anatomy and physiology.

    Take it from a nurse who has worked on a vent unit and someone who has killed countless chickens over a lifetime...the birds can indeed breathe if you cut across the trachea...they just breathe from a different hole. Try it and see what you think then.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2010
    1 person likes this.
  8. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,194
    28
    211
    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    Quote:I had read that they panic in the last few minutes because if the trachea is cut they struggle to get a breath. My idea was to let them bleed from the cut and slowly lose consciousness without any stress except from the initial slice. I guess anything would be better than the botch jobs I did on the first three. I am encouraged by by how quickly it all went for the fourth roo when I actually found the vein on the first try.

    I agree about not cutting the trachea. If you make your cuts right below the earlobes, you will hit the right spot everytime. I use a 6" fillet knife. I start with the part of the blade right next to the handle, and make the cut by quickly pulling and using the entire 6" of the knife. Quick and easy. Usually the birds don't make a sound. They pass out, and a 30-45 seconds later, the final shutter.
     
  9. goldnchocolate

    goldnchocolate Chillin' With My Peeps

    776
    4
    143
    May 9, 2008
    Massachusetts
    Thanks everyone. I thought that I would share about how easy it was to dry pluck the second roo because I "pithed" it. Even though it was sort of time consuming, plucking the feathers, they released easily without pulling holes in the skin. I was able to get all of the feathers out with just my fingers and the wing feathers I did with some needle nosed pliers.

    The few roos that I have killed so far have been the bullys of the flock and they have testicles as big as pullet eggs!!! All of that testosterone at work, I guess. I can't get over how peaceful the coop is tonight with just those 4 gone plus one more bully that is in a holding pen for tomorrow.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by