Why not chop their heads off?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by cheirogloss, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. cheirogloss

    cheirogloss In the Brooder

    Aug 23, 2009
    Lenoir, NC
    We are preparing for meat birds in the spring and thinking about our processing ability. When I was growing up, my grandmother would just chop the chickens' heads off on a block and go from there. Now it seems using a kill cone and slitting their throats is the most popular method of slaughter. I understand that slitting the throats keeps the heart pumping longer and therefore they drain more easily. Other than this, why not just chop off their heads? I mean, is there really something wrong or bad about the decapitation method of slaughter?
  2. WoodChic

    WoodChic The Chic Chick

    Oct 27, 2009
    KKV HQ
    I don't really understand the difference. I mean, we put them in a cone, and chop off their heads with an axe. Is there another way they do it?
  3. Cindiloohoo

    Cindiloohoo Quiet as a Church Mouse

    Dec 19, 2009
    Southwest TN
    Nope my grandma done it for years and still would if she could see well enough to tell which end to chop. [​IMG] The old methods still work. That's the method I will use when I slaughter because that's the method I know. Thanks to granny [​IMG]
  4. Chick_a_dee

    Chick_a_dee Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Peterborough, ON
    We do the killing cone and cut the head off with a knife. Some of our egg customers were horrified when they saw the big red stain on the tree we have our killing cone on LOL hilarious.
  5. Andi

    Andi Songster

    How ever you want to do it is up to you. I personally use the cone method (although mine is home made). The reason I use it is it contains the birds, all the blood can be drained into a bucket underneath them, and there's little likelihood of the birds breaking a wing when their nerves take over. The blood being able to be completely disposed of is important to us. We have close neighbors with dogs and no fenced yards. I don't need to be encouraging dogs to come into the yard. We also have young kids in the neighborhood and we don't think it would be appropriate to have the chickens flaling around for them to see. What their children see should be a decision for the parents. I don't need to upset my neighbors. Discretion also played into our decision. One added benefit was the birds remained fairly calm through the whole ordeal.

    Best of luck in what ever decision you choose.
  6. ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Songster

    Jan 22, 2009
    we give them the axe - no problem. make sure its really sharp and have a good sturdy block. just have a good hold on them when they start flapping. i think its more a personal choice than anything.

    old school still works here!
  7. PaulaJoAnne

    PaulaJoAnne Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    We improvised a cone hung over a 50 gallon drum. It caught all the blood, so the only sign we had of butchering, was feathers from the plucker.
    Chopping heads does work, but it is much messier.

    The cone was a plastic pot from the greenhouse, two holes cut near the top edge, and a dowel stuck through that.
    The bottom had a hole big enough for the head. Stuck the chicken in, slid the rid through, hung it over the barrel, and presto.
    This also made it a little less traumatic for the little ones that were "helping" that day, as they could not see the blood letting.
  8. Buster52

    Buster52 Songster

    Jan 28, 2009
    Geronimo Oklahoma
    To answer the question "why not chop"...

    The bird doesn't bleed out as well as it does when properly slit.

    That is the only advantage I can see to slitting. There is split opinion over whether more bleed out is a good thing. Some say the blood actually makes the meat taste better. However, if you sell your birds, blood in the bird might bother some of your clients, since they are used to birds from the store that have been slit. They might need reeducating.

    I chop. I know folks say slitting is a fast death, but I can't imagine it being faster than chopping for someone who can do it with a single swing, and a fast, humane death is the big thing for me.

    As to messes, well, wiring the bird's feet together, chopping, then hanging from that wire over a bucket seems to me just as clean as a cone. Nothing wrong with cones, mind you, and I don't blame or judge folks for slitting, but I prefer chopping.
  9. Ibicella

    Ibicella Songster

    Nov 13, 2009
    Everett, WA
    Nope, nothing wrong with chopping. Some people just prefer slitting because they feel the bird is calmer, its less messy, and it bleeds out better.

    And then there are clumsy dimwits like me who just shouldn't be swinging around sharp axes. [​IMG]
  10. rittert3

    rittert3 Songster

    May 1, 2009
    Ks (Manhattan area)

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