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How do you kill your birds at butchering time do you breck there necks and hang then slit there throat's?
 

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I use to use the hatchet and stump method, but they flop quite violently, I had several cornish cross actually flop so hard, they broke wings and had bones poke through skin.
Now I hang them upside down, slit their throat, they bleed out and have q couple of "siesures" but nothing too bad.
 

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DixieBee said:
I use to use the hatchet and stump method, but they flop quite violently, I had several cornish cross actually flop so hard, they broke wings and had bones poke through skin.
Now I hang them upside down, slit their throat, they bleed out and have q couple of "siesures" but nothing too bad.
This is what I have done on the four we have done. I just need to get better at finding the jugular, I missed on one the other day and was so sad by it.
 

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I use the broomstick method, also known as cervical dislocation. I find it easier and I know the animal not suffering that way.

I did a lot of research to find what was right for our farm.
 

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Sweetened said:
I use the broomstick method, also known as cervical dislocation. I find it easier and I know the animal not suffering that way.

I did a lot of research to find what was right for our farm.
I need to google that one, I did see another way to knock them out first, my fear, learning how to hit them just right, and not having to keep doing it over and over.
 

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I need to google that one, I did see another way to knock them out first, my fear, learning how to hit them just right, and not having to keep doing it over and over.
I don't whack them in the head.

I'm a bit of a carebear, so I take quite a bit of time with my birds to calm them.

You hold them by their feet, upside down and lay them chest down on the ground. Their neck needs to be stretched so the bottom of their beak rests relatively flat on the floor. They'll usually fight the first couple times because it's awkward, but, especially if they trust you, they'll stay somewhat still. There is a right and a wrong way to do the next step. Chicken's necks don't snap that easily, however the top inch or so (on standard sized birds) right by the base of their skull allows for easy dislocation of the head. If it drops down beyond that point, you'll crush their trachea and paralyze them, causing them to suffer (made that mistake once, won't happen again).

Once the bird is calm enough to be still when pressing their beak down, use a long pole, like a broomstick or strong (but not overly heavy) pipe to do the deed. I lay the pipe over their neck, position my feet to be relatively close to the head, less than shoulder width apart. When I'm ready, I hold the bird's beak with my index finger from underneath to stretch it out and lay it flat, holding the stick with my thumb so it slides up. Then in a motion that takes about 1.5 to 2 seconds to complete, I step down on the left side, down on the right side and pull up with the birds legs. You have 2 options with this, you can pull hard enough the head comes off (some chickens seem to have this happen easier than others, almost like their heads were never attached, or you can pull to stretch the neck and leave the head on. The bird will flap, I prefer to hold them close to the ground, seeing them flounder makes me sick to my stomach (again, carebear). This death is instantaneous, really. There's 3 seconds of panic at most, however as soon as you pull, if your placement is right, the brain stem is severed and the animal is dead.

I try to leave the head on for 2 reasons: I take the feathers, I prefer them to not be bloody when I do and all the blood collects by the head in the throat. Once the animal is done bleeding out you just cut the skin keeping the neck attached and there's less cleanup. If you plan to use the head for stock, you need to pull the head clean off as all the blood will make the head useless for that purpose.

I'm considering making a thorough video of the process, however I haven't done so yet. Maybe early spring.

If you have any more questions, I'm happy to try to answer them for you.
 

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Does anyone use a pick to sever the brain stem before bleeding them out? I saw this on YouTube... someone took an ice pick or something similar and inserted it into the bird's mouth and pushed it into the brain. He said it's supposed to kill them instantaneously so they didn't feel anything or flop around. I am trying to find the most humane method to dispatch some cockerels I hatched as I can't have roosters here. I tried to find someone around here to do it for me but I sort of feel like this would just stress out the poor things and I would never know if they were treated with respect or put down humanely. So I have been looking up different methods. This one sounded pretty good. What are your thoughts?
 

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Sweetened said:
I don’t whack them in the head.

I’m a bit of a carebear, so I take quite a bit of time with my birds to calm them.

You hold them by their feet, upside down and lay them chest down on the ground. Their neck needs to be stretched so the bottom of their beak rests relatively flat on the floor. They’ll usually fight the first couple times because it’s awkward, but, especially if they trust you, they’ll stay somewhat still. There is a right and a wrong way to do the next step. Chicken’s necks don’t snap that easily, however the top inch or so (on standard sized birds) right by the base of their skull allows for easy dislocation of the head. If it drops down beyond that point, you’ll crush their trachea and paralyze them, causing them to suffer (made that mistake once, won’t happen again).

Once the bird is calm enough to be still when pressing their beak down, use a long pole, like a broomstick or strong (but not overly heavy) pipe to do the deed. I lay the pipe over their neck, position my feet to be relatively close to the head, less than shoulder width apart. When I’m ready, I hold the bird’s beak with my index finger from underneath to stretch it out and lay it flat, holding the stick with my thumb so it slides up. Then in a motion that takes about 1.5 to 2 seconds to complete, I step down on the left side, down on the right side and pull up with the birds legs. You have 2 options with this, you can pull hard enough the head comes off (some chickens seem to have this happen easier than others, almost like their heads were never attached, or you can pull to stretch the neck and leave the head on. The bird will flap, I prefer to hold them close to the ground, seeing them flounder makes me sick to my stomach (again, carebear). This death is instantaneous, really. There’s 3 seconds of panic at most, however as soon as you pull, if your placement is right, the brain stem is severed and the animal is dead.

I try to leave the head on for 2 reasons: I take the feathers, I prefer them to not be bloody when I do and all the blood collects by the head in the throat. Once the animal is done bleeding out you just cut the skin keeping the neck attached and there’s less cleanup. If you plan to use the head for stock, you need to pull the head clean off as all the blood will make the head useless for that purpose.

I’m considering making a thorough video of the process, however I haven’t done so yet. Maybe early spring.

If you have any more questions, I’m happy to try to answer them for you.
You not in the Galveston tx area are ya? If so, I would love to learn more in person, or anyone near for that fact.
 

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Does anyone use a pick to sever the brain stem before bleeding them out? I saw this on YouTube... someone took an ice pick or something similar and inserted it into the bird's mouth and pushed it into the brain. He said it's supposed to kill them instantaneously so they didn't feel anything or flop around. I am trying to find the most humane method to dispatch some cockerels I hatched as I can't have roosters here. I tried to find someone around here to do it for me but I sort of feel like this would just stress out the poor things and I would never know if they were treated with respect or put down humanely. So I have been looking up different methods. This one sounded pretty good. What are your thoughts?
I considered this method as well, and have likely seen the videos you have. I think if you have a small flock you handle often, along with another person to assist you, as the animal must be very still, it could be possible. You'd also have to be very precise about hitting the brain and your push through, it's not something you could do slowly and try and get right. I worry that without someone adept in that method to coach you in person, you have a lot of chance for error, causing trauma and pain. There's also a video of someone using the throat cut method and then piercing the brain to stop the flailing, supposedly it controls the release of adrenaline, however I'm not sure how true that is as I have nothing for comparison

Doing things by cervical dislocation (also how I cull young chicks if there's a need, using a large hemoclamp) allows you to do the deed with only one person, only primitive tools (if need be, a stick stick could be used) and, once you know the anatomy of the bird and where you need the stick to end up, creates a consistently successful, relatively easy (and I hate the thought of the kill being easy) method that gives the same results every time.

Jim; said:
You not in the Galveston tx area are ya? If so, I would love to learn more in person, or anyone near for that fact.
Unfortunately no, though I lived in the southern United Sates for several years, I returned home to Canada. I have one last rooster I need to harvest into the freezer tomorrow, I can make a video that shows the method clearly as well as the general anatomy you want to look for and learn when placing the stick on your bird. If you think it'll help you, I'll post it on youtube and provide a link here.

I've never made a video before and I'm rather goofy looking, but I'll try and be thorough and provide the information you need that some videos are unclear on.

Talk soon, and message me any time you like if you have questions. I haven't been doing this for 'a long time', but I'm going on my third year and I have a tendency to learn hands on, so I know what works for me here.
 

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Sweetened said:
I considered this method as well, and have likely seen the videos you have. I think if you have a small flock you handle often, along with another person to assist you, as the animal must be very still, it could be possible. You'd also have to be very precise about hitting the brain and your push through, it's not something you could do slowly and try and get right. I worry that without someone adept in that method to coach you in person, you have a lot of chance for error, causing trauma and pain. There's also a video of someone using the throat cut method and then piercing the brain to stop the flailing, supposedly it controls the release of adrenaline, however I'm not sure how true that is as I have nothing for comparison

Doing things by cervical dislocation (also how I cull young chicks if there's a need, using a large hemoclamp) allows you to do the deed with only one person, only primitive tools (if need be, a stick stick could be used) and, once you know the anatomy of the bird and where you need the stick to end up, creates a consistently successful, relatively easy (and I hate the thought of the kill being easy) method that gives the same results every time.

Unfortunately no, though I lived in the southern United Sates for several years, I returned home to Canada. I have one last rooster I need to harvest into the freezer tomorrow, I can make a video that shows the method clearly as well as the general anatomy you want to look for and learn when placing the stick on your bird. If you think it'll help you, I'll post it on youtube and provide a link here.

I've never made a video before and I'm rather goofy looking, but I'll try and be thorough and provide the information you need that some videos are unclear on.

Talk soon, and message me any time you like if you have questions. I haven't been doing this for 'a long time', but I'm going on my third year and I have a tendency to learn hands on, so I know what works for me here.
Sounds good, can't wait to see the link. And at least a video with someone I can as questions of.
 

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I use a killing cone fashioned out of a large bleach jug and a sharp knife to the throat. It's quiet, calm and effective 100% of the time. I've used just about every method of killing in my life except shooting a chicken, and have found this to be the most effective for kill speed, less stress on the bird and effective bleed out.

The stabbing in the brain thing(pithing)? Tried it...it was the most inhumane and gruesome thing I've ever done to an animal. And, no, I don't think I missed the brain~ it was pouring out their mouths...as they looked at me and refused to die. I made literal scrambled brains out of those bird's skulls and they still hung there looking at me with the grey matter gore dripping out of their beaks. It was hard to stomach and I'm a nurse...I've seen it all. That was the worst.

Never again with the pithing. Ick. Sad. Disgusting.
 

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Bee said:
I use a killing cone fashioned out of a large bleach jug and a sharp knife to the throat. It's quiet, calm and effective 100% of the time. I've used just about every method of killing in my life except shooting a chicken, and have found this to be the most effective for kill speed, less stress on the bird and effective bleed out.

The stabbing in the brain thing(pithing)? Tried it...it was the most inhumane and gruesome thing I've ever done to an animal. And, no, I don't think I missed the brain~ it was pouring out their mouths...as they looked at me and refused to die. I made literal scrambled brains out of those bird's skulls and they still hung there looking at me with the grey matter gore dripping out of their beaks. It was hard to stomach and I'm a nurse...I've seen it all. That was the worst.

Never again with the pithing. Ick. Sad. Disgusting.
Do you have a pic of your cone. I keep thinking about that but haven't found one to make that looks simple. And the prefab ones are expensive! Also, does you bleach bottle one hold a Cornish cross, or just standard bird?
 

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Mine all averaged at 9-10 lbs at 8 wks and I just kept them going to 11 wks to see if they would get bigger, but they sort of plateaued out at that weight. They were free ranged and fed once a day on layer mash and cracked corn...never had a health problem and were pleasant to raise.
 

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Some people (as I understand ) use those cones that you see along Roadways ( Construction Zones ).
My Son just uses a BIG KNIFE that I made from a "Horseshoe Rasp". He uses it like an axe or a cleaver.
( Hatchet & Stump )
-ReTIRED- :)
 
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