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Old 19th December 2008, 10:35 PM   #1
moggy
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How do you kill chickens?

I know the theory - you either wring their necks or you stick a knife into the brain and twist.
But what is the best way of catching the blighter to begin with?
also recently we have had a couple of failed attempts at killing chickens (for the pot before anyone asks). One the neck was wrung, both of us heard the bones snap and the head was twisted about 360 and pulled (the way you are supposed to do it). When I put it down to start to pluck it, the darned thing got up and ran off. It was still alive and well the following day (we managed to shoot it). Next we read that the only real way to kill a chicken immediately without suffering was to stick a knife through under its jaw, into the brain and twist. We did this, chicken appeared to die quickly, until that is when it jumped up and ran off with the knife still through its head (not a pleasant sight believe me).
Next one - shot clean through the head, bleeding but still running about faster than we can. I know there can be automatic muscle movement in brain dead chickens, but this seems way beyond that

I hate animals suffering, so how the heck do you kill a chicken? The next one has got to be pretty well instant I am thinking knife through the head, then ready with the axe to chop the head off.

Before this year, we had no problem killing chickens immediately, I don't know what it is about this lot that just refuse to die.
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Old 19th December 2008, 11:04 PM   #2
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Re: How do you kill chickens?

oh god, I had the twisted neck young rooster running off undead many years ago, now it's out with the axe and off with their heads....quick and painless, (I hope).
good luck.
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Old 20th December 2008, 12:13 AM   #3
moggy
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Re: How do you kill chickens?

OK going to sharpen the axes
though I have read of the headless chicken that lived 18 months http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_the_Headless_Chicken
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Old 20th December 2008, 05:47 AM   #4
granny56r
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Re: How do you kill chickens?

Saw that guy Hugh Whittangly on TV, he stretched them in a certain way...no wringing of any kind, dislocation i think.

Apparently the most humane way......I don't appreciate cruelty to animals either.
We have always chopped off their heads but apparently it isn't a humane method either.

Look up the broomstick method....I think it's on here. You really need someone experienced to show you first though. All the best.
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Old 20th December 2008, 06:00 AM   #5
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Re: How do you kill chickens?

I've found the best way is an axe (not that I've done it often as yet, but my FIL does it that way every year). Keep the bird calm then take it by the legs, lay it out over a log and a good swing with a sharp axe or machete and your done. It will pump out blood and if you let it go it will run around. we find it's best to either hold it still on the log or use two hands (one still on feet and one near top of body) and just hold it to bleed out for a bit.

Good luck
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Old 20th December 2008, 07:09 AM   #6
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Re: How do you kill chickens?

No, no, no!
No twisting involved at all. I have done long detailed descriptions on here before-anybody know where? ....but here we go again!


Hold the bird by both legs in one hand, slip the head into your hand with the neck just behind the head between a V formed between the right index finger and the next finger to it it.

With the legs held firm with one hand and the head in the palm of your hand bent out at right angles to the body, pull firmly and contiuously downward until you feel the neck vertebrae part just about where the V formed by your fingers. You pull into the neck breaks but not the skin!
The bird will tense and then quiver and lastly flap and jump around with involountary spasms as long as the neck is broken properly. If you only stretch it you cause pain and damage.
Before you let go of the legs and put the flapping bird in a sack or bucket, or just on the ground-feel the gap width between the vertebrae-if you feel only skin- the deed is done!

Very quick and no fingers lost or mis aimed blows. Twisting by hand is not always very successful, especially on old tough birds.

Talking of old hens, roosters, ducks, geese and turkeys and for people with small or weaker wrists try the broomstick method.

Using a handle of a broom, spade or even axe-place the birds head under the handle, breast towards you, head facing away. Place a foot on the handle/stick, either side of the head, take the legs and pull upwards steadily until you feel the neck part at the vertebrae just behind the head, where the stick rests. Once again the bird tenses, quivers then flaps as it happens. Check there is a good gap in between the neck bones then let it flap till it stops-then pluck!
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Old 20th December 2008, 07:13 AM   #7
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Re: How do you kill chickens?

I use an air rifle pellet through the head. Instantly dead and not a heck of a lot of movment afterward. Due to injuries I can't do the head chopping I used to do.

When we were doing a very small scale commercial meat chook operation in the states, we used what's called a killing cone: chook head down in a cone which cradles the body and keeps the chook from hurting itself. Head goes through end of of cone, chook is stuck in the neck as you described above, and the jugulars are severed, all in one quick motion. There's hardly a flicker of movement as they bleed out.

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Old 20th December 2008, 07:53 AM   #8
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Re: How do you kill chickens?

Oh isn'nt this horrible I no I no it has to be discussed to be done in that very humane way, Gee I just can't do this at all I'm such a softie, mine would have to die of old age he he he even reading this its just so awful I just can't stand to see anything suffer at all.
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Old 20th December 2008, 08:06 AM   #9
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Re: How do you kill chickens?

We catch our birds with a large fish-landing net. Its by far the simplest way to catch them.

I have no faith in my ability to kill a chicken by neck pulling, so I hold the legs in one hand, the wings in the other, then swing the head of the chicken against something hard like a post, two or three times and while its unconscous, I gather the wing tips and legs in one hand and place the bird so its head is on the chopping block and with a hatchet in the other hand I chop the head off. I then hang the bird up by the feet from an old basket ball hoop and let the blood drain. It can thrash around as much as it likes then, but can't go far. Once its still, but still warm, it can be plucked fairly easily dry, or very easily after plunging the bird it very hot water (not boiling). This has the added benefit of killing any crawlies inhabiting the feathers.
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Old 20th December 2008, 08:06 AM   #10
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Re: How do you kill chickens?

We catch our birds with a large fish-landing net. Its by far the simplest way to catch them.

I have no faith in my ability to kill a chicken by neck pulling, so I hold the legs in one hand, the wings in the other, then swing the head of the chicken against something hard like a post, two or three times and while its unconscous, I gather the wing tips and legs in one hand and place the bird so its head is on the chopping block and with a hatchet in the other hand I chop the head off. I then hang the bird up by the feet from an old basket ball hoop and let the blood drain. It can thrash around as much as it likes then, but can't go far. Once its still, but still warm, it can be plucked fairly easily dry, or very easily after plunging the bird it very hot water (not boiling). This has the added benefit of killing any crawlies inhabiting the feathers.
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Old 20th December 2008, 08:14 AM   #11
granny56r
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Re: How do you kill chickens?

Inger I'm sorry but that sounds dreadful.
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Old 20th December 2008, 10:31 AM   #12
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Re: How do you kill chickens?

We have only killed one 'chicken' - a young and very aggressive rooster. There was no chance of getting near him during the day, so we waited until dark when he was roosting in the hen house. My husband chopped his head off with an axe with no problem (his Dad held the torch), but he his very handy with tools, etc.
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Old 20th December 2008, 04:46 PM   #13
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Re: How do you kill chickens?

I find the easiest way is to hold the head and quickly swing the body around. The neck severs (sp) straight away using the weight of the body. Its instantanious and requires very little effort.
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Old 20th December 2008, 05:59 PM   #14
Andrea
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Re: How do you kill chickens?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cantyguy View Post
I find the easiest way is to hold the head and quickly swing the body around. The neck severs (sp) straight away using the weight of the body. Its instantanious and requires very little effort.
I'd forgot that this was the way my German grandma (off a farm) taught me to kill chooks when I was only 8, so it didn't require much strength if I could do it then!

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Old 20th December 2008, 06:56 PM   #15
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Re: How do you kill chickens?

I tried pulling the next as per directions, but even though the next was dislocated, was disturbed by the thing still blinking and gasping at me.

Always use an axe now, and its over quickly and humanely. Hang upside down over a bucket to bleed and then pluck.

I would rather do this job than the gutting part.
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Old 20th December 2008, 07:08 PM   #16
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Re: How do you kill chickens?

After catching your chicken, place then in an onion or feed bag with the corner cut out so there head is sticking through. Then when you take the head off with a cleaver of axe they can't flap round and run away. Simply hang the bag till the chicken is drained then pluck.
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Old 20th December 2008, 09:53 PM   #17
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Re: How do you kill chickens?

We have used sues broomstick method with great success. No blood and quick
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