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dispatching a chicken Options
#1 Posted : Thursday, July 12, 2007 12:47:41 PM
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Well, the killing cone (the common term for what you have described) is one of the common methods.  Bleeding out the chicken is recommended because it gives you a nicer dressed carcass (the blood can make it look 'off' and can cause it to go bad quicker).  Aside from building a small shed, I am not sure there is much you can do about the noise. 

However, what you should do is seperate the chicken a day ahead and give it only water to help making cleaning a little less messy.  Then, quietly and gently bring the chicken to where you are going to put it to rest.  A cone is a very good contraption because it holds the chicken making them feel a little more safe and keeps them from flapping around in their blood.  A sharp knife is an absolute necessity, cut the front of the throat quickly and in one motion but don't cut through the spine.  The chicken cannot squawk at this point so the only noise will be any dancing around it does.  Let it bleed out fully.

If you want to try it like they commonly do in the Carribean, you need to develop the knack of holding the chicken under your elbow against your body, grasping the chicken's head with your thumb and forefinger basically falling on the two sides of the head behind the eyes so that the crown of the head is in your palm.  Where you pinch is the pivot point.  In a lightning fast motion you need to twist and pull away with a really hard, fast tug to twist and sever the head.  I haven't tried this, but it is very common in some parts of the world.  It requires a little more skill and experience, so a sharp knife is recommended over this.  However, the chicken is very calm in this state and doesn't really know what is going on until it is too late.

#2 Posted : Saturday, July 14, 2007 9:56:42 PM
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thanks zoe, i'll have to try the cone. it looked like a great method. we're trying to relocate to a homestead shortly so setting up one in the backyard or garage isnt feesible rightnow. guess the hens will probably die of old age!!! hahaha. ya never know my neighbors would probably come over to help. we butchered a couple of venison last oct. and the neighbors came by to see the animals we had hunted and congratulate us on our prizes.(which were nothing special, two pointers). I've never heard of the other method you described, it sounds facinating! a little too complicated maybe. i'm sure its one of those that's learned from generation to generation. thanks for the info!!!!
#3 Posted : Monday, July 16, 2007 7:59:24 PM
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There is also the method where you open their beak and stab them up through the brain with a pointy object such as an ice pick, then slit the throat to bleed them out.  Supposed to make them more tender and easier to clean.  I haven't tried it (yet), currently I use baling twine from a hay or straw bale and hang them by the feet from the clothesline post, and tree branch, or anything else that is available and cut the heads off.  It keeps the mess in one area...  I use the twine as it is on the bale, still tied at the ends, and tie it loosely to the post.  Then I loop the ends back, slide one foot through each loop and tighten down till it's snug.  Works for turkeys, too, though the big ones take two people to hoist up and hang.    
#4 Posted : Sunday, July 22, 2007 7:19:06 AM
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my grandmother (smart woman she is ) said if you hold their necks with your boot (on your foot) and grab them by the feet and yank you can kill them quickly. throw them on the lawn to give them their last kick and before you gut them dip them in boiling water to remove the feathers. have to give it a try. grand mother was sustainable when it was kosher to be not.
#5 Posted : Sunday, July 22, 2007 7:19:06 AM
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Posts: 134,494

This might be kinda stupid question....i tried to break the neck of a chicken a couple weeks ago and all i gave it was a chiropractic session. i know i can cut off their heads. i've done it many times as a kid helping out. but i live in town currently, and keep the chickens in my back yard. (thank goodness for great neighbors. they can get loud sometimes) i've seen a program where a lady had made herself a nifty contraption for dispatching her chicks; she had fashioned a piece of sheet metal, rolled it into a circular cone shape that tapered from 3 in. to 6 or 7 inches littelest end facing downward nailed to a fencepost waist high. she slid the chickens head in and the body stuck up in the air. the head stuck out enuf she slit their throats so they just blead out,instead of running around.

My dilema; i want something a little more cleanly and private (so my neighbors wont see the headless chicks running around).  Any Ideas????

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