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Author Topic: Dispatching chickens  (Read 18176 times)

the great composto

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Dispatching chickens
« on: August 20, 2012, 09:51:20 am »
Dispatching chickens is never a pleasant job but sometimes is necessary.
So does anyone have.use any tools for doing this to make it easier?  Personally I use the broom handle across the neck but I would love something efficient and quick.

Any suggestions or methods (or tools) that make this unpleasant task easier?

hughesy

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: Dispatching chickens
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2012, 12:06:59 pm »
It's a tough job I know. The broom handle method is quick and efficient plus you know for definite that the neck has dislocated. The best way in my opinion.

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Dispatching chickens
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2012, 12:09:41 pm »
I agree, I don't think there is a better way than the broomstick either. It's quick and effective, one minute they're there, the next not, with no stress beforehand.

The pliers/dispatchers are worse apparently - might make it better for the human but not the chicken. As does stunning them, sticking them in a cone and all the other things people do for their own convenience -  IMHO.

Dan

  • The Accidental Smallholder
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  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Carnoustie, Angus
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Re: Dispatching chickens
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2012, 12:50:57 pm »
The pliers/dispatchers are worse apparently - might make it better for the human but not the chicken. As does stunning them, sticking them in a cone and all the other things people do for their own convenience -  IMHO.

Have to point out that this is entirely your opinion jaykay, and presumably based on your own experience. Stunning is a legal, humane requirement for slaughter methods involving bleeding out, and in my experience is never done for anyone's "convenience". You're happy with your broomstick, which is great for you, but please don't suggest that other legal, humane methods are in some way inferior, or assume the reasons for using other methods are not noble. :)

The most important things are that the bird does not suffer and that you are confident and decisive in the method you use. All legal methods have their advocates, and all have the capacity to be done wrong.

More info about poultry slaughter here: http://www.accidentalsmallholder.net/livestock/poultry/slaughtering-poultry/ :thumbsup:

SouthMains

  • Joined Jul 2012
Re: Dispatching chickens
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2012, 12:59:25 pm »
Quote from Humane Slaughter site

Neck dislocation

Dislocating the neck of the bird may cause rupturing of the spine and concussion. When done correctly, this results in the bird losing consciousness immediately and irrecoverably. However, it is difficult to achieve concussion consistently using neck dislocation therefore this method is not suitable for routine commercial harvest. It may however be appropriate for small numbers of birds or for emergency killing. A humane alternative is electrical stunning followed immediately by neck dislocation. Methods that crush the neck (e.g. pliers) do not cause concussion and are therefore unlikely to cause painless or immediate loss of consciousness. Their use is therefore NOT recommended. It is important that a technician applying neck dislocation is mentally prepared to carry through the whole procedure. Practice on dead birds may improve the confidence in application of this method.


Seems like good advice, to practice on dead birds...however how to I find these dead birds who do not already have their necks brocken so that I can practice doing this!

the great composto

  • Guest
Re: Dispatching chickens
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2012, 01:05:32 pm »
Thanks for the Link Dan - I hadnt seen that on the forum.  Bit harsh on JK tho'  - He was only giving his opinion which was interesting to me to read.

The broomstick method allows you to keep the bird calm right up to the last point and its very effective - I suppose I am asking for less distress for me because I feel uncomfortable with it and wondereing if theres a 'magic' solution.

For southmains - I think better than practice on dead birds - I would recommend letting someone who has done it before allow you to watch and then supervise your first efforts. It is scary with the first few when you are not quite sure that what you may have read works in practice.
I would really have benefitted from being shown first.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 01:07:44 pm by the great composto »

Dan

  • The Accidental Smallholder
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  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Carnoustie, Angus
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Re: Dispatching chickens
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2012, 01:15:59 pm »
Bit harsh on JK tho'  - He was only giving his opinion which was interesting to me to read.

I've no problem at all with JK's opinion, but it's dangerous when those reading that opinion might mistake it for fact.

JK's right, there are serious issues with using pliers for killing poulty, but not with stunning or the use of cones, which protect the bird and make consistent slaughter easier, which is better for the human and the bird, and why they are used worldwide in commercial and small-scale operations.

We tried several methods before settling on the one we use, and would recommend others do the same, and get experienced help the first time if possible. :thumbsup:

SouthMains

  • Joined Jul 2012
Re: Dispatching chickens
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2012, 03:22:47 pm »
I guess we are all just looking for the perfect method.  I have done the watching method (lots of time), and am still not sure that I could do this efficiently so that the animal does not suffer, I really don't want to "learn / practice" on a living animal...so the only solution is I wimp out and keep letting OH do the nasty deeed...but i do feel guilty about not doing my fair share, suppose if I offer to do all the plucking, cleaning and cooking that sort of evens it out a bit.


the great composto

  • Guest
Re: Dispatching chickens
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2012, 03:51:57 pm »
Southmains - we all have to get over the first one but you also have to be mentally able to carry it through.  My OH 'lets' me do the despatch and in return agrees to do the prep too.

I think if the broomhandle method can be done by hand then a peice of equipment must exist to duplicate the actions and therefore take away some of the anguish.

Sylvia

  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: Dispatching chickens
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2012, 04:53:48 pm »
An electric stunner is a costly bit of kit but, in my opinion, is the most humane way to kill poultry. It may pay you to ask around for someone who has one, they wouldn't charge much just for the kill. I do it for the cost of diesel to get to them as long as folk are local.
You have to get a "provisional license" first, then get a DEFRA vet out to watch you slaughter birds. He will then sign your Certificate of Competence.

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Dispatching chickens
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2012, 07:43:14 pm »
Practical Poultry ran the first of a series of articles on this subject this month. Next month (October issue out 28th Aug??!!) they explain/ demonstrate the actual techniques. As a result of this article I contacted the NSA and bought their leaflet 'Practical Slaughter of Poultry for the Small Producer'. They condem our method of a wall mounted crusher. I think the problem is if the jaws are not set tight enough. They also don't recommend cutting the head off as evidence suggests it lives 20 seconds. Bad news for the people guillotined in the French revolution -people were reported as blinking and moving their eyes!
 
My preference is now to shoot the bird in the head (to stun it but it should be killed surely)-just behind the eyes says Gale Dumelow in Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens. Then to crush the neck. The NSA seem to discourage shooting as well, although a top power precharged air pistol is only 60 or less -almost same price as we paid for our wall mounted despatcher. I must add I fortunately haven't yet needed to use this method.
 
Problem is wringing the neck by hand needs practice and how am I going to get that?

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Dispatching chickens
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2012, 09:10:57 pm »
Dan,

My comment on the pliers was based on the information on the Humane Slaughter website.

My view about using a cone or stunning is that it adds a stage to the process and therefore, in my opinion, adds to the stress.

It is my view too, that using a cone is for the person's convenience to avoid wings flapping, and is not for the benefit of the bird, which should be dead by the time the wings flap, so doesn't care. In which case it's not done for the bird's benefit but for the person's because some people are distressed by the flapping. In my view it is not ok to add time and stress to the procedure (and tell me being stuffed head first into a cone isn't stressful) in order to relieve the person's stress. The person should get over it in order to do the best job for the bird.

These are of course, merely my opinions, which I made very clear in my post - note the abbreviation IMHO.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 09:12:32 pm by jaykay »

manian

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: Dispatching chickens
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2012, 09:22:49 pm »

My view about using a cone or stunning is that it adds a stage to the process and therefore, in my opinion, adds to the stress.

It is my view too, that using a cone is for the person's convenience to avoid wings flapping, and is not for the benefit of the bird,
we use a cone and the birds are actually very calm. its certainly not for the benefit or our  convenience, but  to ensure it is quick and sucsinct so that the birds are as stress free as possible.
it is swift and accurate- esp for larger birds and turkeys :thumbsup:
so i suppose as long as the method used is swift and as painfree as possible each choose their own method
Mx

the great composto

  • Guest
Re: Dispatching chickens
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2012, 09:30:17 pm »
Hi Manian - Just a quick question - how do you do the deed when they are in the cone?  I assume the bird is upside down but then what? broken neck by hand or stun?   Do you let them bleed out afterwards?

deepinthewoods

  • Guest
Re: Dispatching chickens
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2012, 09:42:06 pm »
my PERSONAL OPINION is the same as jaykays.
cones, pliers, airrifles etc etc are for the convenience of the person NOT the chicken.
broomstick method is great as is doing it by hand, properly. learn it right first and stop copping out.

 

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