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Just found really good instructions for 'Broomstick Method' (I think)
#1
I've spent hours trawling through various methods of despatching birds, and haven't yet had the nerve to try them out (currently twelve cockerels free ranging with thirty-plus hens, so their days are necessarily numbered). I've just found this version of the 'Broomstick Method' which I thought was really well explained, particularly Point 10 as I genuinely didn't realise that you should pull the bird's legs in any particular direction. Just thought I'd share it - if any experienced despatchers can see anything wrong with this would you please comment, I don't want to follow these steps if there's a better way.





[background=rgb(231, 240, 255)]My preferred method of despatch is the 'Broomstick Method'. It is very straighforward and very simple; done smoothly and without fuss it will be as stressless as possible for the bird.[/background]
  • Find a hard piece of ground - soft turf is unsuitable as the bird's neck just sinks in to it when you apply pressure.

  • Find somewhere you can hang the bird up afterwards.

  • Put the broomstick down on the ground within arm's reach and have a loop of twine ready in your pocket.

  • Collect your bird.

  • Hold the bird hanging by it's legs in one hand and with your free hand, support it's chest and lay it down gently, flat on the ground.

  • Keep hold of it's legs and with your free hand, that was under the chest, pick up the broomstick.

  • Place the broomstick across it's neck, quite far up, close to the head.

  • Hold it GENTLY in place with one foot as you stand up, close to the bird.

  • If you have a helper, at this point, get them to hover their foot over the broom on the other side of the neck. If you don't have a helper, you need to stand up and put your foot there yourself, so your feet are braced over the broom either side of the neck.

  • In one smooth movement, rock forward with your feet on to the broom, whilst pulling the legs smoothly VERTICALLY up towards your chest. The neck should form a right-angle under the broom, the head flat on the ground and the feet vertical, against your body.

  • You don't need to pull sharply; smooth, steady pressure will do it and you will feel the neck 'crunch'. If you pull too hard or too sharply, then the head might come off - and that is ABSOLUTELY the worst thing that can happen. It's messy; but you know the bird is dead.

  • There will be flapping, probably quite violent flapping. It can go on for ten minutes or so. That means you've done it properly. Twist the loop of twine around the bird's legs and hang it up. The go away for ten or fifteen minutes until the flapping has stopped. I quite often have a bit of a cry at this point, because I HATE this part of chicken keeping; but it's necessary to be able to do it to be fair to the birds.

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#2
I've always known the day will come when I have to 'despatch' a bird - still hoping that someone will show me (or, better still, my OH!). This does give a good description though - is this the preferred method with most of you?
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#3
That is a very good writeup! I think for most of us we use the broomstick method, unless we take to the vet. My MWD dislocates the neck by hand as he has the reach and height to be able to do it, but my son uses the broomstick method as it is quick, clean and anyone can use it.



I don't think you will go wrong with that method Kate. A good find.
You've only got one life - live it!
squizzers
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#4
A good account of how it can be done Kate,it should be helpful along with other posts on the broomstick method in the indespensables.
CHUCKLERS RULE THE ROOST - Dave. Zen Seeker of The Board. rabbit run
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#5
i have looked through youtube for the best way, thankfully i have not had to do it yet. dreading the day tbh. that does seem a very good write up tbh but as a complete novice (never done it) i dont know if any of it is wrong either
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#6
[quote name='carper' timestamp='1357329518' post='271165']

i have looked through youtube for the best way, thankfully i have not had to do it yet. dreading the day tbh. that does seem a very good write up tbh but as a complete novice (never done it) i dont know if any of it is wrong either

[/quote]



Having done it, I can assure you, it is one of the best descriptions that I have seen. <img src='http://poultrychat.com/oldforumIcons/style_emoticons/default/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' /> No-one likes doing it, but sometimes needs must. I've got very poor balance due to my disability (hence I ususally get MWD in to do it for me), but even with that, I can cope with the broomstick method without causing distress to the bird if I have too.
You've only got one life - live it!
squizzers
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#7
its always the flapping bit that worries me, I know they say that if you have done the deed properly you will know by the flapping. But presumably if you have not done it properly, it will still flap <img src='http://poultrychat.com/oldforumIcons/style_emoticons/default/unsure.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':unsure:' />
It never worries me when I get a little lost, all I do is change where I'm going
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#8
It is written up well, I use this method for large fowl

I use the hand method for bantams.

I am not sure if hanging is necessary, unless you intend to eat the bird.

I stand to be corrected
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#9
Depends on whether or not you like your meat a little 'gamey' shall we say Goldilocks! I don't hang mine, prefering to pluck while still warm as the feathers come out more easily. Others prefer to leave it for a day before starting on removing feathers.



Of course if it is an unwell bird, then the above does not apply! <img src='http://poultrychat.com/oldforumIcons/style_emoticons/default/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' />
You've only got one life - live it!
squizzers
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#10
The only caveat I would add is to put plenty of weight on the stick, don't be tentative, otherwise you can pull the bird's head under the stick.
Never forget that life is a finite resource.

Experience is something you gain just after you needed it most.
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#11
[quote name='Squizzers' timestamp='1357386016' post='271185']

Depends on whether or not you like your meat a little 'gamey' shall we say Goldilocks! I don't hang mine, prefering to pluck while still warm as the feathers come out more easily. Others prefer to leave it for a day before starting on removing feathers.



Of course if it is an unwell bird, then the above does not apply! <img src='http://poultrychat.com/oldforumIcons/style_emoticons/default/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' />

[/quote]



Well I thought that Squizzes - but then I thought maybe the blood needed to drain into the neck cavity made by the break.

I hope that's not right as I have in the past put unwell or old birds beyond eating straight into a disposal bag after doing the deed.
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#12
i thought the reason it was said to hang the bird after was so it was not flapping about on the floor which would cause even more stress to the likes of us lol?
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#13
[quote name='goldilocks' timestamp='1357393218' post='271190']

Well I thought that Squizzes - but then I thought maybe the blood needed to drain into the neck cavity made by the break.

I hope that's not right as I have in the past put unwell or old birds beyond eating straight into a disposal bag after doing the deed.

[/quote]

Not required for dispatching per-se, The bird is dead once the neck has that "gap" as the spinal cord and blood vessels to the brain have been severed. It's not feeling anything from that point..
Never forget that life is a finite resource.

Experience is something you gain just after you needed it most.
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#14
Sutty's post is the one to read and take in - he's quite right (as he should be given his background! <img src='http://poultrychat.com/oldforumIcons/style_emoticons/default/tongue_smilie.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':tongue_smilie:' /> ) so you can put all thoughts of the whys and wherefores aside.



Re the weight on the broomstick - I rock forward at the same time as I pull upwards, so that the weight on the neck comes at the same time as the 'pull'.
You've only got one life - live it!
squizzers
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#15
If the flapping worries you,have a feed bag to hand,put bird in and roll the top down tightly.Tie up with whatever to hand and go and have a well earned cuppa.By the time you have finished it will all be over.
Patterdales..there is no doubt they are addictive,therein lies the danger.While living with lots,you will grow poorer and stranger. dog run K9
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