April 17, 2007
While rebuilding the website yesterday I got a wonderful note from Utah 4-H Livestock Specialist Ross Jacobson. Both Ross and one other Cooperative Extension Poultry Specialist have expressed concern on the same issue, so I thought I would quote Ross and then answer with my opinion. Here's his letter
This concern about my recommended method of killing chickens including sanitation issues and how well they "bleed out" is shared by Dr. Francine Bradley. Both of these experts deal with not only backyard poultry fanciers but also large producers who may process hundreds or even thousands of birds in a day.
My DVD recommends using a hatchet or large knife to completely remove the head of the bird. If you read the blog I wrote about commercial "Free Range Organic Chicken" you know that I for me there is a personal side effect of eating a chicken that was killed by letting it bleed to death while hanging from its head on a conveyor belt.
For those of us who eat meat, the question of sentience in chickens is one that must be answered on a personal level. I think that the method of killing I recommend is more humane than the way that the experts advise. That is my opinion.