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Advice on how to kill medium sized animals  RSS feed

 
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Um, I really didn't know how to phrase the title - thought being blunt would keep the vegan/vegetarian folks from stumbling across unpleasant content.

First off, I know a bit about hunting with rifles, aiming for the "boilerhouse" (heart/lung area), bullet selection, etc.  Now that I am planning to raise and eat livestock, I have been thinking about the practicalities of it all, and I guess I sort of assumed that if you wanted to eat one, you'd go "hunting in the paddock".  Obviously the fact you can get closer to farm animals than in a hunting context means there are other options.

If I had to die before my time, I think I would like to be walking somewhere nice, and then all of the sudden the lights going out from a headshot at range, having had no idea that anything was up.  I guess I figured that would be the most humane way to dispatch an animal too.  Appreciate any advice from those with more experience than me.
 
pollinator
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Shoot in the forehead with a .22, point blank range.

 
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typically visualize the point of intersection if you were to draw lines from the eye to the ear on the other side. Mid forhead and a 22 long rifle shot does the job quickly.
kent
 
Tyler Ludens
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Feeding a favorite treat will help get the animal right up to the fence and keep him happily occupied while you send him to the next world.  One shot should cause unconsciousness, and the animal will fall to the ground. He is likely dead at this point; if any doubt, repeat another shot to the head.
 
Phil Hawkins
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Thanks for that.  I lost my chickens to a fox last night, so it seems something else might need killing soon 
 
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I was taught to use a ball peen hammer about a two pounder right between the eyes on critters to big for a clean neck break.
 
pollinator
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The advice given is good, unless you are killing goats.  In that case, a bullet to the forehead may ricochet.  Best is to shoot them in the back of the head, or in the ear into the brain.  Since my goats are all hand-raised, I just take the one to be butchered away from the others and let it have a bit of grain in a bucket.  While it has it's head down in the bucket and can't see what I'm doing, I shoot it in the back of the head, down into the brain.  So far, I've never had to shoot one a second time.  (Using .22 or .218 Bee)

Kathleen
 
                            
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A .22 to the base of the skull, stops all nerve passage plus their is a web of veins in the skull base it causes a very fast bleed out. This gives a clean animal for butcher and a quick pain free death. I have used this method for years. It is quick and clean.
 
steward
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Here is a great tutorial on a variety of barnyard critters:

http://www.vdpam.iastate.edu/HumaneEuthanasia/anat.htm

Be certain to clock on the various pictures.

 
pollinator
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:
Feeding a favorite treat will help get the animal right up to the fence and keep him happily occupied while you send him to the next world.  One shot should cause unconsciousness, and the animal will fall to the ground.



This is what happened with our on farm slaughter of our bull. After the shot to the head, the slaughtered then "sticks 'em" (this is for cattle/pigs).
 
Phil Hawkins
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Thanks for the advice everyone - I think it's a tremendous responsibility, and deserving of being done right.

Although I was hoping this was going to be my chance to purchase a .460Wby for humane slaughter of livestock
 
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So this may in fact be uncomfortable for many to even discuss, however I am interested in getting a better understanding for myself; so I hope we can discuss this reasonably. That being the case it would seem that halal slaughter termed "Dhabiha" while being visually bloody which at least in the U.S. we automatically equate with violence has some data behind it that it is in fact less painful, less stressful and much more humane than virtually all other forms of slaughter. It is a given that practice and experience are key to the perfect success of this method, however the same can be said for all other forms of slaughter with the exception that all things being equal like experience level in preferred slaughter method Dhabiha appears to have less potential issues when done by an experienced person. Bolt guns, stunning and bullets all have potential margins of error even for the very experienced. Besides that with these three methods you still must act fast to drain away the blood creating another potential issue.

So my summation of my very basic understanding is: A very sharp knife is used to sever all major arteries and veins in the neck. Multiple research studies shows and people who have actually done it tell me and personal experience with accidentally cutting myself over the years says this does not cause any pain. It is not the cut that hurts but the severed tissue and nerve endings that begin to hurt after the cut. Since all the arteries and veins are severed blood immediately drains away from the brain and no additional blood is flowing to make up the difference; very quickly the brain and the animal simply goes to sleep, no blood to the brain no messages being sent to the brain no responses to the pain. This is supported by accounts of people who survived great losses of blood, often the feeling of slowly going to sleep or drifting away without pain is a common statement. This also corresponds to the general method of how predators bring down larger animals. Finally done properly the blood is already flowing and no further bleeding out is necessary as with the other methods.

I have a great respect for all animals and while I am comfortable that something had to die to feed me, I would want to do the most right by the animal. This has led me to examine halal slaughters more in depth. I want as peaceful and pain free a death for the animal as possible. I will deal with my personal issues should they arise as to the visual problem of blood if this is the best method. But I do not ever want to have to take a second or more shot to put down an animal I raised. It only has to happen once in my mind for it to go from a question of humane to horrific. Don't think it doesn't happen, it can and does, just ask anyone who has slaughtered for any amount of time.
 
steward
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I might be with Jeff on this one, but I'm just not sure. there are certainly conflicting opinions regarding dhabiha, but it does seem, to me, to be one of the most merciful options. I suppose gassing the critter with nitrous oxide first might be a bit nicer. likely a controlled substance, though.

for those who go the .22 route, do you use lead-free shells?
 
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I know my Grandfather uses the ball peen hammer method that Brice mentioned. Me, I've never had to do it myself but I think when the time comes I'll be performing a halal/kosher slaughter. Not for religious reasons but because it is humain and more importantly, I feel it's healthier. Having the heart help pump out the remaining blood, which is a medium for the growth of bacteria, just makes the most sense to me. Plus, I think halal/kosher meat just tastes better. I lived in Turkey from 2005-2011 and I really miss the meat.

I've had a few accidents involving significate blood loss ( adventurous guy =] ) and remember clearly that it was NOT painful when an artery was severed.... but later on... holy shit.

Here is some information on proper slaughter techniques -> http://www.vdpam.iastate.edu/HumaneEuthanasia/anat.htm
 
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Goats and pigs, we do from behind, right between the ears with a .22. Have seen bullets ricochet on a hogs forehead. Steer we would do in the forehead with a 12 gauge slug. Growing up that way I guess you never think about it like some of the responses, but I believe it is all done with the most respect for the animal.
 
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Not a funny topic but, got to the bottom and the ad was this:

Meat = Animal Cruelty
Watch the video the meat industry doesn't want you to see.
www.ChooseVeg.com


couldn't help but laugh...
 
Cj Sloane
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Jeff Mathias wrote: But I do not ever want to have to take a second or more shot to put down an animal I raised. It only has to happen once in my mind for it to go from a question of humane to horrific. Don't think it doesn't happen, it can and does, just ask anyone who has slaughtered for any amount of time.



Both pigs we did needed a second shot and one even needed a third! This was done by a pro who has killed thousands of pigs. It wasn't great but not horrific either. This pig who was shot twice in the head ran around (next year they will be in a smaller paddock on slaughter day) and paused for a while to take a drink by the stream.
It was the death throws that was hard to watch.

Of course, you can't exactly kill pigs halal...
 
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Same with me. The first pig shot with a 22 in a pen, I ended up missing the brain point blank. And I'm an experienced hunter- just not with 22s. The experience probably contributed to my reluctance to slaughter peoples' animals, although I gladly do the butchering.

If you can, use a larger gun so there is more margin for error. This is not going to sound good, but I've seen videos from other countries where they hit the pig in the head with a bat, then cut the throat. I reckon that's about as good as any gunshot and doable where firearms are not appropriate, like in a town.
 
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It has to be done up close and accurate! If it is goat I agree you can’t shoot in front, you will just wound it. Back of head for any animal is best. Best is to have collars on neck so that you can tie them to a pull. Then put gun directly on back of skull. Let be honest it’s not fun to kill any animal. I am a avid deer hunter that pride myself in being dead on. So as they do not need to suffer needlessly . However small animal are much different it has to be done close and fast.
 
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I've used a 9mm, works well. The one time I have used a 22 [on a large buck]it took 3 pops, it made everyone unhappy.

Twice I've seen a trapper dispatch black bear with a 22LR. For thoes who think bear should never be removed: one bear had killed two of the girls milk goats and the other [3 years later] was badly hurt, not able to move it's back legs.
 
Stacy Zoozwick
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I don’t have any problem with a dangerous bar being removed! If they are peaceful and just doing their thing, they should be left alone. If the numbers get to high and they have the potential to hurt or kill a human, they have to go. I for one have children and anyone that put the value of a wild bar over there child needs to wake up. I know you saying I don’t do that. I don’t know how many people I have herd say the value of an animal is equal to a humans. Well if you have ever said that, you have just proved my point.

Not that this has anything to do with this thred.
 
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Phil H wrote:Thanks for the advice everyone - I think it's a tremendous responsibility, and deserving of being done right.

Although I was hoping this was going to be my chance to purchase a .460Wby for humane slaughter of livestock



Good to hear that you realize the responsibility. I have always found a 22 mag for medium sized animals works well. I bring the sock into a round pen, feed them one last meal and just as they are finishing draw the imaginary X and pop. However with hogs a well placed blade behind the ear works well. This saves the brain and I love brains-n-eggs. I also tan my own hides and use senu for many things. I process and use everything possible.

The new Guy
Tom
 
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Jeff Mathias wrote:So this may in fact be uncomfortable for many to even discuss, however I am interested in getting a better understanding for myself; so I hope we can discuss this reasonably. That being the case it would seem that halal slaughter termed "Dhabiha" while being visually bloody which at least in the U.S. we automatically equate with violence has some data behind it that it is in fact less painful, less stressful and much more humane than virtually all other forms of slaughter



I have observed a lot of halal slaughter and it is FAR more painful and stressful for the animal than the stun first type slaughter. Before you buy into the myth of halal slaughter being good I would suggest you watch it a lot and also watch proper stunning slaughter being done. With halal the animals spend their last moments terrified. With stunning they're out like a light.
 
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I have had to cut a deer's throat once and watch it gargle on it's last bit of blood, I don't ever want to do that again. I agree that a bullet to the head is the best. 22 has worked fine for my purposes of killing sheep and putting down pets.
I would just like to announce my now sick stomach thanks to chooseveg.com though I think I'll continue getting my meat, just from a butcher I know. I really have to wonder what those employees do to people. I thought people who abused animals were frequently serial killers and rapists. Disturbing either way.
 
Tom Parker
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Walter Jeffries wrote:

Jeff Mathias wrote:So this may in fact be uncomfortable for many to even discuss, however I am interested in getting a better understanding for myself; so I hope we can discuss this reasonably. That being the case it would seem that halal slaughter termed "Dhabiha" while being visually bloody which at least in the U.S. we automatically equate with violence has some data behind it that it is in fact less painful, less stressful and much more humane than virtually all other forms of slaughter



I have observed a lot of halal slaughter and it is FAR more painful and stressful for the animal than the stun first type slaughter. Before you buy into the myth of halal slaughter being good I would suggest you watch it a lot and also watch proper stunning slaughter being done. With halal the animals spend their last moments terrified. With stunning they're out like a light.



Agree, one should slaughter with concern for the animal. Before you take that life make sure you can do it as quickly as possible and minimize suffering....

The New Guy
Tom
 
Jeff Mathias
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Walter Jeffries wrote:

Jeff Mathias wrote:So this may in fact be uncomfortable for many to even discuss, however I am interested in getting a better understanding for myself; so I hope we can discuss this reasonably. That being the case it would seem that halal slaughter termed "Dhabiha" while being visually bloody which at least in the U.S. we automatically equate with violence has some data behind it that it is in fact less painful, less stressful and much more humane than virtually all other forms of slaughter



I have observed a lot of halal slaughter and it is FAR more painful and stressful for the animal than the stun first type slaughter. Before you buy into the myth of halal slaughter being good I would suggest you watch it a lot and also watch proper stunning slaughter being done. With halal the animals spend their last moments terrified. With stunning they're out like a light.



Hi Walter,

So I have searched out some videos online and it seems like I see both peaceful/humane and terrified. Something really seemed wrong about that so I have been digging further into the studies available. I came across Temple Grandin Ph.D and her website http://www.grandin.com/index.html; the website is not much to look at but there is a lot of information here if you dig around.

From what I have read of her studies there is no real myth here. Restrained properly per her specifications and using the proper blade length results in calm peaceful death.

From here on her website: http://www.grandin.com/ritual/kosher.slaugh.html

"Observations of over 3000 cattle and formula-fed veal calves were made by the first author in three different U.S. kosher slaughter plants. The plants had state of the art upright restraint systems. The systems are described in detail in Grandin (1988,1991,1992,1993a). The cattle were held in either a modified ASPCA pen: or a double rail (centre track) conveyor restrainer: This equipment was operated by the first author or a person under her direct supervision. Very little pressure was applied to the animals by the rear pusher gate in the ASPCA pen. Head holders were equipped with pressure limiting devices. The animals were handled gently and calmly. It is impossible to observe reactions to the incision in an agitated or excited animal. Blood on the equipment did not appear to upset the cattle. They voluntarily entered the box when the rear gate was opened. Some cattle licked the blood.

In all three restraint systems, the animals had little or no reaction to the throat cut. There was a slight flinch when the blade first touched the throat. This flinch was much less vigorous than an animal's reaction to an eartag punch. There was no further reaction as the cut proceeded. Both carotids were severed in all animals. Some animals in the modified ASPCA pen were held so loosely by the head holder and rear pusher gate that they could have easily pulled away from the knife. These animals made no attempt to pull away. In all three slaughter plants, there was almost no visible reaction of the animal's body or legs dunng the throat cut. Body and leg movements can be easily observed in the double rail restrainer because it lacks a pusher gate and very little pressure is applied to the body. Body reactions during the throat cut were much fewer than the body reactions and squirming that occurred during testing of various chin lifts and forehead hold-down brackets. Testing of a new chin lift required deep, prolonged invasion of the animal's flight zone by a person. Penetration of the flight zone of an extensively raised animal by people will cause the animal to attempt to move away (Grandin, 1993a). The throat cut caused a much smaller reaction than penetration of the flight zone. It appears that the animal is not aware that its throat has been cut. Bager et al., (1992) reported a similar observation with calves. Further observations of 20 Holstein, Angus and Charolais bulls indicated that they did not react to the cut. The bulls were held in a comfortable head restraint with all body restraints released. They stood still during the cut and did not resist head restraint. After the cut the chin lift was lowered, the animal either immediately collapsed or it looked around like a normal alert animal. Within 5 to 60 seconds, the animals went into a hypoxic spasm and sensibility appeared to be lost. Calm animals had almost no spasms and excited cattle had very vigorous spasms. Calm cattle collapsed more quickly and appeared to have a more rapid onset of insensibility. Munk et al.,(1976) reported similar observations with respect to the onset of spasms. The spasms were similar to the hypoxic spasms which occur when cattle become unconscious in a V-shaped stanchion due to pressure on the lower neck. Observations in feedyards by the first author during handling for routine husbandry procedures indicated that pressure on the carotid arteries and surrounding areas of the neck can kill cattle within 30 seconds."



So I wonder if the slaughters you experienced were poorly done. I would not be surprised if that was the case, other areas of the website detail how people poorly trained using improper restraints, techniques and blades can really botch the job. Some bad forms of halal did things like haul the cow up by a single leg before the cut is performed.

From the reading I did it would still seem like either technique (halal or stun) performed properly by people with experience and/or training is about equal. Stunning could result in brain or spinal cord tissue getting into the meat but that should not be a real problem for a properly trained person either. I am left believing that if using proper restraints and gentle care and handling combined with proper training in either technique ~ then either technique seems relatively equal with margins of error for both. Like most things training and experience seems to be the key.

What I found fascinating reading through Dr. Grandin's web page was that there is a type of electric stunning capable of stunning a cow for long enough to dispatch it properly. The fascinating part was if left alone after stunning in this fashion the cow would return to consciousness as if nothing had happen. Cows returned to pasture went back to eating and going about their regular routine. She explains that electric stunning and electro-immobilization are not at all the same thing.
 
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