Manual Neck Dislocation

A small bird can be slaughtered by manual neck dislocation. However, this method is not ideal and requires skill, experience and physical strength. In the EU, manual neck dislocation may only be used to slaughter birds less than 3kg liveweight.

The best technique depends on the size of the bird. For adult chickens, hold the bird’s legs (and the wing tips if possible) in one hand, close to your hip with the underside of the bird's body against your thigh. Using the first two fingers of your other hand, grip the head immediately behind the skull with your thumb under the beak. Stretch the neck downwards, at the same time pressing your knuckles into the neck vertebrae and pulling the bird’s head back. Neck dislocation should be achieved in one, swift pull. Be firm, confident and positive.

Neck Dislocation

Holding a bird’s head for manual neck dislocation. Grip the head immediately behind the skull with your first two fingers and place your thumb under the beak.

Neck Dislocation

Another view of how to hold a bird’s head for manual neck dislocation. Grip the head immediately behind the skull with your first two fingers and place your thumb under the beak.

Neck Dislocation

Holding a chicken for manual neck dislocation.

Check For Signs That The Bird Is Dead:

  • Feel the neck for a gap in the vertebrae;
  • Ensure the bird is not breathing; 
  • Ensure there is no blink reaction if the eye is touched and that the pupil is dilated.



If you are unsure that the bird is dead, repeat neck dislocation immediately. 

 

Next: Killing Cone

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