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throat cutting knife


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a bit graphic sounding i know.... but for the last 3 years ive been helping a brother down the way that raises freeranged chickens which we process them on his farm... at this point i'm somewhere near 6000 throats cut...150 yesterday.... i'm very unhappy with the blades and blade styles ive been using......i'm ready to make my own for that propose...i was thinking about something along the lines of a straight razor but i was hoping for some feedback from all the greatminds on this forum...

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart,and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart...

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6000 throats ought to give you better insight into what you need than what most .... Make what you think YOU would like best and then experiment from there.... Good to hear you are doing this .... most of us don't have a clue where our food comes from.....

dick

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I would think something slightly recurve and about maybe a 4-5 inch blade would work really well. ;)

Edited by Michael Pyron
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the thought of a curve had crossed my mind micheal....... where you thinking like the curve on a buffalo skinner ??? my thought was a 5 inch blade max...for handling i had thought of using tire rubber for a sure grip when wet...i'm not going to rush this for i have 2 wks to the next "kill'n"

 

 

 

.....and

 

dick i gotta say ....i feel honored in a way to take a hand in such a time honored postion in the wheel of life...that provides wholesome,clean unaltered food for my local community... its sorta the same reason ive given up gardening and taking on farming : ) doing my best to honor the land and give thanks often for its many gifts.....

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart,and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart...

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My great-grandmother didn't use a knife, she just grabbed 'em by the head and gave a good quick rotary wrist-snap, then tossed the head over the back fence while the body kept running around the yard. :blink: That'll make you think twice about crossing an old woman as a kid, let me tell you! :lol:

 

However, I wonder if edge geometry isn't a better place to start than blade shape? Something like a full flat grind on a blade about 3/4" wide and no more than 1/16" at the spine, maybe? It does seem like a flat point as on a razor or a swept point like a buffalo skinner would be safer for you than a sharp pointy tip.

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Dad has a similar story but I don't recall who all was involved, I wanna say it was my mom's dad as he owned a farm which my uncle now has, anyway when they went to doing a whole bunch they'd grab two at a time, rock back on heels of their boots, toss head under, rock back flat, and yank lol

 

 

Do show the knife when you get it done though =] Sounds like a neat project.

 

Got to watch an episode of How it's Made where they showed the assembly line for butchering chickens for different packaging. Was pretty interesting. They kept their off hand clad in mail.

Beau Erwin

www.ErwinKnives.com

Custom knives

Bcarta Composites

Stabilized Woods

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where you thinking like the curve on a buffalo skinner ???

 

I think so, I found this pic and it's pretty close to what I was thinking, sharpened on the inside of the curve, not much of a point for safety, but with the rubber scales like you were saying for grip:

 

1322Knife.jpg

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alan ive heard of many a tale of neck snapping and pulling.....but that leaves you with a chicken that has clots....they never fully drain... we use stainless funnels feed them in head first....snick snick as clean as you please.... also i think your right about the grind....i also think i might use an old saw blade sense thats so thin.... we'll see what the next few days bring .......i mean ta tell you i'ma ready ta eat one of those jokers but you gotta let the age atleast 24 hours...i prefer atleast 3 ta 4 days.... if you eat them within the 1st 24 hours their tough as shoe leather(rigor)

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart,and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart...

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Why not make an oversized cigar cutter?

 

Handheld Chicken Guillotine

So above and beyond I imagine, drawn beyond the lines of reason. Push the envelope, watch it bend.

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omg guillotine.... toooo funny.... removing the head for some reason doesnt seem to have the same effect as just slitting their throats,and letting them hang..

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart,and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart...

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have you read the Ominvors Delema? by Micheal Pullan ? ( sorry about my spelling) he has a pretty good description .... he also talks about nicking the artery without taking off the head so they bleed out completely .... in the Polyface farm chapter incase you want to read it in the store without buying the book ...

dick

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alan ive heard of many a tale of neck snapping and pulling.....but that leaves you with a chicken that has clots....they never fully drain...

 

I suspected that would be the case with a wrung neck as opposed to a slit throat, and yeah, come to think of it, Granny Warwick's chicken was served the day after the wringing, usually roasted but sometimes fried. And it had clots. Eeeww...

 

I do like my critter-based food fully bled out, and am not interested in blood sausage no matter what the gourmets say. :lol:

 

Have you got an old straight razor somewhere? That may be worth a try too.

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Are you using a hand held knife or a stationary blade? I would think a mounted V-shaped blade would work. Grap chicken by the head and the feet. Hold it feet up push the neck into the V, the head comes off in one hand the other has the feet. Hang your chicken on what ever you have set up for draining the blood. It could be turned in to a mini assembly line.

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nicking the artery is the whole goal...on the good (clean)cuts they bleed out in under 12 secs...bad cuts some times 30 secs or more..... the set up used is simple and amazing...large saw horse 5 ft tall and 10 ft long...8 stainless steel cones set up to accept the bird head 1st opening at bottom of the cone alllows head through for an easy "snicksnick"under the cones hangs a custom fitted gutter that feeds a 5 gal bucket....simple clean ...my bro also takes unused innards and feeds them to the catfish in his pond... mammoth titian cats after several years of such feeding...

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart,and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart...

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hey alan...what kinda steel would you use ta make a straight razor ???

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart,and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart...

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Pete, I'd use something with a nice fine grain, like 1095 or preferably W2. Relatively easy to do a home heat-treat on, and if properly handled (triple-normalized before harden and temper) ought to be fine grained and hold one heck of an edge. If you've got some old Nicholson black diamond files, they'll do very nicely indeed. I wouldn't be too worried about flexibility for this job, so a temper in the straw to bronze range should be super!

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Am I the one one who wants to see pictures of the set up? This seems pretty interesting.

Bob O

 

"When I raise my flashing sword, and my hand takes hold on judgment, I will take vengeance upon mine enemies, and I will repay those who haze me. Oh, Lord, raise me to Thy right hand and count me among Thy saints."

 

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How about a u shape just hook the neck and twist a little?

A soft answer turneth away wrath: The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.

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  • 2 weeks later...

1060 didnt bother finishing it out sense i didnt know if the style of blade would work with what i was doing.....blade worked great....

new_pics_1st_of_juneish_010.JPG

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart,and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart...

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Cool, glad to see you got it done! As long as it works better than what you were using you should be very proud of it, I know I would be, great job, Michael.

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i'm with Alan on the black diamond file.. and thin and wide like a fillet knife... maybe a little hamon too

 

just don't use a hachet... tell you a little story here...

my uncle told me i could help out if i went out back and got a chicken ready for them.... ok ok... i've seen it done many times ( mind you i was very young at the time ) ... so i found a hachet in the back shed and saw the stump they used before... told my self it'll be easy ... just put the chicken neck on the stump and one swing, it'll be quick and hopefully painless..

 

well

 

seems like the hachet was dull and didn't break the skin... and chicken had other plans after the first swing... i spent sometime trying to catch a chicken with a slightly bent neck... ... it was faster than me..

 

score.... chicken 2 Greg 0

 

 

i still feel bad about it..

 

Greg

 

ps.. never under estimate a chicken or its rubbery neck.. :lol:

Edited by Greg Thomas Obach
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lol now thats a dull axe!!!!! when i was a kid we used a machete for both the chickenns and rabbits(we raised both)...but i think my folks got sick of the time and mess it made....so there was a lilole black lady that lived down the way that would kill pluck and clean 12 chickens and then keep one as her payment... her scalder rocked..it was like a 30 gal cast iron pot....anyways sorry to digress...i used 1060 cause i only have a very lil piece of w2 and all the 1080 i have is still in 2 1/4 round(didnt feel like drawing it down)... the 1060 is from an old rr clip... hardened it and only put a wee bit of temper into the spine...blade worked like a charm... thanks everyone one for your input...i'll be remaking this blade with a old file....will post photos when its finished...

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart,and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart...

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