Most people choose not to think about how the chicken, turkey, goose, or other winged creature spent its last moments on this earth before getting wrapped, shipped, and consumed. In fact, most people don’t want to know anything about the living version of their food and it is that attitude which has allowed corporations to abuse these beautiful animals for decades. But the winds of change are a-blowing and we thought it prudent to show you, our wonderful friends, how and why we make and use a killing cone.
Our birds spend their lives as they were designed to do: dust-bathing, bug-chasing, sun-worshipping, shade-basking, and free-ranging. It is important to us that they live and die in a manner which is both dignified and humane.
First, let’s talk about how the killing cone works. The bird is placed head-down into the cone (as seen below). The bird, when upside down, goes into a sleepy trance-like state. We then kill the bird quickly by severing the main artery in the neck with a very sharp knife. The bird then stays in the cone while the blood drains out into a bucket below.
But how does one make the cone? Here are step-by-step instructions on the manufacture and use of the cone:
Step One: Decide which size cone you need to make:
- large turkey 10-28 Lbs. (5.25″ Base Opening, 17″ Top Opening, 25″ Height)
- regular turkey or goose 6-22Lbs. (4.5″ Base Opening, 12″ Top Opening, 20″ Height)
- Cornish Cross or duck 6-14 Lbs. (4″ Base Opening, 12″ Top Opening, 15″ Height)
- standard breed chicken 2-8 Lbs. (3.5″ Base Opening, 9″ Top Opening, 16″ Height)
- bantam 1-2 Lbs. (2.5″ Base Opening, 6″ Top Opening, 9″ Height)
Step Two: Now gather your materials:
- Sheet of metal (a five foot section will set you back about $15 at a hardware store or you could visit a junk yard and possibly find it for less)
- Tin snips
- Drill & bit set
- Self-tapping metal screws
- Small screw driver
- Parchment paper
- Permanent marker
- Body hammer or ball-peen hammer
Step Three: Create a trapezoid-shaped pattern using the parchment paper which you can then trace onto the sheet metal. Here are the measurements for the parchment:
- large turkey: 17.5″ Base-1, 54.5″ Base-2, 25″ Height
- regular turkey or goose: 15.25″ Base-1, 38.75″ Base-2, 20″ Height
- Cornish Cross or duck: 13.5″ Base-1, 38.75″ Base-2, 15″ Height
- standard breed chicken: 12″ Base-1, 29.25″ Base-2, 16″ Height
- bantam: 9″ Base-1, 20″ Base-2, 9″ Height
The measurements allow for a one inch overlap when the trapezoid is curled into a cone shape.
Step Four: Using tin nips, cut out your metal trapezoid. Be careful because the metal edges are very sharp. You may want to wear gloves.
Step Five: Tamp down the edges with the ball-peen hammer. Again, be careful doing this because the edges of the metal are extremely sharp.
Step Six: Drill holes into the stake or other surface which you intend to mount the cone upon. Now, screw the cone seam-side-down using the self-tapping metal screws.
A very short-handled Phillips-head screw driver is needed for this project. See? Kinda cute, huh? (And yes, I am aware that tools are not “cute” to the male sector but I have ovaries and am therefore permitted to call itty-bitty screw drivers “cute.” That is all.)
Step Seven: Now, survey the newly mounted killing cone with a satisfied smile. Do note that our buck, El Rod, also surveyed the finished cone with a satisfied goaty grin.
Step Eight: Now, to see the actual killing process, check out Food, Water, and Fire’s Chicken Killing Tutorial with its wonderful step-by-step photos and instructions on evisceration & butchering your flock. The photos are quite graphic and may not be the best choice for lunch-break viewing.
And there you have it, folks. Any questions? Thoughts? Suggestions?