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Here's the Gruesome Method of Killing, Bleeding, De-feathering and Processing a Chicken for Us to Eat

Illustration for article titled Heres the Gruesome Method of Killing, Bleeding, De-feathering and Processing a Chicken for Us to Eat

Killing animals ain't pretty but if we eat them, we should face the reality of how it happens. Michael Ruhlman did just that, he went inside Schmidt Family Farms and was shown how the chickens you eat are killed, bled, de-feathered and processed before they hit the market.


Schmidt Family Farms actually specializes in honey but allocates a certain part of the farm to be run by Bradley Cramer, who raises chickens during the summer. The chickens are allowed to roam around the farm for six and a half weeks before they're processed.


And how does the processing work? The chickens are fed into a funnel where they are killed. According to Ruhlman, to kill the chicken "you pinch the craw and windpipe, slide a knife vertically through the neck behind them, turn the knife 90 degrees, and cut the main arteries" and then let them bleed out. The birds are then put into a pot of 140-degreee water to loosen the feathers and fed into a defeathering machine which looks like a spinning bucket with rubber teeth inside of it. Then the head, leg and innards are removed and finally, the birds are tossed into a bucket of 40-degree water before they're packaged and shipped out. Again, it's not for the faint of heart but it is how chickens get to your plate. [Ruhlman via LA Times Food]

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Zachary Oberle


Nothing at all! Do you hear me!? This isn't shit! What you see in that video is incredibly humane in comparison with the vast majority of poultry farming in the united states.

My image shown here [in case of nibbles: []] is FAR more indicative of how most hens are slaughtered in the USA. They are loaded onto a rolling conveyer rack such as the one in the image while still alive. They swing wildly as they are pulled through the machine, almost always breaking the bones in their legs. Then their throats are mechanically slit with their intact skull and brain still attached to their bodies. All of the pain and agony is experienced right up until the end.

While it looks dramatic and unpleasant, a complete decapitation aided by the 'cone of death' is actually the most humane way to do the job. The birds in this video are going on a fucking carnival ride in comparison to what is experienced by nearly all birds consumed by people in the USA and many other countries besides. THAT is the price paid for cheap meat. Give it a little think the next time you feel outraged over paying more than $3 a pound for chicken breast.

-an ethical carnivore