July 20, 2008, 07:41 PM
So, my wife decided that some of the grain guzzling birds down in the chicken coop needed to roost in the freezer. We pulled half a dozen out and put them in the kennel to calm themselves and she "prepared".

I hear the inevitable yell of my name and go to see what's wrong.

The problem is someone told her to use a linoleum knife and that's what she had. Shes hung the chickens up to my pistol target frame (it's big enough for 6 targets at once) by their feet and has tried to cut the head off of the first bird with the hooked blade. Angry chicken glowering at my wife. No blood dripping (much less pouring) from the chicken. My wife looking at the knife and complaining "This **** thing's not sharp enough! WOULD YOU SHARPEN IT?!?".

I look at the chicken, my wife, the knife and head for the house. I come back with a Frost's mora laminate with the oval red wooden grip that I'd given a couple of licks on the stone on the way out and one of my BlackJack 5s. The mora just doesn't have enough grip and to make me happy while holding a chicken's head between the fork of my index and second finger. The Blackjack has a very nice grip like the Randall Border Guard and doesn't feel like it will turn or twist in my hand.

Pull to separate the spine from the skull. Pop the head off with the 5 in one shearing motion. Get splattered with blood. :banghead: Oh well, in for a hennypenny in for a pound. Repeat 4 times.

On the fifth I decide to wait a few seconds after breaking the neck and try the mora. It sailed through like the 5, but the smaller oval grip and the absence of any guard at all made me a tad uncomfortable. It didn't shift or turn, but, hmmmmm, I just didn't like the feel.

Anyway, after bloodbaths from 6 chickens I learned a few things. The mora will do the job, but I'd like a better grip on it. The 5 did a fine job regardless of blood and sweat. Wear glasses when decapitating chickens.

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July 20, 2008, 07:47 PM
I have a mora clipper and like mine very well. I use it mostly for food prep and when out and about at sporting events where I cook out. That is in case I loose it or somone takes it I have not lost a lot of money, just a pretty good knife that feels well in my hands. Glad yours worked just beware of the PETA.

July 20, 2008, 08:11 PM
I have slaughtered many, many chickens, using every technique from trying to saw the head off with a knife, to spinning the bird by the neck, to an ax. My own personal preference is to loop the bird onto a stump and whack the head off with a machete. It seems to be the quickest and easiest way to kill them, and since they are essentially tied to the stump, it keeps the blood from flying on you.

Nothing tastes better than home-grown fried chicken....

July 20, 2008, 08:31 PM
Another way...

Crank up AC/DC's Highway to Hell.

Take a one pound orange dead blow hammer and using cord, slip knot this hammer around the chicken's neck.

Now using a dog leash, fashioned into a "slip cinch", put the chicken's neck onto a stump and ask where the small hand axe is.
Dead blow hammer keeps the head "down" and the leash alleviates all that wing flopping and feet scratchin'

Use a Spyderco Mule to cut the neck and then let the chicken run around with
it's head cut off. Let kids chase chicken.

Crank up Gunpowder & Lead
Repeat dead blow hammer/ leash/ stump, with the next chicken, including asking where the axe is.
Use Queen Collector's Club Mini Trapper with Blue Bone and ATS -34 blades.

Crank up We are an American Band by Grand Funk Railroad
Repeat ...and of course "Nobody" has the damn axe, so this time use a Small Skinner made by our own Valkman, which has 01 steel.

Damn! This Small Skinner is damn good!

Crank up Pirate Looks at 40

While the kids learn the fine art of plucking and burning hair with a Propane Torch....(the propane part is more funner btw), the axe was founded that "Nobody" hid and it was used to cut apple and onions into.

Smoker has hickory wood, that has soaked over night fire is hot, water pan is ready and ...
Shove 1/2 of an apple and onion up a chicken's butt, and after spraying the breast with Pam cooking spray, drape a couple of slices of bacon and let smoke.

Crank up When You're Going Through Hell Keep on Going
While chickens smoke, kids learn the meaning of "Tarred & Feathered" (Elmer's glue and balloons) and drive moms nuts wanting to make a feather pillow.

Like I said , not "the way" , just another way.

DL Knives, Small Skinner, did I mention this knife?
Oh yeah, mine is 01 , with Micarta handles.
Lifter's does damn nice sheaths too!

Mule works very well!

Mini Trappers are proven!

Another Custom I have is ia Classic Hunting pattern, made from a Bastard File , with Elk handles, and was used for other food prep by someone else indoors while all the outdoors stuff was going on.
Including cubing a helluva lot of meat for stews, 'taters, carrots, cucumbers, ',maters...who knows what all.
"I got carried away wanting to cut up stuff with this knife". lady said
I'll say...
Dang wimmin...

July 20, 2008, 08:31 PM
So, you're saying that the guard portion of the knife at the foot of the blade either gave you a sense of safety, or actually did work to make the knife safer during use?

July 20, 2008, 08:43 PM

It wasn't the guard. It was the differences in the design of the grip that did gave me a better grip. The knife I preferred was a flattened oval cross section with a single finger choil. I knew exactly where my hand was on the knife and that it was not going to roll in my hand if I hit a bone. I doubt the Frosts would have rolled, but it didn't give the same level of confidence as the mora.

On the other hand, my wife said the mora was better for dressing the birds and the 5 was better for taking the wing ends off. Interesting.

July 20, 2008, 08:50 PM
Let kids chase chicken.

Hey, I've done that!!! LOL.

My dad and his mom was very good at spinning the heads off and then we had the privilege to chase them around the yard before the dogs tried to get them.

ahhhhhh, memories.

July 20, 2008, 09:07 PM
Topper's axe + stump, hang it till it's bled out, scald, pluck, clean, chill, rinse, cut-up, freeze.

Simple, yes?

Please chop, don't try to cut. The idea of waving a very sharp blade that close to irreplaceable fingers makes me queasy.

July 20, 2008, 09:58 PM
use guitar string with a piece of wood at each end. wrap around chicken's neck and YANK. instant and clean(ish)

The Tourist
July 20, 2008, 10:31 PM
I would have cranked up "Dirty Deeds." However, my wife just giggled and said a better theme for my particular brand of mayhem would have been "Dirty White Boy." For us, the problem is the mood music, not the hardware.

And that's the issue. The reason that some edges are better for cutting, some for shearing and some for chopping is more on the angle and the preparation of the edge.

If I took a cheap Chicago Cutlery cleaver, angled it for the job, and polished the edge for the best "grip" on biting into the designated medium, you'd never trade the tool away. The tool, the angle, the polish and the man are all bits of the equation.

I would recommend a tool with a belly of a gentle continuous curve, a refined polish but with more of a matte' finish, and the overall size and shape so that the user feels a certain lightness or springiness rather than the perception of a heavy club.

And a plastic apron. "Been in trouble before, I'm in trouble now and I know some day I'll find trouble again...because..."

July 20, 2008, 10:45 PM
Gransfors bruks. I used mine to cleave through a moose's spine, and I used it to chop the snout into slices for the dogs to chew on. The teeth were the only thing it couldn't cut through. A chicken would be no problemo.

July 20, 2008, 10:59 PM
hso makes great points in regard to safety.

Small Skinner handle design fits hands, is comfortable, and due to design, is extremely safe to use.

Blade Geometry is such, it is not just for "skinning" also for a myriad of uses.

Just me, I was raised how to use a knife proper with a pocket knife (slip joint) and fixed.
I have never cared for locking knives, and therefore use pocket knives and fixed.

In watching folks use knives over the last few years, it is that obvious to me, many are not being raised in correct tool use [knives] and it does not matter what task, they get into trouble.

I sharpened a Buck 55 freehand using a Norton Crystalon coarse/ fine and stropped on a leather gun case - at 3am under headlights in a field and by 9am the fella was in a ER getting 17 stitches from improper use taking care of ducks and geese.

His wife bought him game shears...he ain't too good with them either...

Body parts do not get near Sharp-n-Pointy.

July 20, 2008, 11:09 PM
The 5 has a convex "apple seed" grind, TT.

As to fingers and blades, well we hold and cut things all the time without losing too much.

July 20, 2008, 11:31 PM
No knife needed until the bird is cooked where I am from. I have a piece of 3/8ths rod with a hook on the end about 4ft long. Snatch hen by leg grab head and crank like you are starting the model T. Takes about 3 or 4 good cranks. Drop bird at feet. After a few seconds pick up dead bird and proceed to pull head off, dump innards wash out inside some. Then proceed to pull feathers or use fancy defeathering machine. It helps to pull against the lay of the feathers. Don't take long either. Then wash again. Ready for the freezer although we only kill one when we want to eat it.


July 20, 2008, 11:33 PM
I have one of the Moras to which hso refers. Well, okay, maybe I have six or eight.

I'd probably have to wear a glove with a high friction palm to comfortably use it for "chickin whackin" duty.

On the other hand, I have a few (look, fewer than ten is a "few," okay?) of another Mora of a more recent design, the Morakniv 2000.

I would have no problem using one of those for whackin duty.

Have some more modern pukko knives as well that would serve in that capacity.

The Morakniv 2000 is on my short list of "if I were stranded with just one knife" pieces.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 21, 2008, 12:49 AM
Humble observations:

1. Giving hso an excuse to go find a sharp knife just HAD to have made his day/week/month/year. That's his raison d'etre, ain't it? :)

2. If sm and Tourist ever set foot in the same town/locale, and collaborate on *anything*, then we should be afraid - very afraid. The monster created would undoubtedly be more sinister than the sum of its parts, and could create chaos the likes of which we've never seen.

:p Funny stuff...

July 21, 2008, 12:59 AM
ok ok just relax i've got it, put some bird seed in the middle of the road and wait for a car to come by,then through your hands in the air and screem like a little girl

The Tourist
July 21, 2008, 12:59 AM
could create chaos

And your point is?:D

I don't think any knife is at its full potential until it scares the crap out of somebody. We spend all of this time and metallurgy research into alloys and HT and then form an edge like a mule-skinner at the Little Big Horn.

Now granted, the bird should have been dead before the cutting. But failing that (or if you have a differing regimen) the slice should have been one, smooth pass.

Heck, any slice should be one smooth pass...

July 21, 2008, 01:28 AM
I had some interesting mentors and elders.
They passed forward some interesting "lessons".

Plane crash and one has to survive and get back.
No knives, but there was "wreckage" and Improvise, Adapt, Overcome.
[Little did we know there would be such a time knives would be not be allowed on planes and TSA would come to be.]

I "find" a novelty lighter, where if you tipped it one way, the gal's bikini top fell down.
I got fire!

Now the teenage gal that was my partner in this shin-dig, finds, Schiltz and Falstaff steel beer cans.
So we bend these back and forth and have "knives".

Anywho we ended up using snares to catch some birds, and used steel beer cans to clean them, and cooked them.

Water from a creek and just used them beer cans , heat up to boil to "purify".

They set us out with nothing, just our clothes and "get through it".

July 21, 2008, 01:48 AM

aint no schlitz on any airplane I'VE ridden on!

July 21, 2008, 01:54 AM
Plane crash.
Use what is found in a rural setting, like cans in a ditch.

July 21, 2008, 09:48 AM
They will be easier to pluck if you dip them in boiling water first. After the feathers are off, my mom used a rolled up paper grocery sack (remember those?) to singe off the pin feathers. Set it on fire first. Our gear was a stump with two nails and an old heavy meat cleaver.

July 21, 2008, 10:13 AM
Skinning and plucking were about equally easy for my wife (she likes peeling the hide off of things). We did dip in a pot of hot water so the feathers released easily.

July 23, 2008, 06:09 PM

aint no schlitz on any airplane I'VE ridden on!

If they're serving Schlitz in first class, it's time to get off that plane.....

July 23, 2008, 09:27 PM
I like the handle on the Clipper for that very reason. It is ugly, but boy does it work.

July 23, 2008, 10:22 PM
Some bushcrafters torch off the red paint and leave some of the 'scortch' to help the grip. Perhaps you can rat-tail file some grippy grooves into the wood as well. -But I guess opening up the wood to blood & germs isn't that good of an idea.

I just like my Mora no.1, I know there are better designs, but something about the simplicity of the design.

July 23, 2008, 11:32 PM
I have both torched and filed the handles of two Mora No. 1's and it does improve the grip, though both do duty on my workbench as opposed to "wet" work.

My biggest problem with wood handled Moras and game/food duty is the gap between the blade and the ferrule.

July 24, 2008, 01:29 AM
Is it a bad thing that reading this thread caused a large amount of laughter?

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 28, 2008, 10:24 PM
Who's gonna start the Turkey thread?

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