Watching cows being killed is not a sight for the faint of heart. But farmers who breed animals must be prepared for this. There can be several reasons for slaughter: illness, slaughter of cattle for meat or veterinary need (fear). In any of these situations that require the killing of an animal, there are general rules and different technologies for implementation. So, some principles are used at the meat processing plant, while others are used on private farms. Today, we will tell you how to kill a bull or a cow with modern methods.
The nuances of the face, which is important to know
Before killing an animal, it is necessary that the vet examine it - this is an important rule that does not tolerate violations. The fact is that slaughter of cattle is associated with the risk of infection. If one of the following diseases is found in an animal, its meat must be disposed of. Danger is borne by diseases such as:
- catarrhal fever;
- malignant tumors.
Upon detection of these diseases, slaughter of cattle at home is prohibited. Farmers should contact the slaughterhouse, where experts will carry out the procedure for killing and dispose of the meat of infected animals.
There are many ways to hammer a bull, but when using any of them you should follow a number of general rules. Thus, a calf under the age of 2 weeks should not be subjected to slaughter for meat, as his body has not yet been formed. 2 weeks before slaughter, calves and calves are vaccinated against anthrax.
Vaccination against foot and mouth disease should be carried out 21 days before the planned date of slaughter of cattle. Compliance with these terms for vaccinations is important because they help identify hidden diseases that are dangerous to humans. If the reaction to vaccinations is positive, you should contact your veterinarian and check the rest of the herd for the presence of disease.
An important role in determining the date of slaughter is played by antibiotics given to animals with diseases or to stimulate growth. Before you fill up the bull, you need to calculate how long it will take for the drug to completely leave the animal's body, otherwise its meat will not pass the control and it will not be possible to sell it profitably.
Methods of stunning livestock and the importance of the last hours of animal life
Unfortunately, the slaughtering of bulls was and is not the most pleasant and aesthetic process. Of course, today there are technologies that allow slaughtering an animal so that it doesn’t feel anything - stunning it is the so-called slaughter process flow diagram. For stunning on farms and slaughterhouses, use several techniques: stunning blow, electric discharge or stun.
It has been noticed that animals feel that they will be killed soon, therefore, when they are sent to the slaughterhouse, they begin to intensively rest and kick. Try to calm the cows and bulls so that they behave less aggressively.
The calmness of the animal in its final hours is important, because with a strong neurosis in the blood of cows and bulls, harmful substances that can spoil the meat begin to be released. To avoid this, do not kick, push or hit the animal.
General, preparatory stage
Today, farmers do not cut a cow without prior preparation. Slaughter technology is used in private farms and slaughterhouses, which allows to obtain high-quality, juicy meat. The quality of the product depends on many factors: preliminary preparation, method of stunning, method of killing, butchering. Read more about what are the ways of killing, read our article "How to cut cows and bulls." We now talk about the preparation for slaughter and methods of stunning.
Preparation of animals begins in a day. Bull-calf or calf cease to feed, but do not forget to give water. This allows you to clean the intestines, but does not allow the muscles to dry out. If you forget to water the cattle, then it will be harder to butcher the carcass.
Before stunning and send the cow for slaughter, it is thoroughly washed. If this is not done, then the dismemberment of the meat can get dirt and spoil the product.
Stun with a pistol
We have already said that slaughtering a cow is an unpleasant process. To facilitate the work itself and reduce the stress in the animal, the cow is stunned using an air gun. Pneumatics can be used on slaughterhouse and private farms - it does not require a special permit.
The advantage of stunning is that the animal does not feel pain, does not twitch, does not harm itself or the person conducting the slaughter. Blow from an air pistol should be aimed strictly at the head, which will allow to immobilize the cattle for 10 minutes.
This time is enough for the blood to leave the animal's body painlessly. Stunning with a pistol reduces the stress in animals, reduces the risk of harmful substances from the blood entering the meat and makes the product less bloody, which is especially valued in the market.
On farms for stunning cattle using a hammer. This method has been used for decades. To stun a cow, it is better to use a wooden hammer weighing 2 kg. Well, if the handle of the tool will be as long as possible - about a meter. The base of the hammer, which make a blow, should be slightly convex.
It is not recommended to use metal tools or hammers with a sharp ending, as it can damage the brain of a slaughtered animal. The blow is applied to the head, slightly above the eyes in the frontal part. The impact force must be such that the hammer does not pierce the skull, but the animal is turned off.
With the advent of air guns, stun hammers are used less and less. First, for a clear blow with a hammer, the cattle must be fixed in the stall, which causes her concern. Secondly, an improperly struck blow can disrupt blood circulation, which will lead to the deterioration of meat and the torment of the animal. Pneumatics in this sense is much more reliable.
Using current for slaughter
The technology of slaughter using electricity was born in America. Thanks to her, today you can immobilize or kill the cattle, without causing her damage. Currently, slaughterhouses located in Italy, England and America practice the use of current for slaughtering livestock.
But most farms and slaughterhouses prefer not to use electric current. First, this method is not safe for the person himself. Secondly, the use of this method is costly to pastoralists. Thirdly, the meat of such animals acquires a specific taste, which reduces its cost.
Stops and the fact that when using current to immobilize livestock, you can not calculate the force of impact and kill the animal. In order to correctly pick up a blow for paralysis, one has to take into account the mass of the animal and the time of current injection. The difference of a few seconds can be fatal.
The use of specialized masks for slaughter
If you do not know how to fill up cattle with a single blow with a hammer, then we recommend that you use special masks designed to kill animals. The most popular among them are the masks of Bruno and Zygmund. They differ in that the Zygmund mask is a more perfect model. With its help, slaughter of cows passes automatically. But masks have several disadvantages:
- their use damages the brain;
- in the process, when a rod is hammered or a pistol is triggered, the calf strongly screams that scares other animals;
- The bleeding of the carcass is delayed.
But in the absence of a specialist who would kill or immobilize the animal with one blow, one should think about the use of these masks. So, you will avoid misses and even more trauma to the cattle.
Slaughtering at slaughterhouse
In modern slaughterhouses, the process of slaughtering cattle is put on stream and does not take much time for one carcass. These "factories" use special equipment and well-trained personnel. On large farms, the owners create their own slaughterhouses, since it is much more profitable than taking the livestock for slaughter.
In our article "Equipment for slaughter of cattle", you can read more about the necessary equipment and its purpose. The very same slaughtering procedure at the slaughterhouse takes place with the use of a special pistol. Industrial pistols for slaughter are very heavy, and for the convenience of the operator they are suspended on a spring.
Before the shot, the cattle are driven into a metal container where the animal cannot move. This allows the operator to make an accurate shot at the center of the head. After that, cows and bulls are hung by their hind legs and blood is drained from the carcass.
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