|U.S. Department of Agriculture
Farmers’ Bulletin No. 767
Slightly revised January 1960
From "Killing, Picking, and Marketing"
"When geese are well fattened they are ready to be marketed. They are killed and picked in the same manner as other kinds of poultry, but are much more difficult to pick than either chickens or turkeys. Care should be used in handling geese at killing time as the flesh bruises very easily and bruised spots detract from the appearance of the dressed bird. All geese should be starved for about 12 hours before they are killed, but water should be kept before them.
"To kill a goose, hang it up by its feet and cut the jugular vein in the mouth just below the base of the skull with a 4-inch, narrow-bladed knife. As soon as the goose starts to bleed, loosen the feathers by sticking the knife through the groove in the roof of the mouth and rotating the point of the knife in the rear lobe of the brain at the base of the skull. The feathers may also be loosened by a sharp blow on the back of the skull with a heavy stick. A cup is usually attached to the lower jaw to catch the blood.
"Dry picking produces a nice-looking carcass and leaves the feathers in good condition, but semiscalding or steaming methods of picking are much easier. . . ."
This way of killing poultry is the old-fashioned way that is still recommended for poultry on small farms in "small flock" manuals. If the geese are going to a standard small commercial slaughter plant they could be killed this way or similarly (as in live poultry markets), or they could be subjected to hand-stun guns prior to neck-cutting. If they go to a standard large plant, they would be immersed in a waterbath "stun" cabinet, a long trough of splashing cold, salted electrified water designed to paralyze the muscles of their feather follicles (the role of the knife through the mouth to the brain in the old-fashioned process), so the feathers come out more easily. Birds are intentionally kept alive through the slaughter process so their hearts will pump out the blood. Many birds are scalded alive following bleedout, which for chickens is about 90 seconds in a bleedout area. After that, dead or alive, they go into the scald (semiscald) tank.
Information from United Poultry Concerns
For Information on Poultry Slaughter: www.upc-online.org/slaughter/