Chullin 20 - Shechitah and Melikah of Birds

Shechitah is the way of kosher slaughter for birds. In the Temple, however, birds were an exception, and there they were killed in a different way, called melikah . While shechitah is done from the front of the neck, the melikah is done from the back of it. Therefore we have the following rules.

If one performs shechitah from the side of the neck, it is valid, but if one performs melikah from the side of the neck, it is invalid. If one performs shechitah from the back of the neck, it is invalid, but if he performs melikah from the back of the neck, it is the proper way to do it. Finally, if one performs shechitah from the throat, it is valid, but if he performs melikah that way, it is invalid.

We thus find that the complete back of the neck is valid for melikah, and the complete front and the sides are valid for shechitah, and what is fit for melikah is unfit for shechitah and vice versa.

Art: Jozef Chelmonski - Greeting Of The Sun Cranes