Sacrifices brought from fowl are not formally zevahim, which are limited to animals that are slaughtered in an ordinary fashion. These sacrifices are prepared for sacrifice by means of melikah, where the kohen will pierce the neck of the bird with his fingernail. 

What was involved in the service of melikahThe Gemara on Zevahim 64 discusses the details.


Rav Zutra bar Tuviah quotes Rav as teaching that the kohen would hold the wings with two fingers and the legs with two fingers stretching out the bird's neck, and the bird would be killed by means of the kohen's thumbnail.


 (This image was taken from the Hebrew edition of the Steinsaltz Talmud, Tractate Zevahim, page 273. To order your copy of the Steinsaltz Talmudclick here (Hebrew site), contact your local Jewish bookstore, or e-mail Koren Books at