Broiler chickens were stunned electrically for one second or 10 seconds with a unipolar pulsed direct current (DC) at 550 Hz. The effectiveness of the stun was assessed from the birds' behaviour. All the birds were stunned effectively when more than 15 mA true root mean square DC was applied for either period. An increase in the duration of the applied current resulted in an increased duration of unconsciousness. However, the unipolar pulsed DC at 550 Hz did not induce cardiac arrest, and it must therefore be accompanied by a prompt and effective neck cut, severing both carotid arteries.