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How To Humanely Euthanize A Chicken.. - Page 6

post #51 of 119

I just wanted to post a tender message to those looking to humanely and quietly euthanize a chicken.  I was faced with this dilemma.   Earlier this spring I had a hen who got stepped on by a horse.  When I called several vets in the area, they refused to euthanize a chicken.  All of them said they would not treat anything with feathers.
I finally called my equine vet who initially refused explaining that finding a vein to inject the necessary drugs was impossible.    She finally agreed to 'figure something out'.  I dropped my hen off and never asked how they decided to euthanize her.  I was relieved to pass my poor hen on to someone else.
Today after returning from a lovely 4th of July holiday, I was faced with a decision regarding another paralyzed hen.  After consulting the BackYardChickens Forum, I decided to use carbon monoxide.
I placed my poor little hen in a plastic bucket on a cushion of wood shavings and set the bucket in a garbage bag.  I then used the hose from my shop vac.  I slipped one end over the exhaust on my car and placed the other end inside the garbage bag.  I used duct tape to tape the bag closed after I snugged it tightly over the hose.
I started the car and within a minute, my hen flapped her wings a few times and let out her final breath.  It was very quick with only a moment or two of struggle.  I did allow the car to run a few minutes longer, although I don't believe it was necessary. 
It is always a hard decision to end the life of a hen or rooster's life but I feel good about my decision and that I was able to take the step to end her suffering.

post #52 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbrennan 

I just wanted to post a tender message to those looking to humanely and quietly euthanize a chicken.  I was faced with this dilemma.   Earlier this spring I had a hen who got stepped on by a horse.  When I called several vets in the area, they refused to euthanize a chicken.  All of them said they would not treat anything with feathers.
I finally called my equine vet who initially refused explaining that finding a vein to inject the necessary drugs was impossible.    She finally agreed to 'figure something out'.  I dropped my hen off and never asked how they decided to euthanize her.  I was relieved to pass my poor hen on to someone else.
Today after returning from a lovely 4th of July holiday, I was faced with a decision regarding another paralyzed hen.  After consulting the BackYardChickens Forum, I decided to use carbon monoxide.
I placed my poor little hen in a plastic bucket on a cushion of wood shavings and set the bucket in a garbage bag.  I then used the hose from my shop vac.  I slipped one end over the exhaust on my car and placed the other end inside the garbage bag.  I used duct tape to tape the bag closed after I snugged it tightly over the hose.
I started the car and within a minute, my hen flapped her wings a few times and let out her final breath.  It was very quick with only a moment or two of struggle.  I did allow the car to run a few minutes longer, although I don't believe it was necessary. 
It is always a hard decision to end the life of a hen or rooster's life but I feel good about my decision and that I was able to take the step to end her suffering.


I very much agree with this post.....  I have had to make this decision also and have found it to be the quickest and most humane way to put a chicken to rest.

Mom to 2 sons (15,12),  DH, a boston, peke, 2 beagles, 3 cats, a rosey bourke parakeet, 6 rabbits, EE pair, pair of muscovies and call ducks.  I have about a dozen chicks left.... breeds vary.  PM if interested    ~Everything else is Gone~ :o(
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Mom to 2 sons (15,12),  DH, a boston, peke, 2 beagles, 3 cats, a rosey bourke parakeet, 6 rabbits, EE pair, pair of muscovies and call ducks.  I have about a dozen chicks left.... breeds vary.  PM if interested    ~Everything else is Gone~ :o(
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post #53 of 119

If a person was to take the chicken to an animal shelter that can perform euthanasia, it is more likely that they would do a IP (interperiteneal) stick than a heart stick. With a bird, they would likely cover the head with a towel, hold the bird on a lap, belly up, and feel for the sternum. The needle would insert just below the keel bone and into the body cavity. The animal wouldn't struggle and would pass away peacefully. Very different than a heart stick which is not humane unless the animal is sedated. I hope shelters are not doing that any more unless sedated. (I worked for 10 years in a shelter and euthanized many birds that were injured, sick, etc). I just wish I had access to the drug (now a controlled substance) so I could do my own! I am not comfortable with cervical dislocation, but wish I was able to and do want to learn.


Edited by jupitergirl - 7/6/09 at 5:55pm
Life is gooood! in the country with hubby, mini aussies, chickens! and assorted house pets.
"Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right" ~~ J.Garcia
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Life is gooood! in the country with hubby, mini aussies, chickens! and assorted house pets.
"Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right" ~~ J.Garcia
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post #54 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbrennan 

...It is always a hard decision to end the life of a hen or rooster's life but I feel good about my decision and that I was able to take the step to end her suffering.


I'm sorry too that you had to go through this, sorry for all of us having to face this.  But it's a reality for everyone keeping chickens, and best to consider long before you might ever need to do the deed.  Best to learn all your options and best to decide what you will do should you ever have a chicken that needs help to immediately end its suffering.  Best to decide now and not wait until you have a bird in dire need and you're only beginning to scan the phone book for vets in your area who will treat chickens, or to assemble your materials for a home-made gas chamber, or sharpen your axe, or whatever you decide.

I think that any method that quickly kills a suffering chicken is humane, and there are several options that we all can agree would fit that category.  And others that we can agree are not, because they create a longer, and perhaps more painful or fearful end.

BTW, someone sent me the passage from Gail Damerow's Chicken Health Handbook that described in detail how to do an efficient cervical dislocation.  Since that is my method of choice, I am now researching how to do it even more quickly & effectively, and therefore, more humanely.

Edited to add: But I hope I don't have to use this knowledge for a long, long time!

It's not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy!
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It's not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy!
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post #55 of 119

You have to think of what's best for your chicken.  Is suffering and not being able to walk properly, being stuck out in the rain, having a hard time getting to food and water, etc. a good life for her?  Would YOU want to live like that?!  I know I wouldn't. 

I know the OP said she doesnt' want to have the head chopped off, but it's the quickest way (other than maybe wringing neck).  I don't see how their could be any suffering that way.  By the time the chicken even realizes something is up, it's over.  I think most people are afraid of it because we are thinking about it.  The chickens don't even think about it, it's just done and over. 

If you can't do it yourself, you should have someone do it for you.

Please spay and neuter your pets. Shelters are full of carelessly bred animals! There are dogs and cats dying every day because there just aren't enough homes!

My blog! Http://katiegirlkate.blogspot.com
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Please spay and neuter your pets. Shelters are full of carelessly bred animals! There are dogs and cats dying every day because there just aren't enough homes!

My blog! Http://katiegirlkate.blogspot.com
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post #56 of 119

MrsLopez, this thread is coming at a perfect time for me.
I was researching new methods of euthanasia because we have a beloved hen that's been struggling with internal laying since May, and is now showing signs of prolapse. She's the lead hen, and we already know that she finds being away from the flock VERY stressful. But she was miserable last night and DH and I don't want her to suffer.

I've culled chicks, and used the neck wrenching method someone else described. I cuddled them and soothed them and then did the deed.

But I just can't do it for a 2-year old hen who is a beloved pet.
And I can't afford a vet.
But most of all I cannot let her suffer, letting nature take it's course. She's been a hen of dignity throughout her life and she deserves a dignified exit!

I think Emzzy's idea sounds simple and effective. It will allow us to cuddle our hen and give her some favorite treats beforehand, and she lived in a large tub when we were treating her for the laying issues. So we can put a box of shavings in there for a nest, above the peroxide/soda mix. She'll snuggle down into it while we pet her, and then I can cover the tote with a lid rather than the screen she was used to. I think it will be peaceful for her, and easier on us.

That's my plan, and I feel a measure of peace in having this plan.
I wish you the best as you struggle with this issue, too.

Tennessee State Rep for -> Belgian d'Uccle & Booted Bantam Club
NPIP #63-378

Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.
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Tennessee State Rep for -> Belgian d'Uccle & Booted Bantam Club
NPIP #63-378

Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.
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post #57 of 119

Most of us can't kill our pets. I was raised around animals and seldom have trouble euthanizing anything but even I have trouble when its my pet. Although it seems harsh I grew up doing what needed to be done. Today when I need a pet put down I call my brother and he calls me in that situation. Not being able to kill a animal is a very good trait while thinking that they never need to be euthanized is not.IMHO

Today's mighty oak is yesterdays nut that held its ground.
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Today's mighty oak is yesterdays nut that held its ground.
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post #58 of 119

The problem with raising chickens is that we get them and call them pets and treat them as such but in reality we are small scale farmers.
The fact that vets will not handle them as pets now categorizes them as livestock and need to be dealt with this way.

In the last two months I have had the unfortunate problem where two hens that we raised from birth require their being put out of their misery. One was internal laying and the other attacked by a Raccoon.

It was the hardest thing to do but the method I chose was to break it neck as described many times in this forum by simply holding the bird and giving a quick tug of the neck below the head. It was instant and there was no thrashing around or blood to deal with.

As an owner of livestock you need to take on the responsibility of the deeds that need to be done no matter what. Some are never easy but necessary and need to be done efficiently and effectively.

If you cannot handle the situation then certainly you can find someone to help you (ask at your local feed store)

I feel sorry for the OP but do not let the bird suffer any longer and choose the option you can live with. Keep in mind that for me watching my bird suffer was much more painful than ending her suffering. I can tell you that as gruesome as it sounds to break it's neck I felt I did what I was supposed to do and fely relieved after wards that she was no longer in pain.

Good luck

post #59 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emzyyy 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Creativedogma 

Baking soda & vinegar or peroxide, google this online & here...it is very quick. Use an enclosed container.


A cooler works great or a big rubbermaid container.


Does this work on a rabbit?

Grandchildren enlarge your world  and shrink your pocketbook: 1leghorn, 1RIR, 1NHR, 1Australorp, 1delaware, 21 EE, 1 black silkie,  2dogs, 3cats, 2cockatiels, 2finches, 2turtles, 2guinea pigs, 1hamster, 6bunnies, 2 grandchildren in California, 5 grandchildren in Texas. (www.sitandvisitwithme.com)
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Grandchildren enlarge your world  and shrink your pocketbook: 1leghorn, 1RIR, 1NHR, 1Australorp, 1delaware, 21 EE, 1 black silkie,  2dogs, 3cats, 2cockatiels, 2finches, 2turtles, 2guinea pigs, 1hamster, 6bunnies, 2 grandchildren in California, 5 grandchildren in Texas. (www.sitandvisitwithme.com)
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post #60 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by granmahen 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emzyyy 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Creativedogma 

Baking soda & vinegar or peroxide, google this online & here...it is very quick. Use an enclosed container.


A cooler works great or a big rubbermaid container.


Does this work on a rabbit?


I'll bet it would work on a rabbit just fine. Any small animal, really. As long as you could get them into the container, along with the soda & peroxide (or vinegar).

Tennessee State Rep for -> Belgian d'Uccle & Booted Bantam Club
NPIP #63-378

Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.
Reply
Tennessee State Rep for -> Belgian d'Uccle & Booted Bantam Club
NPIP #63-378

Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.
Reply
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