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Humane Peaceful Way to put down an Adult Chicken? Update...

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I have a poor pullet that I am sure has Mareks. She is fully quarantined from my flock, but she is going downhill fast and having trouble holding herself upright. I don't want her to suffer. I don't think I can decapitate her. I am new to chicken husbandry and not quite up to that yet. Anyone have any ideas? I will take her to the vet to be euthanized if necessary. Was kind of hoping to keep her here at home then bury her.

Thank-you for all your suggestions but I have no experience euthanizing a pet so I was afraid I'd bungle it and cause more discomfort for her.

I caved in and went to our vet who was wonderful and very kind as always. It's hard to find veins on poultry (especially when you don't treat poultry) so he was able to give her an injection that included a sedative so she was not uncomfortable. I am SO angry at the man that sold me this bird. I feel so bad for her, at least I have the knowledge that I treated her for 2 weeks and attempted everything I could to save her. The vet also felt it was mereks he did an evaluation before he put her down. Poor sweet Stacia. At least she isn't suffering. sad


Edited by LovinMyPeeps - 10/5/09 at 2:48pm
AUCTIONS UP RIGHT NOW- 6+ BLRW test eggs
I am NOT a hamster... and life is NOT a wheel.
Nolite te bastardes carborundorum....
I bought the farm...
Reply
AUCTIONS UP RIGHT NOW- 6+ BLRW test eggs
I am NOT a hamster... and life is NOT a wheel.
Nolite te bastardes carborundorum....
I bought the farm...
Reply
post #2 of 8

My DH and I had an issue a while back with an aging, sick ferret and we couldn't really afford the vet bill to have it put down.  We finally decided to try using carbon monoxide, since it's supposed to be a painless way to die (slowly drifting off to sleep).

We placed the ferret in a small cardboard box and attached a hose or tube from the car's tail pipe to channel the exhaust into the enclosed space.  The ferret never even seemed to realize what was happening, and it did the trick for us.  We haven't tried this method with a chicken, but I suppose the degree of anxiety of the bird would depend on how much energy it still has and it's level of alertness.

A chicken might be upset about being placed in a box... or maybe it would enjoy the dark solitude, if its feeling so ill.  You could also lesson its anxiety by using a longer hose so that the box can be placed farther away from the vehicle, if the sound of the car's engine seems to upset it further.  That wasn't an issue with our ferret, though.  We left the car running, and let the exhaust fill the box for a half hour, just to be sure it had plenty of time to do the job.  We didn't want the ferret waking up or struggling to breath, after being exposed to the fumes.  I think that amount of time is "overkill" since it probably took a relatively short time for it to actually pass away.

I hope this idea might help you in such a difficult situation.  I know it isn't easy to put down a beloved pet, and the cost of vet care can be like adding "insult to injury".  I think this method could be a useful alternative for some folks.


Edited by JestersEye - 10/5/09 at 7:23am
post #3 of 8

Here's a link to an old discussion about humanely euthanizing chickens.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=208641&p=1

post #4 of 8

I know this is not the answer you are looking for, but I find the most humane way to put a chicken down (not slaughter for eating) is a very carefully placed shot from a 22 pistol to the back of the head. if you destroy / sever the base of the spinal column / motor cortex / Modula Oblongata all feeling ceases. The hen will thrash a little, but you can be sure it is just random firing of nerves, and will subside in  seconds.

It is a dirty buisness, but I feel I owe it to the animal to deal with my own pain and feelings to spare her a painful death.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

I don't own a gun so that option is out.

AUCTIONS UP RIGHT NOW- 6+ BLRW test eggs
I am NOT a hamster... and life is NOT a wheel.
Nolite te bastardes carborundorum....
I bought the farm...
Reply
AUCTIONS UP RIGHT NOW- 6+ BLRW test eggs
I am NOT a hamster... and life is NOT a wheel.
Nolite te bastardes carborundorum....
I bought the farm...
Reply
post #6 of 8

I have only had to deal with this twice, but my vet did it for me both times. 

The first time, I called and told them what I had, and that I didn't want any testing or exams - just the injection.  They asked if I could come in at the end of the day when office hours were over, and I agreed.  Months later, I called about the second one, and we did it the same way.

I held each one while it was going to sleep, and it was peaceful both times.  I was only charged 20 bucks for each one - and it was well worth the price.

Kat ~ Fox Hill Farm
LF: Tolbunt Polish, BLRW's, BBS/BW Ameraucanas & EE's
Bantams: Polish, cochins, silkies, seramas & modern games
Plus mandarins, muscovies, guineas, and a herd of turtles!!!
Reply
Kat ~ Fox Hill Farm
LF: Tolbunt Polish, BLRW's, BBS/BW Ameraucanas & EE's
Bantams: Polish, cochins, silkies, seramas & modern games
Plus mandarins, muscovies, guineas, and a herd of turtles!!!
Reply
post #7 of 8

When they kill rodents for the reptile food industry they use dry ice. Just put them in a bog box with a piece of dry ice in a small tub and pour some water in the tub, then close the box. The dry ice releases lots of carbon dioxide and displaces the oxygen. From what I understand it happens VERY fast with little or no struggling.

post #8 of 8

Breaking it's neck is humane. It's quick and painless.

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