80$ to put down a chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Qi Chicken, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. Qi Chicken

    Qi Chicken Songster

    Jul 3, 2009
    One vet said 80$ (40 if you don't want to be there) They inject into the thoracic cavity. He said about 5 minutes. Quiet. The other vet said 60$ they inject into the liver and didn't want you to be there as it "wasn't pleasant" I'm sorry but WTH Heck?!??!

    Anyway. I have one chicken that I think was injured. But I really don't know. Could be anything from Mareks to some kind of vitamin deficiency. She can't walk and hasn't for 6 weeks. In the house. Second chicken went down yesterday. Totally different from first. Acts drunk. Cant find balance.

    Anyway 2 down. 2nd chicken too active for small cage. DH gave her water and food in am. When I got home at 6 all food and water gone and terrible smell?!?!? Chicken can still ambulate. Tried to roost on old wooden chair. Was worried about her without food or water so put her into coop with others.

    What do you think about just letting nature take its course. Either chicken will live or die. I can't see paying 80$ to put a chicken down. But also can't see cutting off Nan's head.

    What if I just let them live their lives inside the coop and whatever happens happens. Is this a cowards way out or fact of life?? I know I may be risking other chickens lives. But aren't they already at risk? Whatever one has the others probably already do too?

    I let out the drunken chicken and she kept eating the strangest things. She was purposely searching out shavings and little bits of plastic to eat. I took these away from her but why would she do this? There was food right there.

    I am tired. I am sad. I am sick of sick chickens. What to do?
  2. bburn

    bburn Songster

    Jul 9, 2010
    Delaware, Arkansas
    I am thinking if you have chickens you need to be able to do the right thing for them. If they are too sick there are times you have to put them down. That said, I would have to have my DH or DSS do it for me. Unless no one was home and it was up to me to put them out of their misery.

    They say, they being all the chicken folks that know more than me, that if they are ill they need to be separated from the flock. I think one could get something and the others not.

    And then to solve the rest of your problem...you could rehome them using craigslist or something. But you would need to get them well or put down the sick ones first.

    I have seen posts about drunk looking chickens and have never read. Perhaps do a search on here for that??? Maybe it is a simple fix.

    I am sorry you are having a hard time with your chickens.
  3. welasharon

    welasharon Songster

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    Have you listed their symptoms to see if someone can help you pinpoint the problem so that you could treat it? Six weeks is a long time to have symptoms.
  4. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    While Marek's is of course suspect...the one sounds like it went blind or head trauma...drunk acting, eating non-edibles. Wonder if she got knocked in the head and lost some of her vision. [​IMG] As for the one that can't walk...that's a toughy. Is she alert and happy even though she is immobile?
  5. Qi Chicken

    Qi Chicken Songster

    Jul 3, 2009
    Yes, I posted a thread in the emergencies section about the drunk acting chicken and didn't get any responses. I answered all of the questions etc. I looked at all of those threads and they start and the standard answer is electrolytes, egg, polyvisol, vitamin B and vitamin E. I have done all that. Not the vitamin E I guess because it had too many micrograms of selenium from what threehorses said to someone else. But the OP will post and then other people recommend things and then the post just stops. You don't know if the chicken improved or not. I couldn't find one that said I did this for my drunken chicken and they got better or they died. The poster just stopped posting. So I don't know how to help amelia.

    Chicken #2. Yes, 6 weeks is a long time. Believe me. And yes, she is so completely fine except for not walking that I have had a hard time. She lays regularly, eats heartily, talks all the time. BUt her knees knock and she can't walk for more than 10-15 steps and those are not easy for her. I took her to the vet, gave her vit B, gave her tumeric and aspirin, gave her polyvisol, gave her egg and yogurt. Nothing.

    Chicken #1 is not blind. She is specifically seeking out inedibles. Food all over and she was looking for shavings and a bit of plastic that she found. It was strange. I spread some grit and oyster shell on the sand run and she did eat some grit. Only thing I could think of (as I said in my emergency post) was that they somehow broke the oyster shell holder off the wall so have not had oyster shell for about 4 days. But her poop is bad. Watery, frothy, yesterday green. Not good.

    bburn. Yes, I know I need to do the right thing for them. But killing a chicken named Nan after she has lived in my kitchen for 6 weeks and is completely happy is very hard for me. So I called the vet and essentially it is 80$, and I am not so sure that it will be painless for her. If the other vet says it will be very bad, why does this one think it will be ok? I asked my husband and he said no. I personally am getting closer to doing it but read up on it tonight and it seems like breaking the neck thing is not very easy with a full grown alert and strong chicken.

    So anyway. I don't know what to do. I am thinking just put them back in there and let nature take its course.
  6. welasharon

    welasharon Songster

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    How frustrating for you. I can't let animals suffer so if they are not suffering you can still try things. The vet had no clue? The not walking chicken is the one you mentioned may have had an injury? Can you tell if the legs seem broken or just too weak to hold her?

    For the other chicken...#1 what have you tried treating it with so far? I guess you have checked the crop?

    Hopefully I can bump this up for you so someone who knows more can help....
  7. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    I really don't have any advice for you about the birds. You seem to have tried the things I would have (vitamins, rest and isolation, etc)

    Quote:It's not easy on you mentally/emotionally, but physically it's not hard to break the chicken's neck. I have butchered several "too old to eat" roosters for my dogs to eat (we rawfeed) so that they don't go to waste and I can assure you they were strong and healthy!

    The easiest way to do it (for me) is to get them off the roost at night, or otherwise while they are sleepy and/or "out of it" (and I usually hug them a second and tell them my final thoughts) and hold them upside down for a minute or two till they settle IF necessary (not normally recommended for carrying birds, BUT it makes them easier to hold still for the final moments so to me it seems OK). Put bird on ground and put a sturdy broomstick across it's neck right at the chin. Stand on broomstick one foot on each side of bird's head. About this point sometimes they notice something is wrong, or perhaps it's discomfort, so when you are at this point you gotta just swallow your emotions and be quick about it - yank their feet upwards and you will pop their head off of the spinal cord - they are best I can tell instantaniously dead and healthy birds do flop around at this point, but that just means they are actually dead - not feeling it.

    Sometimes they notice a bit of discomfort after you put the broomstick on their neck, but I don't think they are in pain and then it's over before they know what happened, so for me it's the easiest way for me to do it and ensure a quick kill on the first try. Old timers always swear you can just swing the bird around to break it's neck, but even my grandpa atmitted that once or twice he just got a "dizzy bird" -- mistakes are not an option for me - by the time the bird knows something is "going south" I want to end it for him right then.
  8. Not sure if your "drunk" hen has Marek's, but her symptoms are very similar to my hen that had it. She started off by losing her balance, to eventually not being able to walk at all. This progressed for about a week. We suspected Marek's, but my avian vet had me try some meds first, just in case it wasn't something else (can't remember what she said it also could be). The hard thing was, she was still very alert and wanted to eat and drink. This is one way they can die from this version of Marek's, by starving, because they can't get to food or water. I will say this, when we decided to put her down, it was not, nor should it be, traumatic for the bird. They injected the euthanasia into the vein of the leg, just like you would a cat or dog. I really don't like the sounds of having to inject into the liver or anywhere else where it will take more than a moment for the animal to pass. I understand how hard it is, I would not be able to put down any of my chickens myself either. If I remember correctly, it only cost me about $40.00 to have her put down. Of course, I had already been seen by the doctor, so there wasn't an additional exam fee. And this vet can be spendy, because all they treat are birds. Not sure what to tell you to do with your birds, that is your call. I would say that if they are truly suffering, you know what needs to be done. If they are not, then maybe that will give you more time to do even more research, or let you think about what you are able to do. Good luck in whatever decision you make.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  9. SilverPhoenix

    SilverPhoenix Bantam Fanatic

    Dec 15, 2009
    Penn Valley, CA
    First off, I am sorry that your birds aren't doing so well. It's always really rough. [​IMG] I worry like crazy over my birds when they are sick or injured, and agonize over the decision to euthanize or not to euthanize.

    Is there someone you could ask to "do the deed" for you? From what I've heard, snapping the neck does not cause the bird pain and ends things very quickly. Many members have used this on birds and said it was quick and seemingly painless. But I'm with you in that I would have a lot of trouble doing that myself. I'm fine with putting animals down, I'm a wildlife rehabber and I've done it many times, but when it's my own animals and a "violent" method of dispatching... I just can't do that. It would stick with me too much.

    I'm lucky in that, because I am a wildlife rehabber, I have access to a CO2 chamber that I can use, even for my chickens if I need to (I have not had to use it on my own birds yet, but it's there if I need it. I almost did once). That leads me to wonder if you could ask a wildlife rehab group near you if they have their own CO2 chamber, and if they do, if they would be willing to put your bird down for you (and you could donate some money to the group to make this request a little less bizarre/help benefit the group). Just explain that the vet is charging a large fee to put the bird down and you cannot currently afford it, but want to put her out of her misery peacefully. Most rehabbers are compassionate people, if you explain the situation they may be willing to help. Kind of a long-shot because I don't know if you have a group close to you/I don't know if they'd be comfortable with that request/I don't know if they even have a CO2 chamber), but it's an idea...

    Anyway, I think the best/easiest way would be to ask someone to do it for you. It's certainly sad, but it's sadder to let the bird suffer. That said, you don't want to traumatize yourself either. I get very attached to my birds, too, and no matter how many wild birds I've euthanized, it does not make it any easier to put down a friend of mine.

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