Deer netting; Just euthanized a bird with broken neck, feeling guilty

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by ChestnutRidge, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. ChestnutRidge

    ChestnutRidge Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,165
    19
    158
    Feb 26, 2011
    Western Virginia
    I had used deer netting to create a temporary run for my birds while I began working on the permanent. In fact, I had finished 1/2 of the wire mesh last night and had one more side that was still deer netting to go. I went up to let out my chickens and then sat watching them for a while, and I saw movement on the ground on the back of the run. I could tell immediately that something was stuck in the netting where it pools a bit near the ground.

    It was a bird. Its neck was completely stuck in one hole of the netting as was the top of its wing, its beak, and its foot. I ran and got scissors and gently cut it free. It could flap, but seemed limp, so I brought it in to give it some water, check it over, and so forth. I thought perhaps I would dip his beak in water like the chicks, but its head was just hanging. Don't be mad, but I gently moved the bird from side to side, and its head just hung and swung. Its neck was broken, although its spinal cord was still intact and able to move the body.

    I looked it up on the internet, and basically, it said to put it down. I had read http://www.alysion.org/euthanasia/ in the incubation or chick care section here and thought it was the most gentle way.

    Now, let me say, I have never killed something before. I'm a bleeding heart vegetarian. The poor thing was so beautiful.

    I didn't have time to do it right, really, with tubes and all, because it was actively dying and possibly in pain. It looked worse by the minute. I put some paper towels in a plastic container, put in a disposable cup with about half an inch of baking soda, and move the bird in. It was unresponsive by then, but still alive, probably in shock. I pressed down about 3/4 of the lid, but was able to bend the pliable lid back and pour some vinegar in the cup. It foamed over the sides and onto the bottom! I felt terrible - it didn't want to be wet! I quickly opened and lifted it out until it slowed, then put it in and poured a bit more vinegar and closed the lid. I am hoping that my mistake actually made the level of CO2 more gradual...

    But the bird never moved. It was too far gone. When I took it out, it was in rigor mortis, I guess, with its feet sticking straight out.

    I feel so guilty. I caused its death, not only directly when I tried to spare it some pain, but indirectly by setting up that stupid netting. I am also wondering now if I should have just left it alone once it was in shock - I don't think you feel pain beyond that point. I don't know.

    Anyhow, tears keep rising and I feel awful. [​IMG] I know I was at fault beforehand, and I don't know if I added to that fault or not...
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  2. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    Accident hun. You're not at fault, somtimes things just happen. You gave as much kindness as you could, and it's far better than leaving him for a cat to find. Take a warm shower if that helps you relax, and feel better.
     
  3. MareeZoCool

    MareeZoCool Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] I'm sorry you had this experience. Please don't beat yourself up over the bird any longer.
     
  4. ChestnutRidge

    ChestnutRidge Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,165
    19
    158
    Feb 26, 2011
    Western Virginia
    Thanks for saying so. I think I posted just because I needed to hear that. [​IMG]
     
  5. heatherindeskies

    heatherindeskies Chillin' With My Peeps

    614
    0
    119
    May 23, 2010
    SE Minnesota
    I'm so sorry this happened. You did the right thing by putting her out of her pain, and by building the temporary run so your birds could enjoy a pen while your other one was being constructed.
    It was a terrible accident and you wouldn't have put that kind of netting up if you had known. This is the first accident like this I've heard of. Don't beat yourself up!
     
  6. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    21,917
    69
    418
    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    I have deer netting in on my side of run to keep the starlings out of it. I let the wild birds such as robins go. Starlings and grackles, I would dispatch them immediately. I would get a few as five as many as ten at the first week I put it up and after that the birds were smart enough not to go in there and have not had any problems since then.

    You did the right thing, it is an accident that the bird had to fly into but that is the nature of the beast.
     
  7. ChestnutRidge

    ChestnutRidge Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,165
    19
    158
    Feb 26, 2011
    Western Virginia
    Thanks again, everyone. I am starting to feel a bit better about it. The immediacy of the images in my mind was really just saddening me, but now I'm poking around here on BYC and reading other people's stories, and both the feeling and images are beginning to fade a little bit. I'll go outside and finish the run today and then take down all of the deer netting.

    I've got the same type of netting over part of my grow-out coop's run right now. The six-week old Silver Ameraucanas love to fly and have been trying to get out of the 7' run, so I covered the top to keep them in. They are much larger than this bird and their heads would never go into the netting, so I feel it's safe for this application, but I wonder if any birds will try to dive down into it? I haven't seen any song birds in that run, so hopefully not... [​IMG]
     
  8. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    21,917
    69
    418
    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    the songbirds and pest birds will get into the deer netting no matter what. Until you lose a few, they will "tell" their friends to stay away or a few escapees, they will eventually stay away.

    Snow fences would be a better option for you since the birds never get trapped in it. Its more troublesome for the ground animals such as coons and possums which they would get themselves tangled up in them.
     
  9. ChestnutRidge

    ChestnutRidge Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,165
    19
    158
    Feb 26, 2011
    Western Virginia
    Quote:Those starlings are awful. Not only are they invasive they are such rough birds! We had a pair of woodpeckers work for weeks to make a nest in the locust tree outside our dining room, when the starlings decided they wanted it. The woodpeckers fought off the starling for about two weeks, but one day while the male was out, the starlings attacked the female until they were actually divebombing her and pecking her on the ground. Then they pushed the eggs out of the nest and raised their brood in it. For a few years, the woodpeckers tried and tried again, until last year, they waited until later in the season when the starlings had finished raising their young and left the nest, in maybe late May or so, and then moved in and had their babies much later in the year. They didn't do it again this year, though. We think we still see them in the area they live when not in that nest, so maybe they didn't return this year because the late brood didn't go well. Not sure. Anyway, I'm not a fan of the starlings, although they are probably in balance with the ecosystem in Europe. Our birds just aren't evolved to deal with them.
     
  10. ChestnutRidge

    ChestnutRidge Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,165
    19
    158
    Feb 26, 2011
    Western Virginia
    Quote:Thank you for the snow fencing suggestion. I looked it up, and that makes sense, so I'll try that instead next time I have a need.
    ETA: Ah, I see, as a better top for the run. I will have to go and look for that now, then. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by