Do not use carbon dioxide to kill chickens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Finula, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. Finula

    Finula New Egg

    Apr 26, 2016
    I was reading the post about clean killing of chicks a while back and saw the baking soda/vinegar method My first thought was, that's easy. Then I thought about it some more.

    Suffocation is generally considered a bad a traumatic way to die. Oxygen runs out and the CO2 levels rise.
    Suffocation happens with inert gases without anyone noticing it happen. It is an extremely rare occurrence in nature and we have no warning detection system. Inert gases and carbon monoxide both fall into this category.

    What oxygen breathing, carbon dioxide exhaling creatures do have a mechanism to detect is high levels of what we exhale. CO2.
    Rising levels of CO2 cause rising levels of panic, as the body recognizes a threat to life and tries to get away.

    So this is about as distressing to the animal as it is possible to be I'd rate it with drowning in terms of panic and pain.

    I'm preparing to get a round of chicks again after a long time and have been considering all the factors involved I've never had to kill chicks before, but I have killed mature chickens and ducks. I've done both throat slitting with the bird in a cone and neck breaking by hand. In neither case was there any sign of struggle or panic

    When you do have to kill, be kind. Pet the bird, give it a treat, then do the deed calmly and fast. There will be a moment of pain, but is is over quickly and without trauma.

    I think I prefer the neck breaking, because once when I had to kill a number of chickens, I came back lather from letting them drain and found one was still alive. I never want that to happen again.

    After a meat bird is dead, I generally let it hang for a day or so, then pluck it, I just don't like the feeling of rushing the butchering process if I have a choice. I like to give the bird a chance to be dead, let the body grow cold and give your own mind a chance to accept the fact. Then you can move on to making the best meal ever from what the chicken left behind.

    I hope this information was helpful

    Finula in Pittsbugh
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Thank you for this post. I agree 100%. Euthanasia is about the animal's pain and feelings, not yours.
    Do the kind thing and break their neck or put a .22 in their head if it comes a necessary time. And if you can't do it that way, then suck it up and pay for the vet to do it.
  3. Finula

    Finula New Egg

    Apr 26, 2016
    Thanks, QueenMischa, You reminded me of something else I haven't tried yet, but intend to. The bullet to the brain.
    A lot of urban chicken keepers don't have access to guns, or don't want the responsibility of them. I feel that way myself, though to be honest. Their loudness bothers me most of all.

    With that in mind, I did some followup research on pellet guns. It looks like a pump action pellet pistol would do a good job, and you can get them for less than 50$. I'm ok with breaking the neck on an 8 lb chicken, but I also plan to get some Muscovy ducks, which get rather large. When the time comes I think I will make the investment to assure a clean kill.


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