Dying chicken humane treatment?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LazyGirl, May 28, 2008.

  1. LazyGirl

    LazyGirl In the Brooder

    Dec 29, 2007
    I have a slowly dying chicken. I've posted about her before not knowing what she had. Her legs don't work and even though she is over whatever caused this, her legs are severely atrophied and she can't walk. She has been kept separate for several weeks. The other chickens peck her ferociously if I let her out. She isn't moving much if I do let her out of her cage any way. She is still eating and drinking, but has stopped laying.

    Any suggestions on what to do with her? Do we keep feeding her, butcher her, or let her go with the other chickens? I don't want her to get hurt by the others, but I don't know if keeping her alive is doing her any favor!

  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I'm sorry you're having to go thru this <hug>

    I for sure would not put her out with the rest of the flock for them to pick her to pieces. I wouldn't butcher her to eat, either, not knowing exactly what was wrong with her.

    So I guess your realistic options are either continue to keep her comfortable as long as she's alive, or put her out of her suffering. That's a decision that only the person THERE with the animal can really make, seeing what the animal seems like and might prefer. And depending on your personal convictions etc.

    Best wishes and sympathies,

  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Best of luck. Do what you think is best for the bird. Part of responsible ownership is to know when it is time to let go. Sorry for the sick hen.
  4. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    My neighbor recently had the same situation. The bird had Marek's and was not regaining use of her legs after 5 or 6 weeks. A local vet put it to sleep for $20.

    If you can't do the deed yourself, find a farm vet. They are usually a lot cheaper than the townie vets.
    Last edited: May 28, 2008
  5. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Songster

    Jan 26, 2008
    New Hampshire
    When it comes to killing animals, what's easiest for them is usually what's hardest for you, and vice versa.

    Best ways for a chicken: Wring it's neck or chop it's head off.
  6. LazyGirl

    LazyGirl In the Brooder

    Dec 29, 2007
    Thanks for your replies and sympathies!
    I think we will probably put her out of her misery. I'll have to get DH to do it!
  7. debbyluvschickens

    debbyluvschickens Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    eastern arkansas
    Im sorry about your chicken

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