Had to euthanize a chicken yesterday...prolapsed vent + eggbound + pic

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by thecitychicken, Dec 5, 2009.

  1. thecitychicken

    thecitychicken Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 4, 2008
    I posted this at dom_bird, too, but wanted to post a picture of the prolapsed oviduct, too, for future reference for others trying to diagnose a prolapsed vent. She was a year old Rhode Island White hen. I had to chop her head off yesterday. She had a prolapsed oviduct, which I tried to fix a couple of times. But she’s had this prolapse for at least two months now. Today there was an egg bound in it, too, and hanging outside her body. Today was also the first time she looked to be in pain. Up until now, she acted perfectly well, so I kept letting her be. Yesterday she stood still and fluffed up and not moving around the yard as much as the other chickens. Today I had to psyche myself up euthanize her. I don’t take chickens to the vet (hundreds of dollars) and I don’t let them suffer and just die a slow death if they are terminal. The only way I know how to dispatch with a chicken is to chop its head off. I have never tried wringing their necks or the like; not confident enough to get that right. Dropping a hatchet, however, is a more detached feeling, because you don’t really have to feel the body at all. You just whack the hatchet and it feels like going through wood. But the process I take in order to chop a chicken’s head off is somewhat involved. I don’t just grab it and chop. First I put an old sock over the chicken’s head. This makes the chicken nearly fall asleep, as they are simplistic creatures. Also, with the sock, I don’t have to see it’s little face. Then I lash the chicken to a board in a certain way (if you really want to know I can tell you, but it’s all rather macabre.) Finally, after all these preparations (that I won’t go into) I drop the hatchet. The chicken can’t go anywhere because it’s legs are lashed to the board. Yesterday, however, the wire around its legs broke off of the board after I decapitated it. (Note to self: next time use stronger wire.) It started to flap around quite a lot, and sort of hop away, because its legs were still tied together but not tied to the board anymore. I had to get in there and grab the body by the wings and pin them back like I’ve seen people do. Then what do I do with it? I hadn’t planned for this possibility. I looked around frantically and saw a plastic bin and so I threw the body under that, and grabbed a nearby heavy flower pot and set that on top of the bin so that there was no way the bird was going to be able to flop out of there. I was doing this all sort of hidden behind my deck, so no neighbors would have to see my deed. But then the body flopped around so now who knows who had to be a witness. Then I left everything right there and came into the house, but first I checked to see how much blood got on me after the flopping accident. I was wearing my apron and I didn’t see any blood on it. Just a little on my boots. I was surprised I got out of there with not much blood spatters. I bagged up the carcass in a bunch of plastic bags and throw it in the trash. No big deal; I threw away a bigger bird carcass last week into the trash; the remains of the Thanksgiving turkey. All in all, the euthanizing didn’t go too bad. My hand were only shaking a little when I was done, and I’m glad the hen is not suffering anymore.

  2. paul65

    paul65 Out Of The Brooder

    May 26, 2008
    SW Pennsylvania
    I feel so bad for you having to do that and its very hard the first time you do something like that. Here's wishing you better luck with your chickens.
  3. thecitychicken

    thecitychicken Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 4, 2008
    Thanks! I've chopped off a pet chicken's head I think 4 time in the past 15 years. Ug, it's not fun. I've had lots of chickens over the years, but just as pets. ---Katy Skinner (thecitychicken.com)
  4. Overeasyplz

    Overeasyplz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    thanks for the pic, we should have a sticky of pics of things like this for us newbies to go through if we need to figure out whats going on.
  5. Suechick

    Suechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2009
    Carlsbad, CA
    Wow, that sounds difficult. Even though it's hard to look at, I appreciate you posting the picture. Thank you for sharing and so sorry for your hen. [​IMG]
  6. thecitychicken

    thecitychicken Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 4, 2008
    Sorry about the graphic picture. Yeah, maybe someone will see it in the future when searching the "Emergencies/Diseases/Injuries and Cures" message board here, when looking up "vent prolapse," etc. A picture speaks a thousand words. A thousand gross words in this case. I kinda missed my white hen today. I don't even have names for my chickens (I only have four hens right now, as we live in a housing development type thing) but I like seeing them walk around the yard, and I don't see my white one now, and I want my white one. [​IMG]
  7. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    Sorry you had to go through this.My first year with chickens and I appreciate the photo.Would be interested in knowing how you secure the chicken for the chop in case I have to ever do it.Sock is a good thing to know.I don't want my girls looking up at me if I have to kill them.PM me if talking about the securing method is not for the boards.
  8. cluckcluck42

    cluckcluck42 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2009
    I'm so sorry you had to do that, but thank you for posting this pic. It's not nice to look at, but maybe it could happen to one of my ladies and now I will know.

    Animal ownership isn't easy, and this is definitely the very worst of it. Your hen is not in pain anymore, and I'm sure she thanks you for that.
  9. Sissy

    Sissy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2007
    Sevier county, Tn.
    Iam so... Sorry you had to do this but its the humane
    thing to do. and the pic. will help us all
    to learn what can happen, what needs to be done .
    thanks for sharing.
  10. doublebow

    doublebow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2009
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I know how hard it must have been. And as the others have said, you certainly did the right thing.

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