How are chickens put to sleep?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Zanily, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. Zanily

    Zanily Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 25, 2012
    Hi everyone

    Our pet rooster recently became ill. After plenty of trips to the avian vet and a huge vet bill, we found out our chicken has a brain tumour and is going to die. Our rooster is a much loved house pet and is as important to us as our family dog so we decided to give him his "last days". Over the last few weeks our rooster has been pampered but despite our efforts to make him as comfortable as possible, his condition is getting worse and we feel the time is near.
    We want him to be put to sleep peacefully, respectfully and humanely, just as you'd expect any dog or cat to be put to sleep. I've heard chickens can be put to sleep with gas, is this true? Is it best to go to an avian vet to have him put to sleep or will a regular vet be just as good?
  2. brahmabreeder

    brahmabreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    First off I'll state the obvious. Most birds are culled using an axe/hatchet. From the sounds of things you don't want to go that route so I would call both vets and see what the regular vet says.
  3. wonachickencooptoday

    wonachickencooptoday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2010
    I take my sick or dying birds to my vet who injects them with some drug- not sure what. Usually costs me $40, but I don't care, I can't kill my birds. Sorry you have to go through this.
  4. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    The choice of how to put him to sleep for the last time is up to you. There are many methods for at home, and most of them have the potential to be traumatic if you are inexperienced.
    I respect both people that would dispatch a bird the old fashioned way, and those that have family pets that wish for something more peaceful. In the end, with a clean death the bird will feel nothing, BUT I respect that a family pet is a family pet and how you want them put down is your choice alone (don't ever let anyone make you feel bad for it). A loved pet is a loved pet, be it a dog, a mouse, a chicken, or a horse. Value has nothing to do with your attachment.

    If you can afford it, a skilled vet will be able to do this in a peaceful way. I too had a rooster we were very close to, and he was dying from lymphomas/Marek's disease, was suffering, and had no hope for recovery. We had him euthanized at an avian vet. She administered a sedative first via injection under the wing, and he fell asleep peacefully. Then she administered the killing drug, forgive me as I've forgotten the name of it, and he passed away very quickly. It was peaceful for us and seemingly so for him. He was suffering and it was a relief to know that his last moments seemed sleepy and calm. It still broke our hearts but it was necessary for his sake. I believe the procedure was between $30-40.

    If you can't afford the vet cost for this or wish to do it youself, I advise against gassing him. It does work for some people, but has a pretty high chance of going wrong as it's impossible to finely control how much he is getting. He may panic and start to suffocate before he passes out, and that's stressful for both the bird and loving owners. Again, it does work for some people, but please know you run a risk of it not going smoothy. I wanted to warn you to spare you that experience in case you are not ready for it.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014

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