How to euthanize?


6 Years
Sep 11, 2013
Wilma (2-1/2 yo barred rock) has gotten progressively worse...virtually unable to get around. Very sad because she seems fully alert. We might have to consider euthanizing instead of watching her waste away to nothing:(
Any suggestions how one would go about this?
We just did a class here in our area. "flower" drove down to help us learn how to cull & process. She was very helpful.
I did not do the knife, only how to process & clean. Then we made Coq AU Vin.. We ended up doing about 7-8
Roosters. 1 sick hen. Her belly was full of liquid.. She did not make it to the crock pot.
Once you use the knife the bird will keep flapping it's wings for about 20-45 seconds.. Hang onto the legs tightly.. Or you might
have to go looking for your bird.. My dad said one time his mom or friend did not hang on & off the bird went, 2 stories high.
Plus the blood can get flying as well.. I would like to learn how to old fashion wringing.. I did mention to a lot of my clients about the class, the
majority, 80% said "oh yeah my mom or grandma used to do that" I must say it is a great thing to know how to do.. I must say how thankful
we are for BACK YARD CHICKEN for this kind of information... Hope you figure it out..
Well, I do dispatch using the old neck wringing. I do know how and it is instantaneous. It would be very difficult to teach without a video. Don't know if such an instructional video is on line or not. For certain? Determination and finality much be the dispatcher's intent, purpose and mentality when doing it for the first time, if you understand what I'm saying. Be glad to do it for you if I were there. It's not fun. But, sometimes it is the right thing to do to end suffering very quickly.
Just googled for a video and sure don't like what I saw. The demonstrations for the first couple videos were NOT the way I do it. I'd rather folks do the broomstick method that what I just watched. I'm sure somewhere there's a broom stick demonstration.

I compassionately hold the bird and "load" my wrist, turning the head over 360 degrees and pull/snap. Again, I did not see a video that demonstrated that. Just sayin'.

There are lots of posts here, over the years that talk about using a broom stick.
I would like to learn your method Fred's hens. I wish you could post a video. Some of the ways to dispatch a hen or chick that are mentioned here are disturbing. I always think 'what would I want someone to do to me if I were the lesser species' I guess you could say.

The neck method would be my choice.

Had to edit this. I feel horrible. Demonstrate using a fake chicken. Not a live one.
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This is a very personal thing and there are several way to do it. I've tried several. Use whatever method you think you can actually accomplish and do well.

I use the same method, regardless of if I am euthanizing due to illness or processing for the dinner table. I use the broomstick on the ground method. There is a good write up and illustration on this method in Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, p. 388. However, my method has evolved over time. Because I want the chicken to die instantly, I pull a little harder and the head comes off cleanly from the neck. I know it sounds gruesome, but the act of taking the life of any animal is never going to be pleasant. The advantage of removing the head is you KNOW the chicken died instantly and thoroughly. After all is said and done, this is the goal, to allow the animal the most clean death you can give him/her. And this method is EASY to do, it takes truly no skill, there is no accuracy involved (like with the hatchet or ax method), no technique of twisting the wrist a certain way or pulling a certain direction (like in the neck wringing method) and no knife-type skills. You stand on a flat surface, step on one side of the broomstick, put the chicken's head under the broomstick, step firmly on the other side of the broomstick while immediately grabbing both legs together in your 2 hands and pull straight up. Yes, the chicken flaps his/her wings and it again, is not pleasant but it has to be done.

Then, if you are processing for the dinner table, you hold the chicken upside down inside your bucket and let the blood drain out. If you are killing the chicken because he/she is sick, you carry the chicken body and head to the hole and bury him/her. Either way, you thank the bird for his/her life, say goodbye and maybe shed a tear or two. It's never easy for me or many of us, no matter how many times we have to do it.

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