How to put a chick to sleep?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by metalman488, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. metalman488

    metalman488 In the Brooder

    Mar 2, 2014
    The story behind this question is that I had some eggs incubating and some of them hatched yesterday, but two of the chicks had a hole in the stomach with their guts starting to poke out. I decided to stitch them up and apply Neosporin and they both seemed ok last night. This morning, one of them seems to be doing great, but the other's stitches apparently burst and I think the guts are hanging out too far for me to attempt again.

    Sorry if that bothers some of you, but the reason I am asking this is because I still have about 12 eggs in the incubator and I want to be ready if it happens again. I want to know of there is a way to make the chick go to sleep so that they aren't awake for the stitching so that they don't have to feel the pain and so that they don't keep moving while I'm doing it.

    I know a lot of you will probably tell me that I should put them down, but I want to attempt to save them if I see a chance. However, if some of you have some quick and painless methods that I could use for chicks that are in too bad a shape, then that would be helpful. (I would rather not cut their necks)
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    You can use vinegar and baking soda in a 50:50 mix in a covered container such as a coffee can with the lid, and it will euthanize them in a minute of two. I have done that will 2 chicks who were born with brain damage. Car starting fluid that contains ether is another method. Most simply cut the necks off. It is not pleasant any way you do it, but it is necessary if they are suffering. Here is a link to many threads on the subject:
  3. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Songster

    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas
    I'm not sure anesthesia exists for chickens, if that's what you mean. I know that numbing medication can be lethal to them if given in even moderate doses and should never be attempted by anyone but a trained vet.

    The carbon dioxide method always sounded like the least painful way. They "pass out" from lack of oxygen fairly quickly and are asleep when they pass.

    It's horrible no matter how to choose to do it. I am sorry for your hatching troubles. :(

  4. branson call

    branson call Hatching

    May 25, 2017
    how do you drain a fluid filled crop, with chicken awake? do you use local anesthesia with someone holding the chicken? Any problems with infections? Are sutures necessary?

    Chicken lover MD
  5. Glenda Heywoodo

    Glenda Heywoodo Songster

    Dec 19, 2016
    Cassville Missouri
    Basically gently wrap the chicken in a towel and lean the chicken forward to wards the ground (not totally up side down) then gently massage the crop to expel the fluid.
    Once this is done rest the chicken
    And then when rested use some yoguart and crumbles and then wet the mixture withwater
    2 tbsp. of crumbles
    1 tbsp. of plain yougart
    3 tbsp. of water
    add 1 tbsp. of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
    and mix and see if chicken will eat it.
    Sldo use some
    clean water with 1 tbsp. of ACV and see if she will drink it
    if not take a syringe and administer a couple of drops slowly, do not over do as she needs time to assimilate the water.
    Last edited: May 26, 2017
  6. hatchichickens

    hatchichickens Songster

    Feb 12, 2017
    Fieldbrook, California
    I actually haven't seen any other posts about guts hanging out, but I experienced the same thing with the first chicken I ever hatched!!! I did not stitch her up though. Instead I gently pushed the viscera back in, and used Steri-Strips to form an 'x' over the belly button. Then I wrapped her in a warm wet paper towel and put her in a cup (on a heating pad, under a light), and periodically applied neosporin to the skin around to keep it lubricated. I fed her probiotic water and eventually some water/food mash from a plastic syringe for awhile also. I kept checking on the strips and would re-apply as the hole began to close.

    However, I did recently come across this article recently and it seems to be a good one to have around just in case:
    Helium is also a good option, because there is apparently less distress and is advocated by groups that believe in the freedom to choose a peaceful dignified death, like 'Last Exit'. I imagine a couple of helium balloons would work for this on a small animal.

    I know just how traumatic the hole in the stomach issue is!
    Great job being brave and doing your best to help them out. :hugs

    (I realized 1/2 way through that this was from March of last year. I wish I was there to assist when it mattered. I am so sorry :()
    biophiliac likes this.
  7. The quickest way is Drowning in warm water..Sounds brutal but its quick....Only use that method on just hatched Chicks though....:hit
  8. rebrascora

    rebrascora Crowing

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    I find it hard to believe that drowning or gassing is anywhere near as quick or stress free as snipping the head off with a pair of scissors, which is near instantaneous. Yes it is not pleasant for the person doing it but the main priority should surely be the least traumatic end for the chick.
    I know that this is a very emotive subject and I'm not criticising what anyone else does, but I do think that people want to believe that less direct methods are more humane, because they are frightened of the act itself and want to distance themselves from it. I have to summon all my courage to euthanize a bird and I usually cry, but I won't shirk from getting blood on my hands if it is in the best interests of the bird, so be sure to question your motives in choosing a less direct method.
  9. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Crowing

    Jan 14, 2012
    Conway SC
    I have to dis-agree---if that's OK. The quickest way is to snap their neck or as I do---hold them by the legs and quickly sling them downwards hitting the back of their head on a solid table(or similar). Lights out!
  10. :thO
    Of course you do....

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by