I posted a topic a couple of weeks ago, "PLease Tell Us, What Would You Do?" Topic 385173. To re-cap, We have a small flock which became a hobby that both my wife and I share. We sell their organic free-range eggs from a roadside stand in front of our 10 acres and decided to buy another 22 Rhode Island Reds from a local farm whose website and Craigslist Ads read like a first class operation. However, after I bought them I found out the Sellers bought them from somewhere else and re-sold them to us as their own. They not only feather picked and cannibalized their eggs, within two days they had full on respiratory disease. Even though I quarantined them, my flock eventually became sick as well. I recently found out that the antibiotics failed after an autopsy they have CRD, Chronic Respiratory Disease, caused by Mycoplasma bacteria that is considered to be one of the smallest cell bacteria that has no walls, where no antibiotic will cure and then it acts like a virus, only rearing its ugly head when your birds are stressed, over heated, cold, or during molt. I was hoping I could successfully treat them with two antibiotics, terramycin and streptomycin, but within the last two days they have started to show mucus around the nostrils and as of today, one has reverted to a pneumonia like symptoms, coughing, gurgling, swollen face and frothy eyes. I was told that I should destroy the flock because they are carriers which would infect any future birds and then burn them as not to infect the soil. Does anyone have a very humane solution to killing them? These are more pets than farm tools and I'm hoping some of you can empathize with this. I was not raised on a farm but I have little problem if one is hurt beyond redemption like when one of my goats accidentally stepped on one. I used a .22 through the side of the head thinking it would be so fast the hen wouldn't feel it. But the very first time, I slightly missed and it wasn't pretty but within a couple of seconds I was able to contain the lightning fast flapping and jumping to put another one through the skull which stopped most all movement except the normal reflex twitching. I felt so horrible over those two, in the past two weeks I had to put down 5 because they just couldn't breath so you can imagine now that I have to do over 35?!? I'm physically sick over this. Please help... UPDATE SUNDAY AUGUST 29, 2010 THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH FOR THE INPUT, INFORMATION AND EMPATHY. I'm with EVERYONE on two issues... The Vet That put down Lurky's Cat at the least should have their license revoked. In anger, I would have probably clocked the Vet which is wrong, I know. I've had to put down my Father's dog 6 years after he died because the arthritis made it so painful to move even with the medicines (I can't remember the names). The Vet came to our house and to my recollection, used two injections. One to calm him down and the other to put him to sleep. We both gently rubbed his face and body and said calming words. It was so hard to let him go but he was so peaceful during the entire time. I can't imagine what Lurky went through and so sorry for the family and cat. Gas is out. The unabashed, clear and absolute best way is to have them injected by a Vet. The problem for me is cost. I believe it will cost about $8-10 a hen (42and the On-Site Vet fee of $68 for a total cost of $404-$488. I wish I could afford it. I will call Monday morning to our Vet and a couple more to get an actual cost. The other methods are any of the cervical methods which the broomstick seems a great way. In these methods, there's no noise to startle the flock and the brain is instantly disconnected from the nerves which signals pain to the body so if done correctly, there is none. The only thing is, I'm not quite sure what the hen's brain is processing during the final moments because it is still "thinking" (I know, I know... I'm probably "thinking" too much). So for me, I'm going to stay with the .22 on the side of the head to make sure I hit the brain matter. It will be so fast and the hens won't know what hit them. Since the brain is what processes impulses to the nervous system, the brain is instantly disconnected from the rest of the body where no signals/impulses are going anywhere... which causes pain in the first place. The muscles from the disconnected nerves start to spasm. But if there is no brain matter, there isn't any pain or horrified agitation which is my concern in the first place. We're going to take the hens from the roost in the very early morning, one at a time. The site is on the caddy-corner where the coop is, on the outskirts of our property so hopefully the shots won't startle them too much. We're going to use a tarp on the ground to capture the small amounts of blood after they're shot. We'll dig a hole in the side of a huge mound of dirt where the bullets will end up and refill the dirt after everything's done. Then I'm probably going to cry. I'm such a pansy.