Killed my first hen yesterday by broomstick method (mercy kill) and I need some affirmation

thepick4uchicks

Songster
May 23, 2020
1,009
1,698
236
Mississippi
I'm not sure if this is in the right forum section, sorry if it isn't. I'm not quite sure where to put it.

Yesterday I killed my first hen, and frankly my first animal, ever. She had an infection that I failed to cure, and I needed to put her out of her misery. I care for my chickens and think of them as pets, so this was very hard for me to do but I knew it needed to be done. I watched lots of videos weeks prior using the broomstick method and I knew exactly what to do. The fact that I killed her doesn't exactly bother me, it's that I keep second guessing myself and thinking "what if she wasn't dead after I pulled? What if she was alive and she died in slow agony?" but I keep telling myself that that is not, and can not be, the case.

Immediately after the dislocation:
  • She started flapping uncontrollably, which is a good sign that she was dead, that is the body's natural response.
  • I checked her eye, as I have seen suggested as a good way to check for life/consciousness. Her eyes were closed so I pulled her eye lid down. There was no voluntary/involuntary movement that would indicate brain function. Her eye lid did slide back closed but I think that was just her eye lid moving naturally. Her third inner eye lid did not move.
  • I felt her neck at the site of the dislocation. I could feel only flesh, no spine. Her neck was also limp. Her spine was separated from her skull, which would mean nothing other than death.
  • After a minute or two I felt her neck again and I think I could feel the blood pooling, which is also something I read that will happen using this method with the head still attached. No blood going to the brain, also means death.
Given all this, she had to of been dead instantly, right? There's no need for me to second guess myself.

I think part of the reason that I'm second guessing myself so much is because when I pulled, I don't remember doing it. This may sound silly but I think I just kind of blanked out and my body took over, and because of that I didn't feel the pop. It's all fuzzy and even more so the more time that passes, even though it only happened yesterday. But even so I knew that the dislocation had happened. It's as if I didn't feel the pop but my brain registered that it happened. There was calm, then the hen flapping. It was over so quick, and it was so easy and went so smoothly... it felt almost too easy as if I didn't do it right. But I KNOW I did... right?
It sounds like you did a great job at a very difficult task which I myself probably couldn’t do nearly as well if I had too. You indeed prepared yourself well with proper research. It had to have been so difficult for one who loves your birds as you do. Culling birds you try to take such good care of cannot be easy no matter which route one chooses to take. You did a very noble thing and now your sick bird is out of her illness and suffering as she should be. You did very well. You don’t need anymore affirmation than that.
 

Fluffy_Feathers

Songster
Jul 6, 2017
209
263
156
Missouri
It sounds like you did your research and did a great job at a difficult task. I haven't had to cull an animal yet, but I hope I am as responsible, efficient, and humane as you were if/when the time comes.
Thank you! I wish you luck when/if the time comes.
Sounds like it was quick and precise.
Thank you!
Sounds like you did your homework and did it successfully. I wouldn’t feel bad for ending needless suffering. Once the outcome is known you are just sparing the misery.
Thank you. I know it was for the best. This is all a part of owning animals, especially chickens.
We do understand. The broomstick method is quick and done. One person can do it, but you do not always get the pop, or maybe you do, but I don’t get that sensation. You gave the coup de grace, an honorable thing to do.

mk
Thank you. That makes me feel a bit better about not feeling the pop.
I totally get it. I felt the same way the first time I slaughtered a bird here recently. It's natural to feel this way when you care strongly about animal welfare--though you know it's necessary you don't want undue suffering, so you mentally reexamine what you did. I know it's easier said than done, but try not to worry. It sounds like you did everything right and your hen was gone in an instant.
Thank you. Along with everyone's extremely kind words and support, I think listing the reasons why I know she died swiftly helped.
Every time I kill a bird I think I did it wrong for a few seconds. They flap so much, it’s normal, acetylcholine.
It was definitely an uncomfortable experience. Because of the videos I watched it wasn't as jarring as I thought it might've been to see in person. It's good to know that it's normal and that it's supposed to happen.
you did great 💚
Thank you💚
I have not culled a bird using the broomstick method yet, but it sounds like you did an amazing job. What you describe sounds so quick and efficient, and painless for the bird, in fact, that you have inspired me and given me confidence to try this method the next time the situation arises. Thank you so much for sharing your experience in such detail. Please be comforted that you have nothing to worry about. You did right by your hen.
Thank you so much! Your confidence gives me confidence. I'm glad that sharing my experience can help others. I wish you luck!
I haven’t had to cull a bird yet, but I understand the response you had.
You were probably experiencing a fight or flight response. During which your body took over and completed what was necessary.
Now, you can’t stop thinking about it, and you’re analyzing every single second. You may have PTSD.
I wish I could tell you how to be at peace with what happened, but I can’t. I suppose you’ve already taken a big step by reaching out and talking about how you feel - I hope you continue to do this. A part of your mind wants to keep you “safe” and will go to extraordinary lengths to accomplish this. This is great when you’re in an extremely stressful situation, but it’s not so great when this response won’t stop. Whatever you’re going through, don’t let it take over.
You did what needed to be done, and your hen is no longer suffering. Knowing how/when to put an animal down is a part of good animal husbandry, although I know it doesn’t feel good. Be kind to yourself, and don’t fall prey to the primitive part of your brain. ♥️
Thank you ❤️ I've been really trying to catch myself when these second guessing thoughts arise, and telling myself that no, it was quick and successful and I have the evidence to prove it. I knew that consulting people who have been through this would help. Everyone is so supportive here, even if they don't see chickens as pets and have done this a million times. I can say I'm more comfortable with it now.
It sounds like you did a great job at a very difficult task which I myself probably couldn’t do nearly as well if I had too. You indeed prepared yourself well with proper research. It had to have been so difficult for one who loves your birds as you do. Culling birds you try to take such good care of cannot be easy no matter which route one chooses to take. You did a very noble thing and now your sick bird is out of her illness and suffering as she should be. You did very well. You don’t need anymore affirmation than that.
Thank you, that means a lot. Knowing it was necessary made it easier to complete the task, though it didn't feel too good. I wish I didn't have to but I'm
glad I know that I can do it if needed.
One thing I've noticed when processing chickens via the broomstick method is that the swifter and cleaner the kill the stronger the flap so the fact that you had a strong flapping reaction shows that you did it exactly right.
That's very good to know, thank you.
Yes.
No.
Good job.
Thank you
Ditto^^

Plus hugs. :hugs :hugs
Thank you, I appreciate the hugs ☺️
It sounds like you did it by the book. No good will come from second guessing yourself.
You're right, no good at all. I'm not sure how it could have gone any better.

_______

I want to give a final thanks to everyone. This really helped me to get myself to believe that the process was indeed successful, and I feel a lot more secure about it. You all are so kind and supportive, I knew you'd help me get this second-guessing nonsense out of my head. Thank you ❤️ ❤️
 

philsan1a

Songster
Mar 13, 2016
112
139
146
North east Georgia mountains
Thank you! I wish you luck when/if the time comes.

Thank you!

Thank you. I know it was for the best. This is all a part of owning animals, especially chickens.

Thank you. That makes me feel a bit better about not feeling the pop.

Thank you. Along with everyone's extremely kind words and support, I think listing the reasons why I know she died swiftly helped.

It was definitely an uncomfortable experience. Because of the videos I watched it wasn't as jarring as I thought it might've been to see in person. It's good to know that it's normal and that it's supposed to happen.

Thank you💚

Thank you so much! Your confidence gives me confidence. I'm glad that sharing my experience can help others. I wish you luck!

Thank you ❤️ I've been really trying to catch myself when these second guessing thoughts arise, and telling myself that no, it was quick and successful and I have the evidence to prove it. I knew that consulting people who have been through this would help. Everyone is so supportive here, even if they don't see chickens as pets and have done this a million times. I can say I'm more comfortable with it now.

Thank you, that means a lot. Knowing it was necessary made it easier to complete the task, though it didn't feel too good. I wish I didn't have to but I'm
glad I know that I can do it if needed.

That's very good to know, thank you.

Thank you

Thank you, I appreciate the hugs ☺️

You're right, no good at all. I'm not sure how it could have gone any better.

_______

I want to give a final thanks to everyone. This really helped me to get myself to believe that the process was indeed successful, and I feel a lot more secure about it. You all are so kind and supportive, I knew you'd help me get this second-guessing nonsense out of my head. Thank you ❤️ ❤️
Wow! Hard to do even for hard people. The older I get the harder this would be even though I would do it, it stays with you for a long time. Last dog had to put down I cried like a baby.
 

kmk

Chirping
Dec 29, 2020
17
56
79
I'm not sure if this is in the right forum section, sorry if it isn't. I'm not quite sure where to put it.

Yesterday I killed my first hen, and frankly my first animal, ever. She had an infection that I failed to cure, and I needed to put her out of her misery. I care for my chickens and think of them as pets, so this was very hard for me to do but I knew it needed to be done. I watched lots of videos weeks prior using the broomstick method and I knew exactly what to do. The fact that I killed her doesn't exactly bother me, it's that I keep second guessing myself and thinking "what if she wasn't dead after I pulled? What if she was alive and she died in slow agony?" but I keep telling myself that that is not, and can not be, the case.

Immediately after the dislocation:
  • She started flapping uncontrollably, which is a good sign that she was dead, that is the body's natural response.
  • I checked her eye, as I have seen suggested as a good way to check for life/consciousness. Her eyes were closed so I pulled her eye lid down. There was no voluntary/involuntary movement that would indicate brain function. Her eye lid did slide back closed but I think that was just her eye lid moving naturally. Her third inner eye lid did not move.
  • I felt her neck at the site of the dislocation. I could feel only flesh, no spine. Her neck was also limp. Her spine was separated from her skull, which would mean nothing other than death.
  • After a minute or two I felt her neck again and I think I could feel the blood pooling, which is also something I read that will happen using this method with the head still attached. No blood going to the brain, also means death.
Given all this, she had to of been dead instantly, right? There's no need for me to second guess myself.

I think part of the reason that I'm second guessing myself so much is because when I pulled, I don't remember doing it. This may sound silly but I think I just kind of blanked out and my body took over, and because of that I didn't feel the pop. It's all fuzzy and even more so the more time that passes, even though it only happened yesterday. But even so I knew that the dislocation had happened. It's as if I didn't feel the pop but my brain registered that it happened. There was calm, then the hen flapping. It was over so quick, and it was so easy and went so smoothly... it felt almost too easy as if I didn't do it right. But I KNOW I did... right?
You did the absolute right, responsible thing at the time. Maintain your compassion. I say a prayer after killing varmints in my garden.
 

reddingchicken

In the Brooder
Aug 16, 2018
4
3
21
I'm not sure if this is in the right forum section, sorry if it isn't. I'm not quite sure where to put it.

Yesterday I killed my first hen, and frankly my first animal, ever. She had an infection that I failed to cure, and I needed to put her out of her misery. I care for my chickens and think of them as pets, so this was very hard for me to do but I knew it needed to be done. I watched lots of videos weeks prior using the broomstick method and I knew exactly what to do. The fact that I killed her doesn't exactly bother me, it's that I keep second guessing myself and thinking "what if she wasn't dead after I pulled? What if she was alive and she died in slow agony?" but I keep telling myself that that is not, and can not be, the case.

Immediately after the dislocation:
  • She started flapping uncontrollably, which is a good sign that she was dead, that is the body's natural response.
  • I checked her eye, as I have seen suggested as a good way to check for life/consciousness. Her eyes were closed so I pulled her eye lid down. There was no voluntary/involuntary movement that would indicate brain function. Her eye lid did slide back closed but I think that was just her eye lid moving naturally. Her third inner eye lid did not move.
  • I felt her neck at the site of the dislocation. I could feel only flesh, no spine. Her neck was also limp. Her spine was separated from her skull, which would mean nothing other than death.
  • After a minute or two I felt her neck again and I think I could feel the blood pooling, which is also something I read that will happen using this method with the head still attached. No blood going to the brain, also means death.
Given all this, she had to of been dead instantly, right? There's no need for me to second guess myself.

I think part of the reason that I'm second guessing myself so much is because when I pulled, I don't remember doing it. This may sound silly but I think I just kind of blanked out and my body took over, and because of that I didn't feel the pop. It's all fuzzy and even more so the more time that passes, even though it only happened yesterday. But even so I knew that the dislocation had happened. It's as if I didn't feel the pop but my brain registered that it happened. There was calm, then the hen flapping. It was over so quick, and it was so easy and went so smoothly... it felt almost too easy as if I didn't do it right. But I KNOW I did... right?
when I have to I've put the bird in a bag and put it over the exhaust pipe of a running car. Knocks them out pretty quick.
 

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