1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Need advice re: euthanasia that didn't go well

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by abqferreira, May 26, 2016.

  1. abqferreira

    abqferreira Out Of The Brooder

    87
    3
    38
    Jun 14, 2010
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    I got baby chicks a week ago, and one little polish roo hasn't looked well since I got him. His crop was enlarged, he had a prolapsed vent, he was wobbly and unsteady. He wasn't growing like the others, and the rest of the flock was starting to pick on him. Yesterday he looked a little better, and I went to sleep feeling cautiously optimistic. I found him this morning laying in the box looking quite dead. In a panic I scooped him up so the kids wouldn't see, and realized he was 95% dead. I couldn't bring myself to break his neck or decapitate him, I was worried I would do it wrong. So I put him in a sandwich bag with about 3 Tbsp baking soda and maybe 1/4 c hydrogen peroxide, then added a kid sock for him to lay on, and closed the top. I realized after I did it that I didn't think to seal out the air.

    He never resisted and his eyes were never open, but he lay there gasping for an hour before he passed on. I thought this should have taken much less time, and I'm worried I gave him a less than humane death because of my inexperience. Was the hydrogen peroxide too old and not potent enough? Should I have sealed out the air? Or was this what I should have expected for it to have taken so long?

    Any advice would be appreciated so I am better prepared next time. It was a hard morning, and if it could have been easier, I would like to know how to improve things.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    63,100
    7,207
    726
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    You did the best that you were able to do, and given his debilitated state I doubt that he 'suffered'. Harsh as it may seem, cervical dislocation/decapitation is one of the most humane ways to euthanize a bird.
     
  3. abqferreira

    abqferreira Out Of The Brooder

    87
    3
    38
    Jun 14, 2010
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Do you have any resources for how to do it so I can be ready for next time? I should mention, I'm a nurse, so I don't have a problem with death or illness. I just don't want to botch it and have him suffer as a result.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    63,100
    7,207
    726
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    On a chick that small a pair of strong scissors or shears would be quick and effective. Grasping the bird in one hand, placing the forefinger and middle finger of the other hand to each side of the head on the neck , pulling firmly and quickly works. For many it is a hard thing to do, but it is quick and 100 % effective.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. abqferreira

    abqferreira Out Of The Brooder

    87
    3
    38
    Jun 14, 2010
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Thanks, good advice.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by