Need help...putting my hen down

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rogerf, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. rogerf

    rogerf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2009
    One of my 4-yr old hens seems to be egg bound or has some grave illness that will not get better. I am giving her another few days to see if things turn around. she appears to be in pain at times and I can't bear to let that go on much longer.
    For now she just hangs the corner of the run but still eat and drinks.

    If I decide or have to put her down, what is the best way to do this short of paying a vet to do this?
    Any help would be much appreciated.

  2. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

  3. meriruka

    meriruka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    I'm guessing you do not plan to eat her, so this is my method. I don't claim it is the best way, but it is the only way I can do it and still sleep at night............

    Get a bucket or plastic container with a tight fitting lid about the same size as your hen. In a well ventilated and WARM area, place a towel/dishcloth/ big rag in the bottom of the container, spray it with a lot of starting fluid (ether) until the rag is soaked, place the hen in the container and seal with the lid. Do all of this as quickly as you can, have someone nearby in case you accidentally breathe some fumes.
    Leave the area for 15 minutes. Hold your breath, open the lid (the chicken most likely will have passed, but just in case, I always spray a bunch more on the rag, cover and leave for another 15 minutes.
    After opening the bucket and letting the fumes dissipate, I also hold them underwater for 5 minutes just in case. This is probably not necessary, but I personally have to be absolutely sure before I bury them.

    For chicks, two cotton balls soaked with ether and held tightly over the nostrils is very fast and I also hold them underwater for 5 minutes afterwards.

    I'm sorry you have to go through this and I hope someone comes along with a method that you feel will work for you.
  4. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    If you use starter fluid, make sure it has ether- it's NOT the same as starter fluid for a charcoal grill.
  5. meriruka

    meriruka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    Right! I forgot to mention that. It's the stuff for your car that you spray into the carburator to get it started.
  6. kinnip

    kinnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    I used the starter fluid method and would never do it again. I stuck around to see how long it takes. I took a good minute and a half of the poor chick cheaping and pecking at the sides of the tupperware container. I use a whole can of fluid too, so it wasn't a matter of non-committal. Break her neck or use an axe. It's harder on you, but easier on her.
  7. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2009
    College Station, Tx
    I like the cervical dislocation method. You pin her head to the floor using a broom handle, or something similar, and pull her feet up *hard*. It's an almost instantaneous death. You can also do it with two people, one to pull the head/neck up, and one to pull the feet down.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
  8. meriruka

    meriruka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    It works better for chicks if you hold them & place ether soaked cotton balls over the nostrils. They are asleep in about 30 seconds, dead in about 3 minutes..

    For a sick hen, she will shift around for 30-45 seconds, then lay down and sleep.

    As I said, this is just the way I do it as I do not want a blood & guts ending for my chickens, but I'm sure the ax method is quicker.

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2008
    Quote:Too true. The ether method works pretty well for chicks but's a rough way for an adult bird to go. They most humane way is to sever the spinal cord in some manner.
  10. meriruka

    meriruka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    Quote:I heard this is the best way, I'm just terrified I'd mess it up and simply injure the poor thing.

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