Need to cull chick and wondering about the starter fluid method

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pbjmaker, Aug 6, 2009.

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  1. pbjmaker

    pbjmaker Crowing

    May 9, 2008
    Central Iowa
    I have a chick that just hatched last night/ this morning and he is a mess. His head twist to the side, he is missing an eye and his brain is exposed. Plus his beak is the most severly crossed one I have ever seen. Amazingly he is up and walking around albiet unsteadily.

    I can't bring myself to snap his neck, so I think the next best option is to use that starter fluid stuff in a can (we should have some - my daughter drove an old car last winter and had to use it)

    Do I just put him in a container and then spray that stuff in an seal it up?

    He just toddled over to me on my desk and is staring at me with his one eye. It's killing me.

    Usually my hubby puts the chicks/chickens down but he is out of town right now and I don't want this guy to suffer any longer.
  2. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    You soak rags really well with the starter fluid, put them in a plastic container with a good sealed lid. Set the chick inside and seal it back up and leave for awhile til he goes to sleep.
  3. buglit

    buglit In the Brooder

    Jan 14, 2009
    Hendersonville, NC
    Starter fluid in a can is scarey for the chick. Break it's neck, it is kinder on the chick alothough harder on you. It suffocates in a dark, foul place, it does not go to sleep
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2009
  4. obe10

    obe10 Songster

    Jul 14, 2009
    Irmo, South Carolina
    Quote:that is so sad *crys* but i agree with buglit
  5. shuizar209

    shuizar209 Songster

    Jul 11, 2009
    Starter fluid= suffocation. What a horrible way to die. Id say to either chop its head off or snap its neck.. doesnt sound to great but its quick. So sorry about your situation. It happens to the best of us.
  6. Tailfeathers

    Tailfeathers Songster

    Dec 31, 2007
    Washington State

    I found a way that I think will be ok for you. I would NOT recommend calling a Vet to put one of your chick's down. Honestly, I doubt many would do it in the first place and in the second, this likely won't be the first time you'll have to do this. And if they charge you, it's ridiculous to pay for this necessity.

    Just get yourself a small plastic container. Put the chick inside the container, put the lid on it, and then put it in the freezer.

    The chick will go into hypothermia in no time at all. You won't hear a peep out of it (pun intended), it will just go to sleep and the slowly freeze to death.

    If you've ever read about a human getting hypothermia and freezing to death, you know that it is painless and the victim is totally unaware of what is happening.

    Personally, I butcher my own birds, fish, hunt, have killed and butchered many an animal and I probably wouldn't have a problem snapping it's neck - but I still do the above. Call me soft-hearted or whatever but it's the method I'm most comfortable with.

    God Bless,
  7. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    [​IMG] Aww, poor lil' thing, and poor you for having to deal with it. It is amazing that a creature so ill-equipped could still have gotten itself out of its eggshell and even take steps. But the right thing to do isn't always the easiest to do.

    There have been other threads on here describing a method using baking soda & vinegar, I think, to make a gas chamber. The folks who use it say it's effective. But I prefer to use a sharp pair of poultry shears and quickly cut off the head, that way I know it died instantly & didn't linger. I wrap the chick in a paper towel & leave the neck exposed so it isn't such a sad sight.

    Maybe you could find a favorite bush or tree under which to bury this chick so it can help the plant to grow and so, in some way, continue to live.
  8. jnkir7

    jnkir7 Songster

    May 26, 2009
    jonesboro arkansas
    i also hatched a chick that same way tonight, but luckily it died within minuites, janie sorry it also was very hard that never happened before ,why what causes it,
  9. c_soto1990

    c_soto1990 Songster

    May 17, 2009
    is it falling over in pain or weak? why not just let him live a happy deformed life. If he is walking and eating fine,thats all that counts. If he is not dying and only deformed give him a chance. Thats like killing your own kid just be cause he was born with down symdrome. If he is in pain however and dying then do what you feel is right.
  10. Serrin

    Serrin Songster

    why not just let him live a happy deformed life. If he is walking and eating fine,thats all that counts. If he is not dying and only deformed give him a chance.

    If he's not in any pain, I can almost agree with you c_soto. But something to think about, and something I can comment on from experience: Even if that chick can be successfully raised to adulthood, (which is doubtful) the other chickens will always give it a bad time. They always know when there is a vulnerable, inferior bird in their midst.

    Any time my little LizzyBeth has one of her seizures, any of the older girls in the vicinity will pounce on her. I constantly have to watch out for her. If a person doesn't have the time to devote to a "special needs" bird, then the merciful thing to do is to put the little peep down.

    Another thing to consider: Would you really want a genetically defective bird in your flock? If it turns out to be a roo, I don't think I'd want to pass on any of whatever has gone wrong in his genetic makeup.

    As for the use of Ether (the primary ingredient of starter fluid): Folks, I hate to burst anyone's bubble here, but ether was one of the very first anesthetics used by the medical profession, in small, controlled amounts, dating as far back as before the Civil War. It anesthetizes the does not suffocate it. It only causes unconsciousness in limited amounts.

    The use of ether is not cruel. The only real risk you run in its use is not having enough. In which case you'd only be knocking the little guy out temporarily. That might make it easier for one to snap the neck, but the deed would still need doing. If you're going to use ether, be sure to saturate a cloth about the size of a standard wash cloth before placing chick and cloth in a tightly sealed container. Wait at least a half hour to be sure the deed is done.

    So sorry to hear about such a tragic hatching. I hope you don’t have any more hatching’s like this. Best of luck.​
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