Recommended Culling Methods?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by BantamLover21, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    I have a bird that I need to cull. I've considered gassing her with carbon dioxide, but am wondering what other people have to say. What would be a fast, relatively painless way? An explanation as to how to perform the procedure would help, too.

    TOP KNOT Songster

    Mar 10, 2013
    We use a hatchet and a tree stump. One wack and its all over quick. You can put a twine around their neck to stretch it out and keep close to the stump. My husband always helps me with this. I hold the bird and twine and he wacks. Just hit really close to the head. I always close my eyes. Gassing?? Seems cruel.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    My sisters favorite method is to stand on a hard outdoor surface (something paved is best) put the chicken on the ground with a broom over the neck.

    So, one foot is on each end of the broom, and the chicken's head is pinned under the broom handle.

    Then you grab the chicken's feet and yank.

    I know that sounds a bit "wow" and maybe cruel, but it is super very quick, and all very easily done with only one person.

    The ax method is i think a good standard method, but it is easier with two people, and you have to be able to aim with an ax, which is difficult to do if your eyes are closed.
  4. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Songster

    May 15, 2009
    If you do decide to use this method make sure the ax is very sharp. The thick feathers on the neck can hinder a clean cut.

    This is a post from sunny side up.

    [​IMG] First, let me say I'm sorry for your sad situation.

    In my opinion, breaking the neck is the most humane, it seems to kill the chicken instantly. I use a different method to dispatch the meat birds but with dear old friends I prefer to do it in a less messy, more dignified & respectful way.

    Sometimes it's easier to have someone else less emotionally attatched to the bird do it for you. Then they can focus on doing a quick effective job and not be so personally saddened by its loss. Find a friend or relative who is willing, or find a neighboring chicken keeper with whom you can trade these sad favors.

    I recently had to euthanize a hen who had become an internal layer, I owed it to her to end her suffering. I first dug the hole in a pretty part of my garden near a flowering shrub. Then I held her under my non-dominant left arm and calmed her with kind words & gentle stroking. Then I strengthened my resolve, grabbed a hold of her just behind her head with my stronger right arm, and gave a decisive firm yank, pulling out & twisting slightly. I knew she died as soon as the neck bones gave way with a crunch. Of course there were some reflexive flappings of her wings for a moment afterwards, it took about a minute for her to grow still & her eyes to close.

    It's essential to give a really hard yank. Once you release the head & see the neck is hanging limp, you know you've done the job. You can continue to hold the bird, or lay her down, cover her with a feed sack or towel, & walk away if you cannot bear it. That's why I say sometimes it's easier for someone else to do you the favor, so they can concentrate on doing the job well for the bird's sake.

    You can also lay the bird on the ground with her neck under a thick straight stick, like a broomstick. Hold the ends of the stick down firmly with your feet, grab the legs & pull up really hard until you feel that crunch.

    This last time was the first time I tried doing it while holding the bird under my arm. It was both successful (for the hen's sake) and -- don't get offended by my choice of words -- more satisfying for me as her keeper, it felt nicer to hold her right up to her end instead of laying her on the ground to wonder at the last "what's going to happen to me now?"

    I wish you peace with your decision & your actions to follow.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013
    2 people like this.

    TOP KNOT Songster

    Mar 10, 2013
    Yes my eyes are husband is doing the chopping! Not me! Do you think that I would shut my eyes if I was swinging the axe????
  6. TheReadyBoys

    TheReadyBoys Chirping

    Jul 2, 2012
    P.E.I, Canada
    My cousins take the chickens and set them free way back where the field meets the woods. We usually just use a hatchet.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013
  7. MrPaloma

    MrPaloma Hatching

    May 16, 2012
    [Try Helium!] I used dry ice in a box; it worked, but, the very ill chickens shrieked and tried to jump out. I will never forget. Then I read somewhere that the CO2 INCREASES the sensation of needing air, then I recalled my knowledge. CO2 in blood is the mechanism that tells the brain to breath! So, in attempting something I thought would make the process easier on my girls, and also easier on me, I have to live with that I ended up torturing them to death. At least it was pretty fast. Anyway, look up on youtube "helium pass out" and you will see countless examples of people inhaling off balloons to talk funny, and forgetting to breath air in between, because this CO2 mechanism was blocked, apparently. After two or three inhalations, they drop out. Just one step short of death I should think. And I wonder if people accidentally die doing this. I have yet to try this with a chicken, but plan on buying a couple party balloons next time I need to cull. Remember, HELIUM is lighter than air, so, perhaps, 'fill' an upside down box or bag with the helium, and lower it down over you chicken, slowly. Maybe do so in a dark room, which has virtual effect of sedation on them, I think because they can not gather much light into their small eyes, so, they perceive more darkness than we do. I think they won't really notice a box being lowered down over them if dark.
  8. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

    Sep 6, 2007
    Corydon, Indiana
    I'm glad I see more hatchets this time than in the past. My biggest fears are drowning or suffocating. So if I'm to breathe and the 02 is disappearing, I will suffocate. I can't see anything humane about C02, freezing, gassing, etc, and running out of air.

    The ax is the most humane way to go, and maybe the hardest to do, but who is this about? Is this about your pet not suffering? Like Purpletree, I dig a nice grave. I take my chicken out and cover their head, lay them down on a stone and use an ax. Yes their wings do flap around, but they are dead. They never see it coming. If I can't do it (to some), I take them to the vet. He just charges me an office visit.

    Then they get a burial and a prayer, and a few words about how I feel about them and why they were special.

    It's not an easy thing. But it's being a responsible pet owner.

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