Sensitive subject...culling :(

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tofumama, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. tofumama

    tofumama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Based on what I have read...I believe 2 of my chickens have Marek's, and the girl we lost 2 weeks ago most likely had it as well. I believe my brother/sister d'uccles came to me with it as they were never 'right' and then my mutt roo(who was part of their possee) is now suffering from it. It appears to be pretty far along, and I am trying to come to terms with what the outcome will be. They are isolated from the flock, and usually stay separate anyways but are now in a cage since they can't walk. So now...what to do...

    I am vegan, these are my pets. My family is vegetarian, and though they eat the eggs...ending an animal's life is not something I am sure I have the stomach to do...however my concern is if they are suffering, is it more humane to do so? Or, should I let the disease run its course...

    If I am to end their lives...what is the most humane way to do so? Mind you, I am NOT ok with this at all so please don't tell me to break their necks as I can't do that...I am hysterical right now as it is...
  2. Barred Babies

    Barred Babies Red Roof Farms

    Sep 20, 2009
    Pride, La.
    Of course it is more humane to end it's life than allow it to suffer and to me being a vegan has nothing to do with it! It means being a responsible animal owner!

    You can take a pair of loppers and cut their head off if you don't want to breaks it's neck!! If that's not for you, you can search the forum and they have loads of ideas on here!!
  3. tofumama

    tofumama Chillin' With My Peeps

    I was only saying I was vegan to let people know that I was hoping for a gentle way to help them die. I know veganism/meat eating has nothing to do with being a good pet owner, I did not mean to insinuate that. Simply that I do not have the stomach to cull at all...but in the case of animal suffering, and knowing it needs to happen, I wanted the gentlest way possible as to not traumatize my kids(or myself) Lopping their heads off is not an option for me. Thank you, though.
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    This is a touchy subject. I understand your reluctance to undertake this. Send the birds to a vet to be euthanized if it is too much for you. If you can't find a vet willing to euthanize them, then do you have a friendly farmer nearby?

    Unfortunately, the quickest euthanization technique for birds is a cervical dislocation. This can be achieved through "lopping off their heads" or breaking their necks. It is awful for us to contemplate, but the bird has no idea it's coming, so is not distressed at all by it. They have no idea it's happening until it's already over. I often recommend the rake method. Place a rake on the ground with the bird's head on one side of the tines and the body on the other side closest to you. Step on the rake while simultaneously giving a quick hard yank on the chicken's feet. Do not hesitate when you pull and you can't be squeamish about it. There is a slight amount of flapping, but that is just nervous reaction. It is over.

    Sorry you have to do this, but it sounds like it is for the best. Good luck.
  5. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2010
    Agree, the faster the better. It is not as easy on the person doing it but I am sure better for the bird.

    Other method I think may be ok is using ether sold as starting fluid in spray cans. This is an anisthetic more so than a simple asphyixiant. So it should be failry mild on the bird. You might want to look up methods but uber care must be taken as it is super flamable.
  6. sgtmom52

    sgtmom52 Birds & Bees

    Since you are not OK with the above methods there are several others you could use.

    You could have a Vet euthanize the chickens for you although this could be expensive.

    You could give them an overdose of Diethyl ether (engine starter fluid) in an enclosed container. Diethyl ether was once used as a general anesthetic for humans. Make sure you buy the starter fluid that has Diethyl ether as a main ingredient as there are several different types of starter fluid. It can be purchased at most store with a good automotive department. Use caution as it is extremely flammable!
  7. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

    Jul 5, 2007
    Sevier County, TN
    [​IMG] You are making a hard choice, and I'm sorry you are going through this.

    Another way is to take a large, sealable plastic container. Put in a rack or something to raise an area to be a 2nd floor. Needs to be a rack or something that allows air to circulate. Cover the bottom of the tub with baking soda. Put a next box on the rack and put the birds in it. Keep the lights really low so they are inclined to cuddle for sleep. Pour a bottle of vinegar into the baking soda and close the lid on the tub. Seal it, put a towel over it, and walk away. Leave this be for an hour.

    The chickens will go to sleep and die of oxygen deprivation. I did this with an egg bound hen that was DH's 'chicken girlfriend'. It seemed painless for her.
  8. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    The disease running it's course is suffering for the birds. Humanely put them down. We always use an axe to quickly end their pain. Euthanizing is a part of good poultry husbandry.
  9. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2010
    I am not certain the use of CO2 is the kindest, suffocation and not being able to get enough oxygen is a very intense panic and not all that quick. Same goes for the car exhaust CO method, not said to be painless, quick or foolproof. Ether(starting fluid) is more anisthetic and does render unconciousness before surpressing respiration and circulation.

    CO2 is certainly far far safer than dealing with ether though.
  10. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    I don't know if you have a college nearby or an vet extension office that tests birds (necropsy, etc) but if you do, ours will euthanize chickens, up to 5 birds for $30. I just thought I'd throw this option out there in case it's viable. I am very sorry you are having to go through this. I have only had to do it once - to a chick - and it was awful so I really do not have any good advice. I'm glad I did it so the little thing didn't have to suffer anymore but even that knowledge did not make it any easier. Sending good thoughts to you and hugs [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by