Sick Hen - Slow Death (Euthanization Suggestions)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by UtahLisa, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. UtahLisa

    UtahLisa In the Brooder

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    Oh may,

    I have to say I have had a rough go of being a new hen mom. I posted earlier about my hen that is sick and wanted advice on what to do. I thought she might be egg bound or have an ailment that has been due to stress or the move). It's now been over two weeks since she started showing symptoms but now she's in pretty bad shape. She's really not eating much or drinking. When I pick her up I can feel her sternum through her now very small frame. I know she's slowly starving to death. She has runny poop that is down her backside (she gets a bath regularly). She pretty much just sleeps at this point.

    I put her in my greenhouse a a few days ago because the temp is much warmer in there and that way I could separate her from the rest of my hens. I had her in a 30 gallon tote. on Monday she seemed like it was a slippery slope and that she'd probably take a turn for the worse. Yesterday evening the temp dropped pretty low and the water has been freezing in the run so I knew she wouldn't have the energy to stay warm so I brought the tote into my house and put it in my master bath tub. This morning when I checked on her she is pretty lethargic and hasn't eaten anything. I makes me horribly sad.

    I now am sitting here googling humane ways to euthanize her because I just don't have the heart to watch her suffer anymore. Now I do want to disclose that I don't think I could break her neck or anything else that is super bloody. Not to mention my daughters have been nursing her for the past weeks and cry just about every night lately because we all know she's going to die.

    Is there a way I can do this that isn't traumatic for her or me? I have been reading all sorts of forums and chat groups that suggest all sorts of crazy stuff and I just don't want to get into this and mess it up and make this a horrible thing that I play back over and over again. Yes I'm that person - guilt.

    I do realize with a flock my size (13 hens) that this is going to happen and I know this is something that eventually I need to know how to do. I don't want to be freaking out when I have to do this due to a crazy accident and my hen is panicked and I'm panicked... Knowing my luck I'll freak out and hurt myself or something.

    Okay, so what do I do people? I have read about dry ice but don't have a clue where to get that. I have also read about ether (Engine starter fluid)...I need more details on how to do that too or I'll mess it up. Axe, juglar....nope, can't do that. Bloody mess, flailing of the severed body...would prefer not PLEASE. I don't want to appear more concerned about myself than the hen so I'm asking you'all so I can get the courage and do this right. Ugh.....Now that I'm crying and making a mess of myself...I'm ready for suggestions.
     
    puffypoo22 likes this.
  2. UtahLisa

    UtahLisa In the Brooder

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    She's a Red, 2 years old. Has been with her flock the majority of her life but have added 5 other hens to their group. They all adapted very well. They were all relocated to my residence which is 40 mile from where they were. However, when I took them I relocated their same Coop and run. The soil here is different, the environment is different, this has been stressful for them and the construction has been pretty constant. So, yes...all this could have contributed. Just wanted to give you more information to help.
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

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    Do you have a vet close by? In your situation, I think it would be the least traumatic for you, your girls and the hen to just bring her in and have her put to sleep.
     
  4. UtahLisa

    UtahLisa In the Brooder

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    Yes, I will be calling shortly to figure out prices. Them and the local humane society. My whole request is that I have had pets and they do crazy things and generally it's just like kids...when they get sick or hurt it's never M-F 8-5. So, I'm also looking for feedback on situations that I might have to deal with in an emergency. Like a stray dog attack or something that I just need to handle right away. So, suggestions and direction is always helpful no matter what. It's 7:45 a.m here and nothing is open yet. Trust me...I'm drinking my coffee to help calm my emotions and waiting for 8:00 to hit.
     
  5. kklowell

    kklowell Songster

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    Starter fluid may work, I believe it's mostly ether, so it certainly would put her to sleep but it is extremely flammable so I probably wouldn't suggest using it. .
     
    UtahLisa likes this.
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

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    The reason I suggested the vet is that you stated you couldn't do cervical dislocation or decapitation. Those are - in my opinion - the two most humane ways to kill a chicken. They are fast. It's over with in seconds. It doesn't involve suffocating an animal to death, which is what the other methods do. The chicken doesn't die immediately, and I feel there is too much margin for error. I realize the two methods I mentioned aren't for everyone though. Honestly, I have my DH put down any chickens that need it here. If I had to do it myself, I'd put the bird in a cone and use a garden lopper to decapitate. I don't feel comfortable or competent enough to try the broomstick or hatchet and stump methods.
     
  7. Jetblack2004

    Jetblack2004 Free Ranging

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  8. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    The kindest and gentlest way for both YOU and the chicken is a vet assisted euthanasia, I think. Even though I hunt and know how to put an animal down humanely, I still cannot do my own chickens... they are just too dear of pets to me. It's a bit hypocritical of me but it is what it is... I am very sensitive once I form a connection with an animal.
    In my experience, a vet will administer a drug (forgive me, I am usually too upset at the time to make note of which one) intravenously to sedate the bird if necessary, and then administer the euth drug the same way after the bird is resting. If the bird is already weak, they tend to just doze off and it's very gentle. Sometimes they will kick a bit or move at the very end. I'm telling you this so you understand what is going on; they are already brain-dead and do not feel anything, it's the primitive part of their brain reacting to death. Please know that if you see this, your chicken isn't feeling it at all. All my best wishes and sympathy for you, this is very hard and I have done it a few times myself. Kind regards.
     
  9. UtahLisa

    UtahLisa In the Brooder

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    $33.00 - I feel this is fair so that's the avenue I'll be taking. Thanks! I was wondering about the other options because last week my neighbors chicken was attacked by a dog and it ripped her wing off and she was severely and mortally wounded. I'm sure I would do it if I had to under that circumstance but she said it was horrible and I didn't dare ask her what she did. She hasn't talked about it since. I'd probably use a hatchet...I'm pretty precise and can when I have to. I had to put down a cat last year that ended up in my yard and was mutilated. I didn't feel bad about it because it was in so much pain. Thanks every again! And, yes...it's terribly hard when you have grown so fond of them and consider them your pet. sigh.
     
    puffypoo22 likes this.
  10. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

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    I think $33 is worth it. I think it's great that you're looking into options of how to do it yourself in an emergency. Everyone should have a plan.
     

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