*sigh* How to humanely put a turkey down?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by cashela, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. cashela

    cashela Songster

    Mar 4, 2009
    South Eastern NH
    My beloved tom, Crook, who is a white meat bird is going to need to be put down I believe in the coming weeks. I got my two turkeys as pets and didn't know that they were the white meat turkeys and that their legs would give out. Despite keeping him on a limited diet he is beginning to fail. Yesterday he fell [​IMG] I'm sure his crooked toes are not helping him at all. He also just doesn't seem right and doesn't want to move around and follow my hen like he normally does. *sigh* I know that he will have to be put down at some point and no I'm not going to eat him, he is my pet and he has been a great one since April. I'm heartbroken. He is a beautiful sweet bird.

    I don't want to do it. I will need to find someone to do it. What is the most humane way? Please tell me that this is the right thing...

    These are my first turkeys and I have had so much fun with them. I hate my chicken, he/she whatever it is is mean and hard to catch. My turkey's go right back in their cage for dinner and I don't have to chase them around.

  2. Plain_View_Farm

    Plain_View_Farm Songster

    Apr 5, 2008
    Central Virginia
    This is never an easy decision to make nor even discuss. I'm sorry your having to go through this.
    I've faced it numerous times with young Poults and Quail Chicks but not an adult Turkey. The method I use on smaller ones may work if you have a big enough box he would fit in. I have a box that I keep only for this purpose. It has a hole in the top of it and I place a plastic bag beneath the hole. I place the bird on the other side outside the bag and spray Ether (Starting Fluid) into the bag through the hole. The Ether puts them to sleep painlessly and the prolonged over exposure to the fumes finishes the job. You would want to make sure the Ether goes in the bag and not spray directly onto the bird. I haven't experienced it myself but I imagine it would burn badly if it were to get in their eyes. The reason I use this method is that it's painless.

    If you felt he is too large for this method, what I would do is use a 22 Cal. with Snake Shot in it at close range to the back of the head. While not totally painless, it would be quick.

    Again, I feel badly for you,
  3. djmooney

    djmooney Songster

    May 13, 2009
    any gun in the head. but i have shot squirrels at 3 yards with 22 snake shot and it didn't kill it so, pick something bigger. 22 regular bullet.
    if your going to eat it put it in a barrel and shoot it so it doesn't flop around and wreak meat
  4. karl lutz

    karl lutz Songster

    Jul 22, 2009
    Quote:I agree save the meat! AS FOR HUMANE ,Any quick method is good.
  5. Struttn1

    Struttn1 Songster

    May 4, 2008
    Southern Illinois
    A 12 ga or 20 ga loaded with a magnum turkey load will take him quick if you shoot the head and neck at close range,
  6. cashela

    cashela Songster

    Mar 4, 2009
    South Eastern NH
    Thanks, It wasn't his legs.

    He passed while sleeping. I also found out the MSPCA will put down poultry. Good to know if I need it for my hen [​IMG]
  7. farrier!

    farrier! Songster

    Feb 28, 2009
    Southern Illinois
  8. faykokoWV

    faykokoWV Mrs Fancy Plants

    Nov 4, 2008
    Cross Lanes, WV
  9. Buster52

    Buster52 Songster

    Jan 28, 2009
    Geronimo Oklahoma
    I am working on this myself. Although I raise mine for meat, I nonetheless want to make the kill as quick and humane as possible.

    I have tried chopping (very hard with a big turkey with a thick neck), then stunning followed by slitting (one turkey woke up during the bleed out even though I whacked her twice with a steel pipe, so I won't be doing that again). I would never use ether because then you are just suffocating him. Easier for the killer but not the killee.

    I have come to the conclusion that my method of choice will be stunning (again with an iron pipe), then a quick decapitation with a sharp knife so it will be dead before it can wake up.

    A 22 to the head would be about the quickest method, though. For those of us who raise them for meat, that wouldn't be very practical in the long term but could certainly work in your situation.

    Good luck, and I admire your choice. Even though I don't see mine in that way, it is always hard to put down a pet.
  10. ziggywiggy

    ziggywiggy Songster

    May 25, 2009
    McNeal, AZ
    If you want to try turkeys again, I'd recommend Midget Whites. They are very friendly, make great pets and don't have all the problems meat birds have. Actually, any heritage breed will do. I'm just partial to the Midget Whites.

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