Slaughter by insulin?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Valerie47, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. Valerie47

    Valerie47 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 8, 2007
    This may or may not be a good idea, in fact, it may be a terrible one but I'd appreciate your thoughts. I need to slaughter 4 roosters. I have in the recent past slaughtered a very sick and weak chicken by the rod method (where its neck is underneath the rod and I stepped on the rod whilst jerking the chicken upward) - it worked, but I was not convinced that this is a totally humane way and I am not sure I can do it with young healthy birds.
    My husband is a diabetic on insulin and I am thinking of commandeering some of his medication and injecting the roosters with a large overdose. As I understand it, they would sink into unconsciousness and expire within a few hours.
    I have no intention of eating them, or allowing anyone else to. Their carcasses would be disposed of.
    What do you think? Am I off my trolley? I just want an easy painless end for them.
  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    To put it bluntly, I think you're off the trolley on that. But that's my opinion and we all have them! :D For you, fast head removal probably is the best way, whether by hatchet, knife, loppers, or broomstick. There may be, according to an old song, 50 ways to leave your lover, but I bet there are 100 ways to kill a chicken. None are pretty. Be sure it's the chicken you're looking out for and not your own feelings.
  3. Valerie47

    Valerie47 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 8, 2007
    Thank you, yes, it is indeed the chicken that I am concerned about, not my own feelings. I did say that all I wanted was an easy death for the bird, not an easy slaughter for me to perform. I will do whatever is best for the chicken, I am not seeking an easy way out of my responsibilities.
    When dogs etc are put to sleep they don't have their heads cut off, they have a lethal injection - not insulin, I know, but as I don't have access to drugs that stop the heart etc, insulin is the best I can think of.
    You haven't said why you think I am off my trolley - do you have some knowledge of insulin physiology in chickens - does anyone? Can't find anything on the internet. I know that in humans an insulin overdose causes extremely low blood sugar resulting in coma and death. Must say I would prefer that to having my head chopped off - but then I am not a chicken.
  4. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 12, 2009
    Isn't insulin extremely expensive? Just cut their throat or use an axe. That is the most humane.
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Just use a sharp axe on a chopping block. Instantaneous and humane. Just gather the wings and feet together so there's no flapping, no beating of wings, no running around.

    Injection? really? [​IMG]
  6. BWKatz

    BWKatz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2010
    As an RN I have done this to a beloved cat. You are not crazy. It is a very quiet way for them to go. .. I held mine in my arms as he took his last breath. If your animals are healthy, there is no reason why you couldn't still eat them , our insulin levels go up & done constantly and the amt of insulin u would ingest would not affect you noticeably. I would have your husband take an extra blood sugar after eating just to be on the safe side.
  7. brandislee

    brandislee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2011
    Southern Minnesota
    I wouldn't do it... there are several scientific studies that show chickens (and birds in general) don't feel as much pain as animals who are higher on the food chain, like dogs and cats. Furthermore, while beheading a chicken is relatively quick and easy due to their skinny necks, beheading a dog or cat would be much harder, thus easier to mess up and cause suffering to the animals. I don't think it's fair to compare the two. If you're purely concerned with being humane, I think that either pithing or slitting the throat are the most humane. Even humans, who have the highest number of pain receptors, don't feel anything when they suffer massive blood loss in a short amount of time- often they don't even feel the injury that caused the blood loss. Since with pithing (pushing a blade through the brain from the roof of the mouth) there is a margin for error I would go with slicing the blood vessel.

    Personally I have to balance what I can handle emotionally with what is humane- I use very sharp large limb lopers and cut the head off very quickly. I hate doing it, but at the same time I think it is far more respectful to humanely kill and then eat an animal that led a good life than to bury said animal and turn around and eat industrial chicken that spent it's entire life being treated inhumanely.
  8. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    That lethal injection isn't always an easy death for an animal, either. Sometimes, the drug will cause their breathing to stop before they're unconscious, and they die terrified, struggling to breathe. Our vet told us when we had to put down one of our horses that the kindest, quickest death is to shoot it. Same with a dog. It's just not as neat and clean as an injection. If you're adverse to eating them yourself, is there someone you can give them to who could use the meat? Or take them to a processor, have them processed and donate to a food shelf? I am also of the opinion that a quick head removal is the quickest, most humane death for a chicken.
  9. carladababe

    carladababe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 25, 2010
    Dixon, Missouri
    Some signs and symptoms of low blood sugar,(in people) are hunger, shakiness, sweating, dizziness, anxiety, and confusion. It is not like falling asleep and passing away quietly. I'm not sure if there are any studies showing the effects of overdosing chickens with insulin, but sounds like it could be a hit or miss effort with the chicken potentially suffering. I saw on a documentary, a woman who gives her turkeys a shot of whiskey before slaughter. I feel for you, I haven't been in that situation with my chickens, but would also be looking for the quickest, most painless way to do it.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2012
  10. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    Dogs are killed in many ways, some horrid and some not as horrid. But BWKatz seems qualified to talk about this so I withdraw my statement about you being off your trolley.

    Many times people post here asking the most humane way to kill a chicken and most of the time it becomes evident that it is their own feelings they are concerned with more than the chicken, no matter the statement in the first post. There have been some of the most crazy, complicated, and just plain horrible ways to do in a bird I ever read posted here, all in the name of being "humane." Sorry for lumping you in the category of all those others.

    Seems if it really is an ok way to go and you have the insulin extra and can do it, then I'll not judge one way or the other. I'm not going to say that cutting off or pulling off the head is more humane, only the chicken knows and like Beekissed posted in another thread, the chicken ain't telling.

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