Topic/Question of the Week - Let's talk about euthanasia

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sumi, Sep 11, 2016.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Euthanasia is one of the cons of this wonderful hobby called chicken keeping and most, if not all of us, dread having that decision placed in our hands. When to euthanise a bird and how to go about it? On this thread I would like to ask you all's thoughts and methods on euthanasia. Specifically:

    - When should it be done?
    - What is the most humane and the quickest method, especially for people who have never done it before and for a much loved flock member?
    - How do you handle the situation when you have children and other family involved with the flock?



    For a complete list of our Topic of the Week threads, see here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/topic-of-the-week-thread-archive
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
  2. DancingWthDucks

    DancingWthDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    - When should it be done?

    When a chicken or any other fowl is not having a good quality of life and is suffering or in serious, untreatable pain from an injury or illness.

    - What is the most humane and quickest method, especially for people who have never done it before and for a much loved flock member?

    Earlier this year I hatched a young Cream Legbar pullet, who was born with some weird leg deformity. She hopped around the brooder with her leg in the air, and she had no feeling of her leg. Whilst her brothers and sister grew into huge chicken- Godzillas she stayed new born chick size. After reasearching all the potential conditions she could have on BYC and my books, I realised that even though I had tried all the treatments for all of these deficancys and slipped tendons, her condition did not fit into any of the category's. I had to suck up and cull her, aged 3 weeks old using the gas meathod (search it up on BYC). She was so weak that she just slipped away- zero mess, blood, etc and when I opened the tup it looked like she had just slipped away.

    - How did you handle the situation when you have children and other family members involved with the flock?

    My parents and siblings had already decided that was what was best for her. I suppose because I had named her "sick chick" when she hatched it was easier to let her go than if she was called, for example, Daisy.


    Edited by Staff
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2016
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  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    - When should it be done?

    Time for culinary use, moribund or quality of life issue.

    - What is the most humane and the quickest method, especially for people who have never done it before and for a much loved flock member?

    Hatchet cutting of head fastest by all measures but requires confident / practiced use of hatchet. Strangulation can be worked employed does not press the squeamish button as bad. Click the back chicks head with finger.

    - How do you handle the situation when you have children and other family involved with the flock?

    Never consider process fun. No jokes. Provide explanations about why, no lies to protect for short-term as you are educating for long-term.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. kgb6days

    kgb6days Chillin' With My Peeps

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    -When should it be done
    As stated in the other posts - no need to repeat
    -Most humane and quickest method
    I just recently had to do this. Looked up how on the internet - found the dry ice method. It worked like a charm - she just settled down, went to sleep and never woke up.
    -How to handle with children, etc
    I grew up on a farm and it was just part of life. It's different when it's just a few chicks in the back yard but honest answers are best. I teach my grandkids that we always take care of the animals needs first, before our own wants and needs - even when simply gathering eggs we do feed, water, treats etc before getting the eggs. It sets the stage for understanding we always do whats best for the animals that are dependent on us for their welfare - even when euthanize is involved and it's hard.


    I'm interested in all others input
    Kristy
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    From Webster

    Definition of euthanasia : the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy

    - When should it be done?

    For the chickens it has to be a personal decision, either a quality of life decision for the chicken or the flock. If the chicken is hopelessly ill and suffering end the suffering. Some crippled chickens or other fowl can have a good quality of life even if crippled. But if they are obviously unhealthy and not thriving it may be time. I’d also look at the health of the flock. A sick fowl may infect the rest of the flock and may need to be permanently removed.

    - What is the most humane and the quickest method, especially for people who have never done it before and for a much loved flock member?

    The way that you can. It should be done in a way that is swift and sure. You don’t want to flinch at the wrong time and injure the bird or yourself. There are a lot of different methods that can be used. I use a hatchet and stump but I grew up using axes, hatchets, and such so I’m comfortable I can hit the target. I’m not going to close my eyes at the wrong time. There are several other ways: cone and knife, the broomstick method, wringing the neck, pruning loppers, using the exhaust from a car, and others. For chicks a pair of scissors can work.

    - How do you handle the situation when you have children and other family involved with the flock?

    I agree with Centrarchid, don’t lie to anyone. Let them know why you are doing it. They don’t have to watch but you know your family. Will it be easier for them if you have a funeral? It’s a hard time and you have some hard decisions to make.
     
    2 people like this.
  6. BrandoMan

    BrandoMan Out Of The Brooder

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    Don't wanna get religion into this but any Jewish peeps here? If not research how Jewish folks kill a animal for consumption. Science agrees there way is the quickest and most painless to kill a animal for consumption.prayers optional.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    - When should it be done?
    Don't think I could say it better than @chickygirl7



    - What is the most humane and the quickest method, especially for people who have never done it before and for a much loved flock member?
    Nothing will make it easy the first time......the 'gassing' options are tricky to employ and can be disastrous.
    For slaughter of food animals, cone and jugular slit is the way to go for me working alone.
    For euthanasia of deformed chicks, I use sharp bypass pruners to take head off over outside garbage can.
    For sick and suffering adult bird, I finally found a cervical dislocation video that doesn't rip the head right off. It was perfect


    - How do you handle the situation when you have children and other family involved with the flock?
    No first hand experience with this, but would be straight forward, honest, and calm in attitude..... especially with kids-they will take after what you project.
     
  8. Betsy57

    Betsy57 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    What is "click" the back of the chick's head with a finger?
     
  9. Betsy57

    Betsy57 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Please post the dry ice method for me and others. Never heard of that before.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016
  10. Betsy57

    Betsy57 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Cute, Jewish peeps! :) So please post this information or at least the link for myself and others.
     

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