What is best way to end suffering?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by saracb75, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. saracb75

    saracb75 New Egg

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    I have a beautiful lavendar orpington who has gotten very sick and is almost completely paralyzed. She is still breathing, doesn't open her eyes and only responds by moving her foot or her head a tiny bit when I talk to her. All signs point to Marek's but I'm a relative rookie so who knows. She is my first hen and I am completely heartbroken. I had no idea I would enjoy my girls so much when I got them early this year and while I have taken the loss of a few other birds in stride, this one is totally different. I feel as though I should end her suffering but don't know the easiest and most humane way to do so. There aren't any vets around here who deal with poultry and I know most people would think me crazy to care about my chicken to the point where I am bawling as I type this. Can anyone give me suggestions on ways to deal with this? I don't know if I should let her die naturally or end her suffering. Any suggestions are appreciated.
     
  2. jelizg

    jelizg New Egg

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    I really empathize with you. I too can't stand to see a creature suffering. I'm lucky to have a chicken-owning vet here who treats them and I have had her put down sick chickens when she could not help them. I also watched one die on her own -- gruesome. She raised her head and flapped her wings right before she died - the vet told me they do this. I would say call around to local vets, and if you have a vet with whom you have a relationship for another animal, appeal to him/her to euthanize your hen. They can do it.
     
  3. theGrizzFan

    theGrizzFan Out Of The Brooder

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    If you are ok with the vet bill, then go that route. If not, it is a good time to call a trusted friend or neighbor. I'm sure your friend will be able to end your birds suffering in a humane way.
    Best of luck to you.
     
  4. Leslieb118

    Leslieb118 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know how feasible this is for you, but if you live near your State Lab, you can call and arrange to take your chicken in and they will humanely euthanize her and do a necropsy to find out what she was suffering from. State labs do them for little or no cost while also providing answers many people need to ensure they treat the remainder of the flock for the specific illness. You can check the lab's website to find out useful information. Also, if you have a county extension office, they could help you as well. So sorry you're going through this! [​IMG]
     
  5. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

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    I am so sorry you have to go through this :hugs
     
  6. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know how you feel, I hate to see an animal suffering, too. You might think this is terrible, but let me tell you it was a great relief to be able to quickly and cleanly kill a chicken myself. I used to have a vet who would euthanize a chicken by injection for free, but he moved away, and the only other one who'll touch a chicken around here charges about $80 for euthanasia.

    The other route I have taken is to give the bird, whether an ailing hen or a rooster I could not keep, to a local woman who eats them. The problem with giving a bird to someone is you don't always know how long they let it suffer (assuming it is a sick bird) before putting it out of its misery, and you don't know how humanely they do it. Well, after I got a good look at how things work at her place, I decided never to give one to her again. I thought I would never be able to do it myself, but once I did it, I was tremendously relieved, knowing that I never had to let a bird suffer again.

    How we do it: Best with 2 people: one person holds the bird down on a hard surface, and another chops off the head (we used a very sharp meat cleaver). Once when I had no one to help me, I did it by breaking the neck, though I like decapitation better because you know there isn't even a second of suffering.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  7. saracb75

    saracb75 New Egg

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    Thank you for the suggestions and kind words. Someone wrote privately and offered a humane way but apparently, I either suck at following simple directions or she just has a tremendous will to live. My regular vet closed before I got home from work and there are no emergency clinics open less than an hour and a half away. My only neighbors I could comfortably ask aren't home and I have no idea where a state lab might be. At this point, I have her inside where its warm and dark and hoping she will fall asleep peacefully. My only other options are my hatchet or gun and I can't bring myself to use either on her. I feel like such a jackass at the moment but life will go on. Hoping tomorrow is a better day than today was.
     
  8. Leslieb118

    Leslieb118 Chillin' With My Peeps

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  9. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like she is pretty far gone, so perhaps she will pass peacefully during the night. But if you continue to keep chickens, you might want to decide how you will handle this in the future. If you do, it will be a lot easier because you will know you will not have to needlessly prolong the suffering.
     
  10. saracb75

    saracb75 New Egg

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    You are right, Janine. Thank you for your comments. I have lost a couple of other chickens previously (two to a neighbors dog) and 3 to illness of some sort. The ones that died naturally did so very suddenly with little warning that there was a problem so I just haven't experienced this type of thing before. I will definitely have to develop a plan as I havve no intention of giving up on my little flock.
     

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