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#1 2009-03-18 20:10:12

naughtykids
Active Member
From: Duncan, BC
Registered: 2009-01-28
Posts: 266

Humane care and the final solution

When there really isn't hope for recovery or decent life, I think we must act to stop suffering; however, we have always turned to our Vet for the larger animals/pets, and we do not keep any guns on our property because of the special needs and lack of judgment of our younger foster and adopted children, so I don't really know the best ways to quickly (as humanely as possible) end the suffering/life of poultry if needed. I would imagine the how would vary according to the age and size of an animal, but I would appreciate advice in this matter. Thank you


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

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#2 2009-03-18 20:48:21

uno
I Love A.C.E.
From: Enderby, BC
Registered: 2009-02-22
Posts: 5569
Website

Re: Humane care and the final solution

I have been on other forums and this is a constant topic of debate, what exactly is humane and what isn't. It seems there is no agreement.

Some say to render the bird unconscious by  means of ether or dry ice and while it is out, chop its head off. But the process of becoming unconcscious, through lack off oxygen or application of a chemical often produces PANIC and thus the question, is it humane to panic the bird? same as putting chicks in the freezer to die of hypotermia. For a little creature so craving the warmth of its mother I think this a very inhumane way to go.

I am fortunate in that my Hubby will take care of these things for me, although not happily. He is a reluctant chicken Hubby and is not happy that this chore falls to him. I have frequently thought I should learn to do this myself. Thought about it. Never done anything about it. Only once did I attempt to remove a chicken's head, and it was already dead and I closed my eyes and look away as I swing the axe. Since I was also holding the chicken with my other hand, Hubby felt that  my axe technique (close eyes, avert face, swing towards my fingers) was not the best approach!

I know of one person who uses and air powered pellet gun at point blank range to the head. This is not a traditinal gun with real bullets, but packs enough force to kill a bird. But with the children on your place it still may be too much of a danger  you to consider.

In my humble opinion, fast and complete is the best way to go. A sharp axe, a bird that is somehow confined (killing cone, wrapped in sack) so it is not thrashing and flapping, and a quick chop is probably the most humane. I hope others have alternatives to offer you. But good for you for thinking about this. This is the promise me make when we keep animals. To not  let them suffer if there is nothing more we can do to help.

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#3 2009-03-18 21:13:56

d*****
I Love A.C.E.
Registered: 2008-11-08
Posts: 2925

Re: Humane care and the final solution

some time their is more effort in you getting the job done than it take to do the job, once people are over that "I can't" notion the first thing that you realize is it's done - move on. I can blubber away about my little crippled chick that needs to be put down all day but it needs doing - their its done - no more late night feedings. It is better off as the others were giving it a thrashing anyways.
I know from experience if you rely on others to do a job you won't like the results and sometimes not satisfiying. I feel strong about if we have stock/pets all measures of care need to be adressed appropriatly , that includes culling. If watching a chicken bounce around wildly without a head is an issue than place a wash tub over the body so when when the axe drops it is within the dark confines of a tub.
uno I know where you are coming from as dorry gets me to do all the axe work here. I did get her to cull a chick yesterday-- but it needed it and though it tore her heart out she understands after it didn't take that long and the chick was better for it.
Chickens are easy to put down it can be done numerous ways. If you have the capital to pay avet to put down an animal than that is your choice. You don't have a firearm? Contact your local Fish and Wildlife Club and they will be more than happy to help you out.
If it's poulrty put 2 nails in a block of wood narrow enough to hold the head from slipping threw. put the head in place, pull putting pressure to stretch the neck a little and wack, it's done - don't look.

Last edited by doug0461 (2009-03-18 21:14:20)

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#4 2009-03-18 23:58:57

Chickee's Mom
I Love A.C.E.
From: Gull Lake AB
Registered: 2008-02-26
Posts: 4079

Re: Humane care and the final solution

Great thread, something that we should all know and like everyone says don't really want to do it, but sometimes you have to. I had to shoot on rooster one time, don't know what possessed me to go get the 22. He must have jumped off the roost and broke his leg, I knew there was no hope for him. I did it and put him in the burning barrel and walked away.
I have also had to cull small chicks, and that is very very hard.

Chickie Vickie should really come on here and explain how she does it so quick and fast.

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#5 2009-03-19 15:57:36

Arcticsun
I Love A.C.E.
From: Wetaskiwin AB
Registered: 2009-02-02
Posts: 7083

Re: Humane care and the final solution

When I took Lab Animal Tech courses at the U of A one of the things we had to do was humane euthanasia. We studdied in depth what worked and what did not and on what species. One of the things we had to look at was Euth with no stress. A stressed animal can give false or skewed results so it was very important to not have floods of adrenalin or other stress hormones etc.

Axial dislocation for most species was the fastest and least stressfull method.  Decapitation (Chopping block) is one extreme form, the other is the "twist and pull" to be graphic. Neck wringing. The thing to remember is to also PULL. Once the Axial bone (atlas and axis being the top of the spine right by the skull) is significantly sepperated,  the spinal cord is severed the animal is brain dead. This means NO PAIN, no panic, nothing. There will be some autonomic response, flapping, twitching etc, but this is the release of activity within the nerves, it is not the flailings of a living animal, and there is NO PAIN. It is like chopping off the head (the two nails in a big stump does work really well.). One the head is off any flapping is not because of pain or panic, it is just twitching.

The flapping/twitching is  very upsetting though.  Especially if your animals are used to being held, then you can easily slide a chicken up an old kid's jeans leg or shirt sleeve or make a cloth tube. Socks often work depending on the size of bird. This holds the wings snug against the body. "Tube" the bird then use what ever technique you decide on. The tube-ing  helps to keep the chicken calm, and deals with the flapping etc.

Covering the animal can also help the person doing it.  It is sometimes easier to use the effort necessary to do the job effectively and humanely if you cant see the animal. Smaller birds and animals can be slid into a sock with the legs at the top of the sock, sticking out a bit maybe, and then the toe is pulled down over the head so the beak is in the toe. This should leave the sock well bunched around the neck. Then while holding the body in your hand, the neck between your index and middle fingers (which hold over the shoulders) grip the head, twist and pull. There must be enough sock to allow the extention required along the length of neck extended plus extra for the dislocation.

I do not like talking about this of course, but far more I dislike the thought of it not done properly, efficiently, humanely. When a person has animals, this is just a part of the cycle, no need for it to be an inhumane part.


Arcticsun Frickin Chicken ranch
A rainbow of colour in every egg basket!
Life is too short to to take ones self too seriously
Hug your chicken today

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#6 2009-03-19 17:27:01

Arcticsun
I Love A.C.E.
From: Wetaskiwin AB
Registered: 2009-02-02
Posts: 7083

Re: Humane care and the final solution

Thanks.
I prefer bloodless methods. It is not that I am squeemish, but I feel better about the animal and the blood can really upset people and it can make a huge mess. If your having to do it while it is snowy or Icy you can end up with a horror movie effect that you cant clean up. We had an old hatchet that we removed the edge from also. The job is done, but no blood.

The nails in a large stump mean you do not have to hold the board. You can also put in a few nails ina  row of lessening widths so that regardless of bird size your ready. Ready means less stress for you and the animal.
As with anything else, if it is a first time, more too much force is better than not enough.


Arcticsun Frickin Chicken ranch
A rainbow of colour in every egg basket!
Life is too short to to take ones self too seriously
Hug your chicken today

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#7 2009-03-19 20:29:10

naughtykids
Active Member
From: Duncan, BC
Registered: 2009-01-28
Posts: 266

Re: Humane care and the final solution

Thank you all very much -difficult to think and talk about, but  important to know.
My worst experience ever was finding a wound on our large French lop pet bunny -after the flies found it - and just not knowing how to best provide for a humane ending. Ended up taking him to the Vet for fatal injection -but the drive and process caused about an hour of additional suffering (injection to gut was also horrific -don't know what I was expecting) :crying: . Our vet didn't charge and the clinic sent us a sympathy card, but it was really a horrible experience I just don't ever want to repeat!

I can "bonk" and clean my own fish, but couldn't imagine clubbing an animal I was attached to. The gun always seemed the best method in the past -but is no longer an option for us with our children, so I very much appreciate the suggestions you have offered. I had never thought of a dull axe -but makes sense.
Arcticsun -your sharing of your education/knowledge was particularly helpful! I think the info would also apply to rabbits.
Thanks


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

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#8 2009-03-19 20:45:49

Arcticsun
I Love A.C.E.
From: Wetaskiwin AB
Registered: 2009-02-02
Posts: 7083

Re: Humane care and the final solution

it does also apply to rabbits. That was another breed we worked with. The methods for them are similar and also instant. For the rabbit a broomstick is used durring the dislocation and the technique is a little different. One frined had to put down her injured rabbit and she  "bonked " it like a fish after wrapping the rabbit in a dennim leg, the head completely covered so she knew where to "bonk" . This way she did not have to look at the rabbit, it did not move and there was no gore. Again, more force is better than no enough.


Arcticsun Frickin Chicken ranch
A rainbow of colour in every egg basket!
Life is too short to to take ones self too seriously
Hug your chicken today

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#9 2009-03-19 23:16:29

marshasmall
A.C.E. Addicted
Registered: 2008-08-06
Posts: 767

Re: Humane care and the final solution

What a good thread to have going and seeing people learning the proper way to put down a animal - the most imporant thing to any animal owner is humane endings and knowing how to do the dirty deed.  Sad thing to say but its one of the things I learn first about any species I own - how to humanely end it with them.  I am 45 min from the closest vet and worse on weekends.  The worst is I do most of it myself as then I know its done properly - the only time I hate being a farm girl :crying:

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#10 2009-03-20 00:05:34

d*****
I Love A.C.E.
Registered: 2008-11-08
Posts: 2925

Re: Humane care and the final solution

I have read all the threads and can admit to trying all the examples, along with a couple of others that did not work well. The dull edge axe is most definitly the cleanest - but stop when the task is done.
It basically falls into that "Hunter/Gatherer" field, don't take me wrong I love watching the wife do things that are just meant for me.
Getting  :ot:

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#11 2009-03-20 01:24:50

T****
Active Member
Registered: 2009-02-25
Posts: 254

Re: Humane care and the final solution

This is I am sure a very difficult subject for most of us as we all love our birds as well as all our critters.

           That love is a two edged sword and requires that our compassion for them extends to ending their suffering when all else has failed. To avoid this is to negate our duty to them. They count on us for their care and wellbeing, to neglect them in their time of need is to void our role as their care providers.

             I cannot and will not cull because I have too many roos as an example. I can raise them caringly even if ultimately they end up on my families table. For those with birth defects - I am with Doug - do it fast and as painlessly as we can...........

             I was a soldier for many years and saw many horrible things = non as hard as putting down an innocent little bird but sometimes it has to be done !
The Lavenderman

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#12 2009-03-20 01:39:14

GransChickens
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Terra Cotta Ontario
Registered: 2009-02-28
Posts: 604

Re: Humane care and the final solution

I am so glad that this question was asked, and for the same reason that others have stated. When you have any animal or bird it comes with the responsibility to care for it properly. Relieving pain and suffering are certainly at the top of the list. If you can't do it, or have it done, then don't have the animal.

I can't say that I am looking forward to having the experience, but because of all of you I now know what to do.

Thank you.


Home to Buff Orpingtons, Speckled Sussex & Light Sussex, 2 Labradors, 4 cats and a very tolerant husband  http://granschickens.wordpress.com/

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#13 2009-03-20 03:47:01

Chickee's Mom
I Love A.C.E.
From: Gull Lake AB
Registered: 2008-02-26
Posts: 4079

Re: Humane care and the final solution

These are all such good posts, thanks everyone, makes it easier for anyone that has to do it.

Can I tell you all a story, a funny but sad story???
yah, okay.

Picture two good friends out on the lake for the last canoe paddle of the season. There is ice starting to form on the lake and we can feel it scrapping the side of the canoe.
We head out to more open water, and we find a Malard duck, that is alive, but has been shot and is not going to make it. My friend says, " just hit it with the paddle!!", so I listen to her and take a mighty swing, womp!!!!, well the poor bird sinks a foot or two and comes floating back up. So I wacked it again, same thing, and I am hitting as hard as I can.
It's quite chilly, so I get my gloves on, paddle close enough to catch it, and honestly, I have no idea where these ideas come from, but I gave it a mighty swing, and rung it's neck. OMGosh, never have I felt like that, and then my friend lightened the mood and said, " so how do we bury it!!!"

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#14 2011-01-31 02:27:43

ChickieBooBoo
I Love A.C.E.
From: Winnipeg MB
Registered: 2009-12-25
Posts: 7953

Re: Humane care and the final solution

how do you wring a chickens neck?


You haven't seen a tree until you've seen it's shadow from the sky. --Amelia Earhart

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#15 2011-01-31 03:10:10

GransChickens
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Terra Cotta Ontario
Registered: 2009-02-28
Posts: 604

Re: Humane care and the final solution

Two years down the road, I couldn't live without my PVC cutters. I have terrible eye/hand judgment, so could miss with an axe dull OR sharp by a country mile. I believe it was Hidden who first recommended the PVC cutters. They are accurate, the blades are thin, and it is very fast and easy. I do cone them and talk to them and hate every minute of it.


Home to Buff Orpingtons, Speckled Sussex & Light Sussex, 2 Labradors, 4 cats and a very tolerant husband  http://granschickens.wordpress.com/

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