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#16 2011-01-31 03:21:03

CynthiaM
I Love A.C.E.
From: Grindrod, B.C. Okanagan
Registered: 2009-08-19
Posts: 5313

Re: Humane care and the final solution

Oh no, this is a horrible topic, one that I have read before, and others like it.  I have had to dispose of two older pullets over the past couple of months.  They were approximately 12-14 weeks old, one a broken leg and one just not well.  Everyone else has been wonderful, just those two that I guess were not meant to be. 

I recalled the thread of use of the pvc cutters and death.  I purchased pvc cutters (how it can sever the spinal cord is beyond me).  But it does, and death is immediate, the flopping of the body, no more than about 10 seconds at the most.  This has been the most horrible thing I have ever done in my lifetime, but as a responsible chicken keeper, I must do the deed.   I know I could not kill an adult bird, or at this point in time, don't think I could, but those little ones are so much smaller.  It is a horrible thing to do emotionally, and it haunts me deeply.

I put the victim in a black garbage bag, lay that bird down, place the cutters inside the bag in the correct position and then put pressure.  Immediate death, no blood, no mess, just me crying my eyes out.  The bag is closed and properly disposed of.  That is how I do this dreadful thing.  I don't see the bird, I can feel where the cutters go, and gravity and force does the rest.  Sorry to be blatent, but experiences should be told to those that chose to listen.  Have an awesome day, CynthiaM.


Two breeding groups of large fowl -- blue, splash and black cochins and buff orpingtons.     Located one half hour north of Vernon.  Also a keeper of the honeybees.

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#17 2015-04-30 14:21:50

Sunfeathers
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Vancouver Island, North
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 1195

Re: Humane care and the final solution

I think have to euthanize my chicken with wry neck. I feel I have tried everything for her and even have her
on some of my own prednisone at a chicken-sized dose. Nothing is working. It's horrible to watch her and although she can straighten her neck out for short periods she always returns to a star-gazing posture and has quite a bad tremor to her head. Only four months old and so healthy otherwise. I can't see her managing outside. :crying: But, I think maybe the pvc cutter method is the way to go.

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#18 2015-04-30 15:47:29

heda gobbler
I Love A.C.E.
From: Tatlayoko Lake, BC
Registered: 2009-01-26
Posts: 6878
Website

Re: Humane care and the final solution

Glad you've revived this thread, Sun Feathers, I'd forgotten it but do need to euthanize birds periodically, especially now I am working on my Buckeye projects.. must get a pvc cutter.


Beltsville Small White Turkeys - White Chantecler chickens and Buckeye chickens
Highland Cattle, Shetland Sheep and Kerry cows.
www.tatlayokofold.com

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#19 2015-04-30 18:39:39

toybarons
I Love A.C.E.
From: Parkland County, AB
Registered: 2008-08-05
Posts: 3171

Re: Humane care and the final solution

Sunfeathers, have you tried Vitamin E? Recently I went through a wry neck with a mature rooster. Healthy bird, never any illness. Over winter it just seemed like he was walking strange, like pulling to one side. Then one morning my hubs found him lying on the floor, unable to stand and his head turned under him. We were heartbroken as we were both going through one of those "Why the heck do we put ourselves through keeping chickens?" phases. I was going to put him down as I had gone through wry neck before in younger birds with no real success.

To cut a long story short, after taking a chance I decided to go with an aggressive Vitamin E treatment. I bought regular gel cap Vitamin E 200 UI. Got an eye dropper. I used dog clippers to cut the top off a gel cap and loaded up the eye dropper and gave it to my bird orally. Luckily my bird took to drinking the vitamin as he was weak so it wasn't necessary to insert the drop to the back of the throat. All was needed was just some of the vitamin to be drank. I did this twice a day. I also used "Poly-tonine a complex" a vitamin mix for poultry I buy from the feed store. I put this in the water and used this as the only water source.

Treatment took over a month. For the first 2 weeks, I gave the Vitamin E twice a day. More than once I thought I was nuts as it looked like nothing was happening. However, my bird was still eating and drinking on his own. He just couldn't really walk. He would try but would fall backward onto his tail. I kept him with a companion bird for company. This is a bird I knew real well that I could trust not to hurt him. I gave him a chance. Week 3, we began to notice he was siting but was holding his head more steady. After a month he was beginning to stand and was even taking a few steps forward before loosing his balance. It is now two months. Our roo is back with his flock. He is able to walk forward without falling and it's hard to tell he was in such a dire condition. We are giving him 1 Vitamin E pill every 4 days.


Taking things a day at a time.

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#20 2015-04-30 20:30:40

Sunfeathers
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From: Vancouver Island, North
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 1195

Re: Humane care and the final solution

3 weeks before you saw improvement in your wry neck roo, toybarons? I have been giving her multi-vitamins and vitamin E (half a human-sized capsule twice a day). Maybe I shouldn't give up yet. I have to check but I think we are at about week two. I'm feeding her pablum twice a day from a syringe. She tries to eat I don't know how much she actually gets into her. I haven't seen any improvement in the last week and I really think she's gotten a little worse. She's best in her small crate without much room to get out of balance and out of bright light. I added the prednisone a few day ago and there's been no change. She can walk but only in tiny circles. Mostly she sits head back staring straight up but she can straighten her head out and peck at the food. Her head movements are really wild with shaking and twisting with little aim, but she tries.

I was feeling hopeless about her chances at recovery but maybe I'll carry on longer based on what you've said. Thanks!

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#21 2015-04-30 22:05:20

Schipperkesue
Administrator
From: Carnwood, Alberta
Registered: 2010-04-08
Posts: 15589

Re: Humane care and the final solution

My method of euthanization is fast and instant.  I hold the bird facing me and with one swift swinging motion I bring the back of the head down on my sucker rod fence.  Sucker rod is a 1.5 cm thick metal bar.  Two things happen almost simultaneously.  There is a hard and swift blow to the back of the head and the neck is instantly dislocated.  This works well for small rabbits too.  occasionally there is a little twitching of the muscles after death, but the death itself is instant.  The key is not to hesitate.


Embrace your mistakes....they are life's most meaningful education.

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#22 2015-05-01 14:20:15

toybarons
I Love A.C.E.
From: Parkland County, AB
Registered: 2008-08-05
Posts: 3171

Re: Humane care and the final solution

Sunfeathers wrote:

3 weeks before you saw improvement in your wry neck roo, toybarons? I have been giving her multi-vitamins and vitamin E (half a human-sized capsule twice a day). Maybe I shouldn't give up yet. I have to check but I think we are at about week two. I'm feeding her pablum twice a day from a syringe. She tries to eat I don't know how much she actually gets into her. I haven't seen any improvement in the last week and I really think she's gotten a little worse. She's best in her small crate without much room to get out of balance and out of bright light. I added the prednisone a few day ago and there's been no change. She can walk but only in tiny circles. Mostly she sits head back staring straight up but she can straighten her head out and peck at the food. Her head movements are really wild with shaking and twisting with little aim, but she tries.

I was feeling hopeless about her chances at recovery but maybe I'll carry on longer based on what you've said. Thanks!

Yes, it took 3 weeks before I saw the first sign that he was getting better. He stood on his own and managed to take a few steps forward.

From what I read, if the problem is a vitamin deficiency one, Vitamin E treatment may help correct the problem. In my case, my bird is 3 years old with no previous illness or condition. He still showed signs of alertness and was still able to eat and drink on his own once I was able to relax his neck so he could swing it round upright.

I don't want to discourage you but if this is a young bird, under a year, it sounds more like you are dealing with a condition that likely won't improve. I have had wry neck in chicks. Your bird sounds much like one I had: a 12 week old Houdan. It was one of the worse I had and it sounds like what you wrote in your comment. The neck was flipped over onto the back. He started to throw fits and I realized that light was the cause so I had to keep him in a kennel. So he would sit calmly with a wry neck in a darken dog kennel. He would eat and drink but it was not going to be a good life. The moment I would take him out into the light, he would thrash and his neck would snap back. After a couple of days, I made the choice to put him down as I knew he would never have a good quality of life.

I can't say whether it's wise to try further or not? All I can offer is trust your gut on the situation. I have to tell you that with my roo, I was prepared to put him down as previously I had never been successful at treating a wry neck. But I went with my gut. I also kept in mind that what I read did stress vitamin deficiency could be reversed and it would take time. Over the 3 weeks, I was seeing small improvements but nothing that made me think my bird was out of the woods until I saw him stand on his own again and walk.


Taking things a day at a time.

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#23 2015-05-01 23:36:31

Sunfeathers
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Vancouver Island, North
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 1195

Re: Humane care and the final solution

I'll keep going for another week or two. She's pretty comfortable overall, not in any pain, I think. She really shies away/is worse out in the light and open space. She does sound similar to your young chicken, toybarons. The last couple of days I think she's eating on her own a little better. I want to give her a good chance, since she's so young and healthy. She's sits quietly in her kennel sometimes with her head held straight, but with tremor/shakiness, and other times with it back. It's a strange thing.

I've had labrynthitis and a vestibular condition myself. It did get better but took a very long time. I'm hoping the same for her. She's half silkie and I'm just worried she received a peck to the head in the spot where the skull is open. If it's a bad brain injury, I don't know if she can recover. One thing I just thought of is she has all of the normal chicken behaviors like trying to dust, preening, eating. If it was a bad brain injury, I'd think those behaviors would be absent or different? She seems like herself, if that makes sense. Sorry, I'm rambling on, typing "out loud" what I'm thinking.

Can't hurt to keep treating her. I think vestibular issues can take a long time to heal, if that's what's wrong. I'll try not to get discouraged.

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