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#18487 - 06/05/03 03:06 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


maceration is the way i do it

"What someone needs to invent for the small producer is a contraption that smashes the head into pulp at the same time that it cuts the head off."

Done- except not at the same time.
first i macerate then i cut.

i too believe that the severed head MIGHT suffer- at least i see the reflexes.
so i brain them first to make sure.
"Pith"? i tried to 'pith' (brain) a snake that was mortally injured anyway. i totally failed.
the skull turned out to be a flat shield with a tiny 'brain' in a bone tube- like a 3/8" piece of spaghetti. i ended up snapping the head back.
beware these lower life forms!

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#18488 - 06/06/03 07:17 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
R. Okimoto Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 1498
Loc: Arkansas
What worries me about the humane society pages on carbon dioxide euthanasia is that they pointedly do not show any data on EEG results except in one study with pigs where the researcher seems to have been trying to put the animals to sleep before killing them. They worry about convulsions, but we get the same convulsions if we chop the head off the bird and we know the body isn't aware of anything. I hate to say this, but this seems to be a pretty biased piece of work. They acknowledge that neurological researchers do not use carbon dioxide for the reason that it messes up the brain, but they do not cite any of this research in terms of euthanasia. They don't say how the researchers measured time of death. This seems to be by design. I can't see why they would ignore this data except on purpose.

I use levels as close to 100% as I can get and the birds are out of it in just a few seconds. This seems to be confirmed in their summaries where broilers seem to be more susceptable than mammals, but I'm sure that the hearts can keep beating for just as long as if you cut off their heads. This could be for up to 5 min. or so. Does this really count for time to death, and is the animal suffering during this time?

For decapitation they claim that the EEG goes to an acceptable low level after just a few seconds (somewhere around 13 seconds), but they never say when the EEG reaches these levels for carbon dioxide. Decapitation may be the quickest method to kill the animal, but I've got to think of my people. You have to worry about the stress on them, not just the animals. Cutting off the heads of hundreds of animals with its gore and violence is not something that I'd want to make someone do. I wouldn't want to do it. Heck, it is hard enough just putting the animal in the gas chamber. People have to count for something too. We aren't just robots.

I am sure that carbon dioxide irritates the animals and causes some pain, but how much does it hurt the animal to cut off its head and how long does it feel that? Halothane sounds good, but backyard breeders aren't going to have access to it.

This is just my opinion, and I'm far from an expert on euthanasia, basically if someone told me that the birds were suffering for 5 minutes using this technique I wouldn't do it, but nothing I've seen tells me that. If the birds aren't unconscious by around 20 seconds I've done something wrong. As far as I'm concerned the difference between 13 seconds and 20 seconds is nothing compared to the affects decapitation versus gassing would have on the people doing it. I may be strange, but I don't know very many people that would rather euthanise their pet by decapitation than gassing if it would save a few seconds of awareness.

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#18489 - 06/06/03 07:52 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
Oh, I totally agree that you have to consider the effect on the people doing it. My hesitancy on the CO2 issue is just that -- I'm worried that I'd bumble it. For the same reason, I don't do the "slit the throat" thing. I definitely think that is a factor and the bottom line is that none of us are wanting to torture our birds. We're all trying as hard as we can to do the right thing and make it be quick and as painless as possible. A couple of things we do to ensure that is hold our birds often -- even those slated to be butchered -- so that hopefully when the time comes and we pick them up to carry them back there, they won't be afraid. We also butcher out of sight of the rest of the flock. That may seem funny to some, but to me it's the right thing to do. That's all any of us are trying to do.

I'm sure there are many biased sites out there. I think the one I posted is pretty matter-of-fact. They didn't actually make any method sound great so that is probably more reality. It's an ugly subject. Then again, natural death isn't so wonderful either, is it? Everytime I've had to take a dog to be euthanized, I think it is such a wonderful option and wish I could have the same if I was ever suffering.

Susie

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#18490 - 06/06/03 08:37 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


there is a place for chopping and a place for the euthanasia.
lacking a CO2 rig in the coop- i use the handy hatchet. it is right there if i find a suffering animal.
for those who have to euthanise such things as pet cage birds- you can either let them suffer for hours in some cases, driving them all the way into the vet, or you can laughing gas or whatever your choice. the body will be clean and presentable.
imagine how 'buddy' the budgeriar would look in the shoebox/coffin withoout his head...
(suppose you could always tape it back on- like "petee" the budgie in the movie "dumb and dumber")

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#18491 - 06/06/03 11:20 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


If you know anything about the HSUS, you know they are PETA with a different name. They have tried to pass many laws about abolishing various pet ownerships. Now local humane societies are different. Don't make the mistake and think they are one in the same. Also, do not donate to the HSUS as none of that money will go to animals in shelters, but will be use to pass stupid laws. Donate directly to your local humane society.

Now if I disregard who wrote the article. The animals they use for studies are mass produced. They have very little human contact, but live in cages waiting to be tested on. Now if you take a chicken that has never been held but to clean cages, and place them in a clear box for gasing surrounded by a few researchers that have never even seen this chicken, the chicken will naturally have high stress levels, be panting due to increased heart rate, tring to escape, and defecating frequently. I have seen all of the symtoms they came up with thousands of times when I go and get rats and mice from the petstore. And shaking and movement was a sign of distress? If you have ever seen something die naturally, you know the dead can move after death. The most recent case I have had with a natural death was a couple months ago with one of my french angora does(rabbit). She was about 7 years old. Died in my arms (I was comforting her). She didn't appear to be in pain. At and just after death she was kicking and grinding her teeth. Had necropsy done (as I do for any animal that dies in my care). Heart failure was the cause of death. Her heart was just done.

Metadrjay,
Want to just say thanks for looking for some results of euthanasia tests.

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#18492 - 06/06/03 12:29 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
R. Okimoto Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 1498
Loc: Arkansas
You have to watch for context of applications. The first quote is for anasthesia. They use carbon dioxide mixed with oxygen to render the mice unconscious. Carbon dioxide is routinely used in this fashion when you want to revive the animal later. It even works for insects.

The second quote would tend to back me up in using high concentrations >80% to quickly kill the animal. They also claim that these high concentrations are painful to the animal, but I can't find the source of this quote on any of the references, so I don't know what they are basing these conclusions on. I'll be the first to admit that it is irritating. The birds do blink and shake their heads while they are still conscious.

I tried to go to some of the pages, but some of the links are dead or I can't get to the pages on these topics for some other reason. Searching the Lab Animal site only brings up articles in their journal.

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#18493 - 06/06/03 03:56 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


"It even works for insects."(CO2 gassing)
i know i take this out of context,but.....

again i prefer maceration for insects.as in flyswatter.

(thanks for the tip about HSUS- i wouldnt have even guessed. there is a lot of organizations running on grant money- and haveing goals that seem to result in some really peculiar, restrictive laws getting passed....)

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#18494 - 06/06/03 05:30 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Raceacres I am so sorry about your hen. It is hard to put down an animal. I have always put down or culled my chickens by neck pulling. It takes practice though to do it fast. They don't really seem to feel a thing when you pull their neck. But you also can use dry ice. We used to breed rats (fancy pet rats not wild ones) and we used dry ice if they had to be put down. They just went to sleep. So i would personaly use dry ice though i have never tried it. And yes i would put her down your self because it is much less traumatizing to the bird than if somebody else does it. Again i am so sorry. You did the best that you could. Sometimes there comes a point where yuo have to put a bird down even if you don't want to. I have had to kill a couple of my pet hens because they got health problems and i couldn't watch them slowly waste away. I wish you well!!!

Whitefoot

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#18495 - 06/07/03 07:15 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
R. Okimoto Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 1498
Loc: Arkansas
Thank you for the reference page, Janet. I recommend that people go to this page and get the "2000 Report of the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia." This is a 28 page report in PDF format and it bombed my computer 3 times before I just printed it instead of trying to read it. If you don't want to print it all you can print from page 8-15 for gas and physical methods like decapitation.

At 80-100% carbon dioxide rats go under in from 12-33 seconds. We routinely leave the animals in the chamber for at least 5 minutes and I have euthanized thousands of birds by this technique and we have never had a bird come back to consciousness after removal from the chamber. Never. Sometimes when we are doing a lot of birds it is a short 5 minutes. I am sure that this could happen if something goes wrong, and we do put anything that even twitches back in the chamber. Just be careful. If your concentration of carbon dioxide is high enough 10 minutes should be more than enough and if you really want to make sure do not remove the animal for 30 minutes, but if you want to butcher the animal 5 minutes should be enough, but you probably want to take it out as soon as it goes unconscious (less than half a minute) so that it will bleed out properly.

There is some discomfort for the birds because I see them blink and shake their heads in the chamber until the go unconscious, but they go calmly and there is no jumping around trying to get away like you are poking them with a stick or something. When they lose consciousness some birds go into seizures just like they do when you stretch their necks or cut off their heads.

In the AVMA report they give some things to look out for, but if you use a deep enough container like a trash can and give it enough time to fill up with gas, you don't have to worry about most of it if you want to make sure that you are at a high enough concentration of carbon dioxide. There is no way that you are going to regulate the concentration of carbon dioxide with dry ice. I'd recommend going for as close to 100% as you can get. If you diddle around you could find yourself in the middle ground and irritating the birds and taking longer to put them under.

Carbon dioxide is heavier than air and will stay in a trash can with a lid on it. As the dry ice sublimates (melts) the gas fills the trash can and displaces the air. You should probably avoid any wind that might blow it out of the can when you open it, but don't do it in a small confined area for obvious reasons. A garage is big enough. We routinely operate a chamber in a room about 15 ft X 20 ft, but it is well ventilated. On humid days you can see the cold gas from the cylinders overflow the chamber and run along the floor, so don't let your kids or pets crawl around in an enclosed room with it.

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#18496 - 06/07/03 08:59 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
BC Breeder Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 434
Loc: Canada
Thanks everyone for a very thought provoking thread. As enlightening as this topic has become, I still hold our environment's needs as being greater than our's, our poultry's, or any inhabitants of the environment. Therefore, while probably quite insignificant in the grander picture, I will still tend towards those methods that tax the environment the least. If I don't have to spend money for a product, then i don't need to harm the environment by earning the additional money needed for that product. If I don't have to acquire a product, then I'm not contributing to the pollution that was created in creating and packaging that product. And if I don't have to drive somewhere to get what's needed, then I'm not polluting the environment first hand. Now my life isn't such that I can avoid these things consistently, but when the option exists, I will choose the ones where I can. I also realize that my reality is not the same as Ron's institutional reality. But one could make an argument that it's easier on the environment to keep employees healthy. And let's face it, giving a person the job of twisting necks or chopping heads isn't going to be healthy for many, haha. I think in most cases where different approaches are chosen, I don't think one would need to look far to respect the reasons for the choice.

It's all a balancing act and the balancing point will be different for each of us. I'm sure this thread (and it's useful links) will help many figure our where their individual balancing point is. If this site has or will have an FAQ section, I recommend this thread be added.
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