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#18457 - 05/12/03 12:01 PM cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Ok, I've finally decided the best thing to do is to kill my leghorn. Her quality of life is not good, and she's not improved in over a month. Her neck is deformed, and she can't really get around. I have volunteers to pull her neck, but am feeling like I need to suck it up and do it myself. I suppose it's because I feel responsible for my animals' lives, to the end. So what is the easiest way to help her out of the world? I was thinking pulling the neck, as described by Damerow. Suggestions?

I'm a little nervous, but I do have good resolve. I know it's the right thing for me to do.

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#18458 - 05/12/03 02:29 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
First, I'm sorry she never got better. You gave her every chance. I have only used an axe myself. I think its easier to follow through. I remember reading about pulling the neck also. I think the reason for that method had to do with meat quality? Well...I'm not sure good luck is the right term here but you know what I mean.

Bill

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#18459 - 05/13/03 09:33 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
R. Okimoto Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 1498
Loc: Arkansas
I don't like to do cervical dislocation (breaking the neck). It is pretty gruesome to do on older birds. Young chicks can be dispatched fairly easily by popping their neck on a corner and putting pressure with your thumb. Even with their necks broken and the loss of control of their bodies birds can keep breathing for a pretty long time. I can't help but think that their brains are still aware because their hearts keep beating supplying blood.

I prefer carbon dioxide affixiation. If you put a bird in an atmosphere of 20-40% carbon dioxide it is usually unconscious within 10 seconds and dead soon after. You can do this with a few chips of dry ice in a plastic bag. The birds go so fast that they go brain dead and start to thrash around as if you broke their necks, but they are already out of it by then. You only have to buy enough dry ice to get it home from WalMart before it evaporates.

Some people use ether or chloroform. Ether is highly flambable and dangerous. The source is your automotive supply store and those cans that you are supposed to use to help start your car. Chloroform is harder to get and is a carcinogen (cancer causing agent). You just dampen a few cotton balls with these chemicals and put them in a plastic bag with your bird and seal it until the bird is dead. This usually takes longer than carbon dioxide, and I don't recommend them because of the chemicals that you have to use, but some people prefer them because they put the bird to sleep before killing it. The ether and chloroform methods put the birds to sleep and then kill them with an overdose. I never get used to killing things, but sometimes it is the best thing that you can do for a bird.

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#18460 - 05/13/03 03:24 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
rokimoto

Thanks for the suggestions. I may have to put one down soon myself. This one being a pet, it would be hard to ax. I dont get so close to the ones I know are bound for the freezer.

Bill

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#18461 - 05/13/03 03:55 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Dry ice, that sounds easy enough.

Today I brought home this year's chicks. My daughter gave our sick leghorn some of the medicated starter, and she began to gobble it up!?! I have given her a few more days, as she has only been on the antibiotics a short while. In talking with many people, some seem to think that leghorns can be disposed to arthritis and other skeletal problems. If this is the case, and we are not dealing with a disease, I may put her back, and see how she fairs with the others. If that's a bad situation for her, then she must go. This bird has been the only confusing one, and made up for the lack of oddities in the others.

Thanks Bill for your support. I've really appreciated it. Sorry to hear about your pet bird too. I know you are a good owner, and love your animals. I know any animal of yours had a good life. Sorry if you have to go through with it. frown
Thanks for the dry ice idea, Rokimoto. I bet I could do that.

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#18462 - 05/13/03 05:04 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Dry ice.... great idea for pet chickens!! I hate hacking or wringing pets.. gruesome!!

You say you can get it at Walmart.. really? Wow!! I am really beginning to think you can get EVERYTHING at Walmart. laugh

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#18463 - 05/13/03 05:14 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Henny, I think any place with a meat department has it. I'll get mine at Fred Meyer.

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#18464 - 05/13/03 10:52 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Interesting... I called the Mart d'Wal wink and they acted like I was a looney.. well I am normally :p but I figured since Doc O had said it was so then for sure the folks at Walmart would not think I was nuts for asking. But as far as they were concerned I might well have been speaking Basque. Bet I just got someone on the phone who didn't have a clue.

I will call around... I know we have a local company that sells it in pellet form but I might have to buy 100 gross or some outlandish number.

Dry ice is not something that I normally would even think about but it is a great idea for humane killing.. Thanks Dr. Okimoto.

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#18465 - 06/02/03 01:11 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have had to put down a few to and the most human way to do it seems like an air tight cage behind the tail pipe, they just fall asleep and don't wake up

I'm sorry I'v lost pet birds before.

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#18466 - 06/02/03 08:34 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Well... I took Dr. Okimoto's advice and it worked very well. Very quick and totally humane.

This is exactly what I did.

We had a couple of old pet hens who it turned out had "hardware" disease, they had swallowed some plastic. Have no idea where it came from.. guess they found it when free ranging. They had been suffering so we knew it was time. But I didn't want to hatchet them and wringing their neck would have been very difficult due to their size.

I took a large Rubbermaid storage box w/ lid that is almost completely air tight. I cut a piece of peg board (since it has holes in it) and cut it to make a divider for the box (you don't want the chicken coming in contact with the dry ice). I took a piece of dry ice (probably about 3 lbs) and placed it in the smaller side of the divided box and then "primed" the dry ice by poaring a cup of water on it, then putting the lid on. I waited for a couple minutes for the CO2 to accumulate in the box (it is heavier than air so it accumulates at the bottomm of the box and will eventually push out all the lighter air) I then placed the chicken calmly in the other side of the box and put the lid on. There was a couple of chirps and 1 small thump about 15 seconds later and that was it. I kept the lid on for 10 minutes to insure they had breathed in enough CO2 to die. No blood, no stress. They simply looked like they had gone to sleep. Really as peaceful as killing can be in my opinion.

This is so much less stressful for the chicken. I will use this method for all my killing, whether pet, cull, or broiler from now on.

Thank you Dr. Okimoto

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#18467 - 06/03/03 01:16 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Dry ice is definitely the way to go. It is what I use to kill rats and mice for my snakes and frogs. They go to sleep and then die in their sleep. Can't think of a more peaceful way to go. I just use a bucket or trash can and put the dry ice in a plastic bowl on the bottom and add water. They sell dry ice at the grocery store by my house.

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#18468 - 06/03/03 04:41 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Chickpine Offline
Chicken

Registered: 10/16/02
Posts: 149
Loc: Maine
big fat henny-

An FYI, check out using dry ice for killing broilers. Check the processing posts for cont. discussion.

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#18469 - 06/03/03 05:51 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
I found a website that describes all the various methods we've discussed here for euthanasia. By the way, the car exhaust one is HOT. This is put out by the Center for Animal Welfare @ UC Davis and I think the descriptions (although perhaps not so pleasant to read) are a fair assessment of what one can expect. And if you have to do it, you obviously want to do it quickly and correctly. So maybe this will help as a future reference.
http://animalwelfare.ucdavis.edu/publication/poultryeuth.html

Hope that helps!
Susie

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#18470 - 06/03/03 11:56 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Anyone know why it says not to use CO2 on waterfowl?

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#18471 - 06/03/03 12:39 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


I agree with Janet on this topic...I'm sorry but to me a slow suffocation is not quite as humane a s a gunshot or the ax. I can understand the logic behind the "going to sleep"..but...by the same token an ax blow cleanly and quickly severing the spinal cord (and all related functions) is much more humane. If I'm not sadly mistaken, the spinal column from the brain stem down to the coccyx houses all the nerves that come from the motor neuron sections on the brain..hence the name spinal cord which runs inside the vertabrae and branch out througout the various portions of the spine into the cervical,thoracic, sacral,and lumbar areas of the body. Given the fact that seperating the spinal cord severs all these nerve paths, all life as we know it ceases to function. I'm not talking about a partial seperation of the spinal cord but rather a complete seperation from the cervical area down...like C-1 through C-3. Breathing,heart, motor function cease to exist after seperation at that point.

Just MHO,
George

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#18472 - 06/03/03 02:45 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
After reading that website I posted, I have to say that the dry ice idea bothers me. Seeing as how you need to have the % just perfect to prevent suffering (debatable), I'm thinking I wouldn't try it. I'm sure we all have our preferences and those who don't butcher birds might be less comfortable with the hatchet method. But in the end I think we have to remember that handling this "hands-off" isn't always best for the chicken. Just because it looks peaceful afterwards doesn't mean it was an easy way to go.

I did find it interesting that the website says taking the head off is acceptable if the bird is stunned first. Like George says, I can't imagine that the bird can feel any pain when the spine is completely severed.

Susie

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#18473 - 06/03/03 03:40 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Well considering Dr. Okimoto (http://www.uark.edu/depts/posc/okimot.html) reccomended it, I thought it was a good bet HE would know what he is talking about. He does have a bit of experience with chickens considering he works at the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas wink

Thank you Dr. Okimoto for all your help.. smile

I have actually done what he said and I actually have witnessed the process. It is a very peaceful and very HUMANE death.

There is no consious slow suffocation if it is done right. My birds were UNCONCIOUS within 20-40 sec of being placed in the box of CO2 so I doubt there was half the anxiety of being hung up by your feet and having a knife shoved into your skull or having your head cleaved from your neck or having someone dislocate your vertibrae from one another. I have done all these hands on, adult techniques and CO2 was far more humane.. period. Don't pass such quick judgement if you have never seen it work. It was simply the most peaceful death I have ever seen a chicken have.

I did it and witnessed the whole process and it was VERY HUMANE and I am an animal lover, an animal advocate, and an animal rescue volunteer. I would NEVER torture an animal. After reading a few sites and getting some more information, I constructed a kill box and very successfully and humanely killed 2 sick hens and knocked out and then killed one very edible rooster.

And as to getting the concentration of CO2 right.. I guess this might be problem in a large container but a small 1 chicken sized container fills up fast if you prime it and this made the process VERY quick. The box was probably 80-90% CO2 simply from the looks of it. Considering the chemical properties of CO2 it is not hard to fill a small box with it quickly.

But... you do what you see as humane... and I will do what I know to be humane.

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#18474 - 06/03/03 08:24 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


CO2 is a very peaceful death. It literally is just like passing out, and then dying without pain.

The waterfowl thing does make sense.

As for killing my prey items, when they are dead they can't bite the snake's skin and tear it, bite an eye blinding it, or bite the inside of the mouth causing feeding problems and infection. If you look at my snakes, they are in perfect condition, no scars.

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#18475 - 06/04/03 06:42 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


During the French Revolution, people thought that quick decapitation was humane, which was the rationale behind the guillotine. Then the French chemist, LaVoisier, was beheaded. As his last experiment, he stationed a friend at the guillotine to count the number of times he was able to blink his eyes after his head had been severed. I'm not sure of the exact number, but I'm pretty sure it was up in the teens. There may not be pain, but there could be awareness, which may be more distressing for a human than a chicken, but it's something to think about. Carbon monoxide seems to be the best option, since the brain doesn't register it as lack of oxygen like it does with CO2, so the chicken wouldn't even realize it's suffocating.

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#18476 - 06/04/03 06:43 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
R. Okimoto Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 1498
Loc: Arkansas
I have gotten dry ice from our WalMarts. I guess some might not carry it or the empolyee didn't know what dry ice is. Other supermarkets in our area carry it too. It is usually in its own insulated ice chest in the front of the store.

Carbon dioxide does not suffocate the birds in the normal sense that they would live for 3 or 4 minutes if you just took away the air. Carbon dioxide displaces the oxygen in the blood and stops brain function by literally poisoning the animal. It is unconscious in just a few breaths, and is brain dead probably in less time than it takes for the brain to die once you cut its head off, because the brain doesn't just run out of oxygen it is poisoned by the carbon dioxide.

What some people worry about is that if the concentration of carbon dioxide is too high in the chamber they claim that there is discomfort for the animal due to the fact that carbon dioxide combines with water to form a weak acid. It can sting the eyes and is like drinking a soda softdrink(carbonated water) and irritates the lungs. This is one negative side effect, but it only lasts for a few seconds. You can reduce this irritation by dropping the concentration of carbon dioxide to 20-30%. This can kill the animal just as fast if you mix it with some other gas like argon to displace the oxygen. Only a well set up animal lab would have such a gas chamber. You could remove the irritation completely by just using argon, but that would be a slow death by suffocation.

I've never breathed the stuff, but I have gotten it in my eyes when I reach down into our gas chamber and it is itchy and irritating. The people that have used this will tell you that in less than 10 or 15 seconds the birds are out of it. Some of them are brain dead so fast that they go into their motor spasasm as if you cut off their head.

You can try ether or chloroform, but as I've said these have their own dangers to you, and I don't know how irritating these are to the birds. There just aren't very many good ways to kill an animal.

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#18477 - 06/04/03 07:47 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
BC Breeder Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 434
Loc: Canada
I fail to see why people can't voice differing points of view without having someone's credentials crammed down their throats. Posts should be judged by their contents, not the resume of the person leaving the post. This is a community wide discussion forum, not an interactive book written by a few elite. There isn't a single person here who's opinions aren't open for challange. If anyone feels differently, they are probably here for the wrong reasons, IMO.

That said;

Unless one is talking maceration, I've never bought the suggestions of "instant death" when it is used to describe methods such as cervical dislocation, head removal, gasing, or CO2 suffocation. None of them are instant and each one probably has some degree of suffering associated with it. Nobody can describe any of the methods from first hand experience, therefore nobody can say for sure which cause less suffering than which. All anyone can do is guess, maybe make an educated guess, but it's still a guess nonetheless. But if it makes anyone feel any better, nature doesn't give a damn about suffer free deaths, any animal eaten by another suffers. And much more than animals subjected to any of the methods discussed here. Poultry evolved to suffer brutal deaths.

Therefore, the concept of humane killing is a concept to satisfy the needs of us humans, not the animals. It is a concept made to ease the conscience of the human taking the life, and therefore any method that accomplishes this is an effective method. Institutions adopt methods that are easiest on the employees, not those being killed. If concern for the animal's suffering really honestly was more important to us than our own emotions, someone would have brought up maceration by now, an honest and true way of ensuring instant death wink But ground pet would be hard for most of us to stomache, wouldn't it?

I don't have a preference between the humane-ness of the cervical dislocation methods and gasing methods, I feel a quality argument could be made for either, as there have been here. As long as we each choose a method that allows us to do what needs to be done, that is all that really matters, IMO.

Personally, after a bit of fumbling with an axe (keep clossing my eyes and not striking true) I started using a sharp machete I had laying around. I find it cuts cleaner and being lighter, is easier to ensure an accurate strike.

I'm sure debraining would cause less suffering if done properly, but I still haven't been able to bring myself to doing it. The idea of practicing and doing it wrong, thus causing even more suffering, is holding me back. As simple as it sounds, I want to learn it from someone experienced so as to make sure I get it right the first time and don't cause needless suffering. In the meantime, the machete is getting the job done.
_________________________
Omega Blue Farms
http://www3.telus.net/OmegaBlue/

Pictures related to my blue eggers can be viewed at:
http://groups.msn.com/BCsBlueEggers

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#18478 - 06/04/03 09:18 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote:
Originally posted by BC Breeder:
I fail to see why people can't voice differing points of view without having someone's credentials crammed down their throats. Posts should be judged by their contents, not the resume of the person leaving the post. This is a community wide discussion forum, not an interactive book written by a few elite. There isn't a single person here who's opinions aren't open for challange. If anyone feels differently, they are probably here for the wrong reasons, IMO.

In the spirit of your post.....

I was merely explaining WHY I DID WHAT I DID... nothing else.

But I for one am certainly happy to have people of Dr. Okimoto's credibility on this forum. They give a great deal.

And I have to admit my post seems to have strayed quite a bit from the original intent... helping "raceacres" find a humane way to kill her pet hen.. whom I think is still alive and doing better... ???

So oh well whatever.. ignore the woman behind the curtain.. move along folks, move along laugh

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#18479 - 06/04/03 09:21 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Good reply BC. Maceration maybe the closest method to causing instant death, but talk about a gory death. I mean, if you were going to assist in a suicide for a suffering family member, would you grind them up? I thought not.

I am just a CO2 killer. That is the method I choose, and I do push for that method to be practiced as as far I know it is extremely peaceful and humane. Purhaps someday someone will measure brain activity during CO2 suffication and discover that is is extremely painful. Until then, I continue to use it.

As for chopping the head off, well I know for a fact that snakes and a few other reptiles can live for hours (their head not the body) after being decapitated. For that reason, I am against it.

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#18480 - 06/04/03 09:25 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Okay... Jason's and psychedelic egg fairy's post have put me right off the ax. Ekk!! :p

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#18481 - 06/05/03 08:20 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
BC Breeder Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 434
Loc: Canada
>>>>>>But I for one am certainly happy to have people of Dr. Okimoto's credibility on this forum.

as am I, I can't think of another member who's posts I find more enlightening on a day to day basis. However, when one of his ideas are beeing challanged, I find it to be much more educational for his ideas to be substantiated with more than a list of credentials. And Ron, I sure hope you are not taking this personally, this and the prior post are not in response to any of your input, just in how your position has been defended by others.

Henny, I find that people have a tendency to get emotionally attatched to their online opinions, often interferring with their ability to handle challanging opinions objectively. It was your decision that was being challanged, NOT you personally. Forums such as this can't achieve their true full power unless differing opinions are allowed to fully challange each other and dig to to a deeper level. When this happens we all win by gaining a deeper level of understanding of the topic at hand. Playing politics (protecting a friend's opinion) or getting overly protective of our positions can only serve to diminish this potential. Hope you understand.

>>>>>>> Maceration maybe the closest method to causing instant death, but talk about a gory death. I mean, if you were going to assist in a suicide for a suffering family member, would you grind them up? I thought not.

which is my point I think, that we are discussing this for OUR benefit, to satisfy OUR needs and not really the animal's wink Therefore, choosing a method that works on an individual level is what really matters.

>>>>>>>>> That is the method I choose, and I do push for that method to be practiced as as far I know it is extremely peaceful and humane.

ahhh, I totally agree with your right to choose a method that appeals most to you and even your reasons for choosing it. But to push the method onto others? I'm sorry, but do you honestly feel you are enough of an expert on the topic to do such a thing? Using the reslts of a test on cold blooded animals to make decisions about chickens doesn't make any sense, IMO. That is like me telling you that since apple peels are edible, orange peels are also good to eat. It's basically a conclusion founded on faulty logic, IMO.

>>>>>Purhaps someday someone will measure brain activity during CO2 suffication and discover that is is extremely painful.

hopefully they can do it for all the various methods of euthanasia, then we could make choices based upon more than emotional guesswork. And maybe even make choices that satisfies the animal's needs as much as our own. Until then, we can share our methods and the reasons we choose those methods, but we must also respect the choices of those who choose different ones for different reasons. We simply don't know enough to know which is best for the animal.
_________________________
Omega Blue Farms
http://www3.telus.net/OmegaBlue/

Pictures related to my blue eggers can be viewed at:
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#18482 - 06/05/03 08:20 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
BC Breeder Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 434
Loc: Canada
Back to your CO2 choice: I like it best of all the gas choices since it is the cleanest for the environment. One of the reasons I got back into chickens is that I want a healthier lifestyle. This means to me, healtheir food and creating a healthier environement around me. Going to the auto store to buy ether, therefore consuming the fossil fuels and packaging that went into getting the ether to our farms, seems like a pretty high envionmental price tag to pay, just to ease some superficial human need. While CO2 itself is much cleaner than ether, getting it to our farms each time we need it isn't so clean. There is the cost of making it, storing it, and transporting it. We north americans are addicted to magic chemicals satisfying our needs. When making such choices, I often ask myself which is more important, my needs, an individual chicken's needs, or the environment's needs? And which suffers most by each choice?
_________________________
Omega Blue Farms
http://www3.telus.net/OmegaBlue/

Pictures related to my blue eggers can be viewed at:
http://groups.msn.com/BCsBlueEggers

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#18483 - 06/05/03 10:22 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Kaalnek Online   content
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 415
Loc: California
I don't do simple decapitations for the very reason I looked closely at heads right after they were decapitated.

Many defnitely showed signs of life or movements for a while afterward.. blinking, making what looks like gasping movements, and some even made movements like they were trying to yell. That completely turned me off to butchering my own birds for decades. I know I am not the only one who noticed this. I can't believe anyone who insists it being 'quick and painless'. But, like BC pointed out, I do realize it is amongst the easiest and quickest ways for humans to handle it- I am not against this method, just won't practice this one myself.

Thanks for the dry ice idea, Okimoto. This will be useful for a lot of people, particularly those with non-poultry birds or poultry 'pets'.

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#18484 - 06/05/03 10:43 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
R. Okimoto Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 1498
Loc: Arkansas
My main concern when advising about a method of euthanazia is the safety of the people doing it. Carbon dioxide could hurt you if you forget to roll down your windows and you have an hour or so drive home with a bunch of dry ice in your car, but you breath carbon dioxide every day and it is a normal waste product of just breathing.

It only becomes dangerous if the levels of carbon dioxide exceed a certain level. Those people that have seen the movie Apollo 13 should get this idea. They had plenty of oxygen, but their carbon dioxide scrubers were not adequate to remove the carbon dioxide. If the levels built up too high they would die just like your chicken does even if they had all the oxygen they needed.

Making dry ice is energy intensive. You have to cool carbon dioxide to below -70 degrees C to freeze it. I bet that quite alot or most of the dry ice that is made sublimates before anyone can use it for anything.

I doubt that you are going to find an expert on killing things, and I don't know if I'd want to know such a person. The best that you can do is find out what you can, and weigh the various aspects and do what you think is best. This works for just about anything discussed on this board. As BC breeder states the fastest means to killing an animal is to destroy its brain. Mashing it into paste is the fastest way to relieve the animal of any pain or worry. The body may live on, but it doesn't matter because the animal is nolonger aware of anything.

When I took High School biology we had to pith frogs. You stuck a dissecting needle into their head from the back of the neck and scrambled their brains. There were three of us young fellows at our lab bench and we had some discussion as to who was going to do this deed, and I only got stuck with it because I had read the procedure before class and understood it. I don't think that you will find too many people that are willing to kill an animal in this way, and yet it is probably one of the most humane methods because as soon as you destroy enough of the brain to stop it from functioning the animal can no longer sense its surroundings or the condition of its body. It essentially no longer exists. Biology classes no longer use this method for the simple reason that we had frogs jumping around the class with dissecting needles stuck in their head that had been improperly pithed. If you don't do it right it is one big fiasco.

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.

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#18485 - 06/05/03 11:00 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote:
Originally posted by BC Breeder:
[QBHenny, I find that people have a tendency to get emotionally attatched to their online opinions, often interferring with their ability to handle challanging opinions objectively. It was your decision that was being challanged, NOT you personally. Forums such as this can't achieve their true full power unless differing opinions are allowed to fully challange each other and dig to to a deeper level. When this happens we all win by gaining a deeper level of understanding of the topic at hand. Playing politics (protecting a friend's opinion) or getting overly protective of our positions can only serve to diminish this potential. Hope you understand.

[/QB]
BC,

Everyone has had their say and noone has been denied their opinion, as you have so clearly evidenced. Many have spoken. This topic is getting quite long. Also... forgive me but I simply did not feel personally attacked as you assume????

The CO2 method was discussed, I decided to try it, I reported my findings, my finding were challenged by those who have not tried it and untruths were presented. When people say things like "slowly suffocating" and " slow suffocation " I do feel I have the right to defend my position on this killing method with my justification for using it in the first place.

My justification was.. since Dr. Okimoto is a learned poultry professional(which I proved using his creditials), his humane method should be sound. My further post-justification arguement was that I then tried Dr.'s method(which I also proved with my account of what happened) and to my satistfaction was able to prove the above quotations wrong (which again I proved).

I have no problem with others challenging my ideas but to do so with very little knowledge of the procedure (which is evidenced by the above quotations) is misleading to those who might wish to try this method of humane killing for pet birds. I have every right to set the matter straight just as they had every right to challenge it in the first place.

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#18486 - 06/05/03 11:25 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


For those who have not used dry ice and would like to.... safe handeling of Dry Ice is very important. Here are some rules we were given when we bought it from a company specilizing in Dry Ice:

~Dry Ice is extremely cold (-109 degrees F OR -78.5 degrees C)
~Avoid contact with skin, may cause cold burns, wear protective gloves with leather palms when touching dry ice
~Do not enter areas where Dry Ice is stored or used if proper ventialtion is not available
~Do not seal in glass, plastic or other closed container (hence use an almost air tight box)
~Do not eat or put into drinks
~And OF COURSE.. Keep out of reach of children

We were instructed by the salesman to keep our car windows cracked while driving with it. It survived our car ride well in a our cooler, the prefered method of transport. They packed it for us in a protective brown paper which makes handling it easier. We bought 30 lbs because hubbie wanted to play with some and do some science experiments with the neighborhood kids. Dry Ice is a very neat chemical. laugh

For some more info on Dry Ice go to this site:
http://www.dryiceinfo.com/

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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.
_________________________
Omega Blue Farms
http://www3.telus.net/OmegaBlue/

Pictures related to my blue eggers can be viewed at:
http://groups.msn.com/BCsBlueEggers

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#18497 - 06/11/03 07:13 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


i agree. there is a lot of ppeople who put a lot of thought in the subject.
the stuff i am reading here- some is heavily researched, some is personal preference, and one topic makes me laugh(thanks- it has been a long time)
this si going to be the biggest issue for many first time poultry raisers- and a help to those of us who seem to end up with the nasty chore all the time...
a good review of butchering methids would be a good addition here!

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#18498 - 06/11/03 08:02 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
R. Okimoto Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 1498
Loc: Arkansas
Where did Janet's posts go?

The AVMA document can be found here:
http://www.avma.org/resources/euthanasia.pdf

Like I said for some reason it keeps bombing my computer if I try to read it, but I can print it.

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#18499 - 06/11/03 09:56 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


When I was at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois, a physician was my next door office neighbor. He was part of the team that developed the 3D MRI techniques. We had lunch together most days and talked a lot about gore such as death by decapitation.

He believed that death by hanging, neck breaking (spinal cord scission) in any way, including decapitation, was actually a suffocation death. Hanging, properly done, used to be more acceptable than strangulation because the body can't react to the suffocation. No nerve impulses reach the body from the brain, but the death occurs from oxygen starvation of the brain. However, the eyes 'bug out' in a hanging victim.

The difference between decapitation and (proper) hanging is that blood flow is immediately interrupted in decapitation, while the heart continues to pump blood through the brain of the hanging victim until the muscles starve of oxygen. So, we theorized, that decapitation was a faster death than hanging.

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#18500 - 06/11/03 10:01 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


P.S. Gail Damerow says she uses a .22 pistol to put a bullet through the bird's brain (via mouth, if my memory serves me correctly) before cutting the throat.

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#18501 - 06/11/03 11:03 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote:
Originally posted by rokimoto:
Where did Janet's posts go?

I was wondering the same thing. One day she had I think 5 or so post up on this topic.. then none. I had only been able to look at 2 or 3 of her referenced sites. confused

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#18502 - 06/12/03 05:33 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Some posts got deleted because of their tone.

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#18503 - 06/12/03 09:06 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


There has been a lot of discussion, and I appreciate everyone's input. I suppose I find it almost funny that this particular bird did recover enough to remain, but still is a cull prospect. She will never be 100%, and may have to go, if I find myself short on coop or perch space. But she's so darned sweet, I'd hate to do it.

I have, however, decided for myself that CO2 will be the method I choose. if and when it becomes necessary. I agree with the person who suggested that some of us consider these things more for ourselves and what we can handle, than for the bird. Many of us are especially afraid of causing anything pain. I don't know that I'd ever really be able to tell if a chicken were in pain or not.

We may not all agree how to go about things, but it sure seems that we all care a lot about doing right by our animals. I find that to be wonderful.
smile

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#18504 - 06/13/03 07:58 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
R. Okimoto Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 1498
Loc: Arkansas
It is a pretty tough job being a moderator. You run a good web site. Janet did have quite a few good sources of information in her posts. She does seem to get a little fiesty, but you get a pretty thick skin in science. Everybody's first reaction to some claim you make seems to be "How do you know that?" or "show me how you know that." That is just how science works. It is the way that you finally get the best answer possible from the available data.

I do appreciate civil dialogue and this is a pleasant atmosphere, but you sometimes can't get to the bottom of tough problems without dissenting opinions. Perhaps we could give the offenders an opportunity to modify or remove the unneccessary verbage from their posts? I would think that once the person thought about it they wouldn't want to leave a negative impression in their posts.

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#18505 - 06/13/03 09:10 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
BC Breeder Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 434
Loc: Canada
Ron, since you took the diplomatic approach, I'll use bluntness so that the points are very very clear, hehe.

moderator, deleting Janet's posts isn't acceptable and this is one example you cannot deny bias. Janet did an exellent job of pushing the subject to a level of increased enlightenment, forcing each of us to look deeper at our own perspectives. She didn't name call, curse, or include anything in her posts that would be objectional to a family audience. Sure some may interpret her tone as a bit terse, but such is life. First, she was simply responding to such tones and second, this won't be the first time or the last time a child or any of us will be exposed to such a tone. I've seen worse on the family channel. Besides, interpreting written tone isn't always accurate and is an area each of us will differ. Especially when it isn't accompanied with eye contact, you can often only guess about the intended tone. A very weak position from which to moderate without bias.

Your actions have hurt the quality of the info found in this thread more than Janet's actions have. Therefore, censorship based upon tone is a weak position you may want to rethink. Like I have asked you in the past, what is the true purpose of this website? What do you really want to accomplish here? I for one am greatly offended that myself and the audiance here have been denied access to the great references and information that Janet contributed.

I too realize being a moderator is a tough job, one that takes time to get a handle on. One that is usually subjective and often reflects personal style. One of the challanges of a moderator is to make sure that his/her personal ideals don't interfer with the open exchange of on topic ideas. As much as I respect your volunteer efforts, I feel this is a case where you have hurt the flow of information more than enhanced it. Therefore, while you have done a nice job of ensuring a friendly atmosphere, you still need to consider areas of improvement. This being one, IMO.
_________________________
Omega Blue Farms
http://www3.telus.net/OmegaBlue/

Pictures related to my blue eggers can be viewed at:
http://groups.msn.com/BCsBlueEggers

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#18506 - 06/17/03 12:38 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote:
Originally posted by Raceacres:

I have, however, decided for myself that CO2 will be the method I choose. if and when it becomes necessary. I agree with the person who suggested that some of us consider these things more for ourselves and what we can handle, than for the bird. Many of us are especially afraid of causing anything pain. I don't know that I'd ever really be able to tell if a chicken were in pain or not.

smile First I am happy your pet hen is doing better. Second, I am happy all this has actually helped you Raceacres. Since this whole topic was started by you making a hard decision and trying to find a humane way (for you and the hen) to kill your pet hen, I am happy that was accomplished. smile

But since your SuperHen got well and is being a normal chicken now.. LOL!! Funny chickens!! Oh well.. we did learn alot!! smile

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#18507 - 06/17/03 12:25 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


The more knowledgeable the person, the greater the skill ought to be at keeping a civil tone. I just won't put up with the jabbing and nastiness. It drives less "expert" people away, and the board is for them, too. If you can't be nice about it, then don't post it. There are ways to say anything in a constructive and non-abrasive way. I think of it as the John McInroe syndrome: when you're that good at your game, there's no need to be a jerk about it.
And I will repeat: my opinion of what is being said is of no consequence to anyone, but my opinion of how it is being said is. I rarely know whether something being posted in a genetics discussion is factually true or not. But I have been around enough kinds of people to recognize an attack. That kind of tactic just isn't needed here. Anyone who wants to be nasty can put it in a private mail message and send it directly to the person. Most of the rest us don't want to hear it.
So there it is.

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#18508 - 06/27/03 05:15 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


http://www.ianr.unl.edu/pubs/foods/heg144.htm
A Uni site on fowl killing worth a look could make
you all vegeterians !!

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#18509 - 06/27/03 10:10 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


UKbrahma

That site is actually very instructive for anyone who processes their own poultry.

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#18510 - 06/27/03 06:03 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Shahbazin Offline
Chicken

Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 76
Loc: California
Personally, I go with cervical dislocation, as it is neat, quick, & convenient - I can't go hunting around for dry ice every time there's a bird to be culled! I grab a handy tool (rake, shovel) slip the bird's head under the handle, then yank hard (once) on the legs while pinning the handle on each side with my feet. Done right, the bird gives a sort of quiver, then the muscular contraction thing. Unless you yank too hard, there's no blood, & it seems as quick as chopping the head off (& I don't have axes just lying around either).

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#18511 - 06/27/03 07:52 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


fair enough- but not easy with large fowl- or for the chronically short among us!

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#18512 - 06/28/03 02:11 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


I live half a block away from the grocery store. They always have dry ice and are open 5 am to 2 am, so no hunting for me. When you have over a hundred rodents (mice, rats, and rabbits, well rabbits aren't rodents) to kill every month, dry ice is definitely the easiest way. Also, try to dislocate the spine on an adult turkey, or cut off the head of one without help.

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#18513 - 06/28/03 08:21 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


True Jason... my local Publix (grocery store) keeps it in their freezer section in a special cooler. $1.29 a lb.... can't beat that for convienent. smile

As to cervical dislocation, I have done super jobs (no suffering) and I have done terrible jobs (lots of suffering). I don't do it anymore. A good sharp ax is more humane especially for standard fowl if I am the one doing the deed.

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#18514 - 06/28/03 11:10 AM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Shahbazin Offline
Chicken

Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 76
Loc: California
FWIW, all my fowl are large - & the nearest grocery is a 2 hour round trip away!

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#18515 - 06/28/03 12:21 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


To each his own. If one is skilled at it, I am sure cervical dislocation can be very humane.

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#18516 - 06/28/03 07:01 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


I disagree that cervical dislocation is humane. Like I posted above - it is a suffocation death just like hanging (hanging as a form of execution is a 'cervical dislocation' as well). People think cervical dislocation is humane because it renders the body incapable of responding to the suffocation, but it is a 'disguised' suffocation - the heart continues to beat, the brain is still alive - the brain dies because the bird cannot breathe.

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#18517 - 06/28/03 08:22 PM Re: cull by neck pulling?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Goodness Leee.. I must have missed that post. Thanks for the info. I had assumed that all bodily function (heart beating and brain funtion being the most crucial) ceased once the spine was broken. Hmm... that is disturbing.

I know I have botched a couple of birds in the past and had to quickly grab an ax to finish the job. Very upsetting and horrid for the bird.

I am just gonna stick with what has worked for me. I recently culled a bunch of immature roos I didn't feel the need to raise up past 10 weeks (I knew who was who and these guys would never have been very meaty). We started up the CO2 box and killed about 25 in 2 hrs, probably could have done it faster but I was working in the garden so I had a bit of extra time. I personally checked on several of them after 15 secs and most were already unconcious on the floor of the box. It took about 3 lbs of dry ice total and was well worth the investment in my opinion.

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