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#68636 - 10/31/08 07:58 AM Needed help putting my beloved rooster down
Mad Max Offline
New Egg

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 5
Loc: Missouri
I needed a HUMANE method to end my roosters suffering. When I first posted my question in September "Burney" had lost his quality of life by going blind and no longer able to walk. But he had a healthy appetite, crowed regularly and always happy when being held. We kept a radio on in the barn and he would fly up and sit beside it back in the day. So daily I held him and danced in the barn with him and we got along. But when in the last week he became congested, wheezing, and gurgling, I had no more time to try and figure out "a humane method" Burney needed help now! I've had plenty of time to come to terms that my bird wasn't going to get better and I'd ask my husband if he'd be able take care of it.
He said he'd use a 4.10 and I hated it but when you see something you care for suffer, you can make yourself accept what's necessary. I would have hated any method. So when it was time after holding Burney and taking a slow dance around in the barn, I took him out behind the barn, my husband told me to go away and just around the corner I heard the gun and I looked back around the corner. Burneys' legs were moving still but I knew that was a normal reaction and I felt immediate relief for my bird. As horrible as I thought shooting him would be, watching him die slow was worse. I thank some of you who posted suggestions but those who posted for meat slaughter, you didn't understand my request. Burney was a member of our family. We buried him last night. And he will be sorely missed.

#68637 - 10/31/08 08:25 AM Re: Needed help putting my beloved rooster down
Art Ana Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 07/14/08
Posts: 160
Loc: Montana
I am sorry for your loss. I lost my favorite and personable hen to a dog two days ago and it hurts a lot so I understand you have pain also.

I am a novice myself with chickens.

I did look into humane ways for putting down a rooster in late summer and determined that the method I would use, given a choice, is dry ice in a cooler.

From my understanding, you can buy dry ice by the pound from a grocery store, place it in a cooler- best to seperate it slightly from the bird. Place the bird in the cooler with the dry ice and the gas from the ice should first put the bird to sleep and then cause death.

I defer to the more seasoned chicken experts on this forum and look at questions and answers to aid my education. I offer you this late and apologize that you didn't receive what you were seeking at the time you needed it.

I know it hurts.

I wish you the best, and peace for both you and Burney.

Take Care,


#68638 - 10/31/08 09:43 AM Re: Needed help putting my beloved rooster down
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas all honesty. I believe shooting to be the most humane. I can never know for certain if I "pop" the neck just right. So I prefer a .22 or a pellet straight to the head.

You did what you needed to do and that is one of the hardest things of being a pet owner. I'm proud of you for being able to make that decision.

#68639 - 10/31/08 10:51 AM Re: Needed help putting my beloved rooster down
Ridekool Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 313
Loc: Canada
Aww, I'm so sorry for your loss. You did the right thing.

#68640 - 10/31/08 11:06 AM Re: Needed help putting my beloved rooster down
Bushman Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/25/07
Posts: 1047
Loc: Wisconsin
Dry ice burns. I would think it would cause a lot of pain before the bird goes to sleep. A sharp crack to the back of the head on concrete or hard metal seems the quickest and most painless way to me.
Pilgrim in a foreign land and true believer.
1st John 5:11-12

#68641 - 10/31/08 04:37 PM Re: Needed help putting my beloved rooster down
Art Ana Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 07/14/08
Posts: 160
Loc: Montana
Dry ice burns when you touch it, true. That is why you seperate the bird from the ice. Using something like a cage like those used for suet as an example and then physically seperating the bird from the dry ice so they do not touch each other. Very large cooler. We have huge ones we use to take rafting-I wouldn't use a little one.
I know the businesses that raise roosters for fly tying feathers use gas to harvest the rooster without damaging it. I realize their gas delivery is more sophisticated but the idea is definitely to preserve the bird while ending its life.

#68642 - 10/31/08 06:43 PM Re: Needed help putting my beloved rooster down
H. Cote Offline

Registered: 01/03/05
Posts: 69
Loc: Massachusetts
I'm sorry too. The first time we had to put down a rooster was very difficult for both my husband and me. His name was Wally and we still have his tail feathers. Our "humane" way was to use a very very sharp axe on his neck. My husband held the axe and I held Wally. It was over in a second. I know that Wally lived a good life, lots of "women" encounters and he left this world quickly.

#68643 - 11/09/08 06:00 PM Re: Needed help putting my beloved rooster down
Mrs. Smitho Offline
New Egg

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 9
Loc: Texas
hey there...I am so sorry to hear of your loss...he had a very good life with you guys...I almost cried reading how you waltzed him around the coop frown

Youdid the right thing.
Might I suggest another way to put small animals down?
We used to have a ball python...and raised rats to feed times the rats became too large for her to eat and we had to come up with something...

engine starter fluid...on a rag or in a bucket of sorts...they just fall asleep and there is no burning or fighting. For an animal as large as a rooster, I'd suggest some on a rag, just be careful not to breath it in yourself!

sorry again for the loss...know you were a good momma smile

#68644 - 11/10/08 05:02 PM Re: Needed help putting my beloved rooster down
Eric19 Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 07/25/07
Posts: 197
Loc: Michigan
I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sure you did the right thing. I had to put my beloved hen down, the day before school this year. I used the same method, with a .22 gun. She will surely be missed.

Sorry again...

#68645 - 11/23/08 02:08 PM Re: Needed help putting my beloved rooster down
Sunni Ten Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 341
Loc: Colorado
A gun or breaking/cutting the neck is indeed the most humane. Sticking the bird in the freezer would be really traumatic, I would think, and not very fast. Some people think the less bloody method is the best when that simply isn't true.
Anyway, Madmax, sorry for your loss.

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