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Merciful euthanization - need advice please!

Discussion in 'Bird Breeding' started by dreambird, Jul 13, 2009.


  1. dreambird

    dreambird PetForums Newbie

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    I had a terrible 'freak' accident in the canary hen aviary. The hen's breeder band got caught on a small attachment wire (I cannot figure out how it came unwrapped to protrude.) When I discovered her clinging to the cage wall I discovered that she has fought so hard to be free of it that when I got her leg released, the foot was severed, held on just by one vein or ligament. I slowed the bleeding with corn starch and have held her firmly wrapped in a cloth to keep her from trying to shake it off. It is terrible. She cannot survive without her foot. Does anyone know of a painless euthanasia method?
     
  2. Gobaith

    Gobaith PetForums VIP

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    Oh no! how terrible! Im sorry you have to consider euthanisation. I cant help you with this but im sure somebody will be along soon to help you. Chloe x
    xxx
     
  3. That's awful :( take her to the vets... it will be professionally done atleast and she wont suffer ...
     
  4. dreambird

    dreambird PetForums Newbie

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    I was once told to place a rag soaked with automotive starter fluid on the bottom of a juice can and wrap the bird in a washcloth to hold it well, then place its head inside the can - supposedly one whiff would immediately & painlessly put the bird to sleep. In desperation, I went to the all night grocery store and bought a can. I used a kiddie cup and a kleenex and followed the instructions. As I sobbed, my hen shook her head, but her heart kept beating . . . I could not go on. After failing to euthanize her properly, then posting my urgent request, I dozed with the hen wrapped in the cloth, draped on top of my neck. When I felt her struggling to move I decided I had to take more decisive action.

    I clamped the strand holding her foot on, then did the surgery necessary to remove the foot. After applying cornstarch to stave thr bleeding, and wrapping her to apply pressure on her stump, I elected to place her in a hospital cage with a soft cotton liner on the bottom, add seed & water, and hope for the best, let nature take its course and go to bed. As soon as she was in the cage, she 'got the news' about her new peg-leg condition. I set 2 perches very low and lo and behold, she perched briefly, them proceeded to eat. Provided that she doesn't bleed further (and it seems to be cauterized) I think this pearl of a girl will survive. I have a super small hen population (3) so I think it may be possible for her to adjust. She is an '04 hen, and I took her out of breeding last season. Fingers crossed. I tend lame and rescues, so maybe this will have a happy ending.

    I would still like to know a (true!) way to put a suffering bird down. Sometimes accidents happen. Were I a more serious breeder, she would no longer be a be able to breed and would be pecked for her weakness. If she lives, she will live out her life.
     
  5. dreambird

    dreambird PetForums Newbie

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    Newbie status glaringly apparent! Apologies for the double post!
     
    #5 dreambird, Jul 13, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2009
  6. That sounds horrible! :eek: why couldn't you have just taken her to a vets ?

    My Budgie has a broken leg... and it's on the mend now and it's thankfully getting better, but if it had been a worse break, I wouldn't have found a way to kill her myself :( you caused her more suffering by trying to do all that in my opinion :(
     
  7. dreambird

    dreambird PetForums Newbie

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    We have 1 med vet emergency (24hr) clinic here and they do not handle avian patients! All this occurred after midnight here...it's 5am now. During a weekday, I would have done so, but then I would not have known she would ave survived. The vet would have pit her down. Hopefully she will manage with a 'stump'.

    Thank you for your responses, I appreciate it!
     
  8. charlie9009

    charlie9009 PetForums Senior

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    Birds can live with only one foot, I see no reason to have to have the bird put down unless it had lost alot of blood or was in too much of a bad way. I wouldn't even consider doing it myself! :eek: I feel quite bad that you would try to kill it yourself like that, and then take it upon yourself to remove her foot yourself too!

    I hope your bird survives though, and has no other problems.
     
  9. pria

    pria PetForums Newbie

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    A canary can live perfectly well with just one foot!

    However I really think that a trip to the vets would have been more apropriate than what she actually went though. Whether they normally treat birds or not I would have insisted on taking the bird down to them. If they still refused I would have told them I was reporting them for cruelty. As any vet is not supposed to refuse any animal in a serious condition/severe pain.

    You should keep an eye out for septicemea now, as you have have performed surgery on her yourself.

    I was always told (by an old school vet) that a sharp hard knock to the back of the head works to euthanise a bird, but I have always chosen to take mine to the vets, no matter what the time of day or night and whether the vet liked it or not!

    I hope she survives.
     
  10. Cascara

    Cascara PetForums Member

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    How are things now?

    I hope she is ok :)

    We have had several chickens with one foot a cat with three legs, its amazing what they can quite happily survive.

    It is always hard to euthanaise a tiny bird but it is quite simple and painless if you need to know. We use a few humane methods, but please don't try the fumes method again that really doesn't work well.
     
  11. dreambird

    dreambird PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for thinking of us, Cascara!

    The hen is fine, but she cannot go back into the flight enclosure with the other hens, as they will not accept her. So she is in a separate breeding cage and is near them. As a pet she will be fine, you know.

    I would like to know a method, because when I had a farm and raised peafowl and chickens, I asked a breeding friend to help me when the need came up, and it does with a large number of birds - accidents and deformities that cause the birds to be singled out happen. I can perform a necropsy, and do it for friends if they fear Newcastle's disease, or want to check for anomalies, but putting them down I have not been able to do. Silly, really. I performed the surgery properly; I have a advanced degree in science, Ornithology (endocrinology, specifically.)

    Thanks again for your kindness!
    db
     
  12. Melysia

    Melysia PetForums Member

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    I'm sorry I don't really know of a purely painless way to euthenise a bird, I wouldn't like to do it myself, farmers do it daily!

    I'd like to add that people should give others the benefit of the doubt when writing such things as the OP did. It's not likely that they'd make mention of trying to perform surgery or euthenise a bird if they did not already know anything about it. I also reckon that if you are to mention such things and of course your not a troll, you should say so first so your thread isn't flooded with worried posters.

    Anyhow, I do understand your concern initially about the hen not being accepted into the rest of the brood. It's only natural that they would become harassed. Nice one though that you've managed to keep her separate! :)

    Hope everything turns out ok.

    x
     
  13. lonchura_boi

    lonchura_boi PetForums Junior

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    some gin in a birds drinking water will send it to sleep from which it will not return..... apparently.

    alternatively, taking a pair of dog nail clippers (the pincer type not the guillotine type), and with one swift snip round the neck at the base of the skull. this may sound horrific and i can understand most could never bring themselves to do that. it is swift, and only a split second of pain.

    as for taking it to a vet being the most humane thing, the stress of being caught up and taken to a vet and likely havng to sit in a waiting room for god knows how long with the sounds of other animals all around and then being handled by a stranger (in my experiance, alot of vets havent a clue hoe to handle birds properly and cause them more stress), then jabbed in the leg with a needle, a needle which we may think is fine but to a tiny bird must be like a javalin. and then taking a minute or so to die as the drugs take effect..... and be charged a fortune to boot!
    humane?.... hmmmmm....
     
  14. Lavenderb

    Lavenderb PetForums VIP

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    There are other methods a vet can use which don't involve stabbing it with a needle.
    Going by the number of pidgeons I see hobbling around on one foot I don't see any reason why it wouldn't continue to live a good life.
     
  15. dreambird

    dreambird PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for your kind words. The hen is fine, albeit seperated from the masses, but she has taken up singing at the boys! How about that?
     
  16. dreambird

    dreambird PetForums Newbie

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    "Pearl" is well and good. I am reducing the aviary and did not breed this summer. She will be a pet in our home - she sings now! Thank you for commenting!
     
  17. dreambird

    dreambird PetForums Newbie

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    PS - I was an ornithologist, specializing in avian indocrinology, and can perform a necropsy on my own (already dead) birds with no problems - I was taught in school to wring a neck, but I cannot do it to my songbirds! Or any birds! I am now a hobby breeder with a big heart! When one has 200 birds, all sorts of bad things happen. I have managed many a trial, but this one was extraordinary, as was the outcome. Again, thanks.
     
  18. Zayna

    Zayna PetForums VIP

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    I think you did the best you could in that situation.

    I used to help out on a farm with chickens and if any chicks hatched deformed the farmer would smash it on the floor without a seconds thought.

    Also my mate keeps chickens and if any of them becoming old and ill where they wont recover her partner just breaks their necks rather then let them die a lingering death. I guess its for the best really although I could never do it myself! I cant even kill a bloomin spider!
     
  19. dreambird

    dreambird PetForums Newbie

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    Zanya,

    That is how hatcheries here do it, in fact worse - they toss the defective chicks in to a box and I cannot stand or stop it! At the very least, the stomp is an end to suffering. It is true that chickens will tromp all over any chick that is ill or has a club foot - the healthy survive.

    "Pearl" is in residence in the house, our of the aviary, though she makes visits to the aviary in her cage and has taken up singing! So, there you have it. With peafowl, I had to ask another rancher to remove the bird in a crate and do it mercifully for me - the surgery went well, actually; I was thinking of her life in the aviary being over, and it is, but we can keep her in the house. I have reduced the population and stopped breeding. It is too heartbreaking at hatching time, and the population rises all too fast.

    Best!
     
  20. ladydifadden

    ladydifadden PetForums Newbie

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    I think it's very sad that vets charge just as much to humanely euthanize a little bird as they do to put down a dog or cat. I raise canaries and finches (am a new breeder), and humane euthanasia is a huge concern. So far I've had to put down one of my birds myself--I went with decapitation because I believe it was the easiest of the possible acceptable ways (for the bird). I'm not sure I could have done this to a beloved pet, though. I think it's a little bit different when you have so many birds that you don't name them anymore and breed to sell. Also it's funny what you can do when you see an animal suffering and realize it's a lost cause.

    I'm glad the little hen may survive despite losing her foot. She's lucky to have such a caring bird-mom.
     
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