Saturday, March 28, 2015

Putting down a chicken

Holly, the hen, had been fading all winter.  Her comb turned pale.  I tried worming her.  I checked her for parasites.  I had a fecal float test done.  Nothing.

I began to suspect she had internal problems.  She was our little chick that wouldn't grow and, at 9 months old, had never laid.  Eventually she couldn't stand up.  It was time to put her out of her misery.

The method I eventually chose was to use a killing cone and a sharp knife.  A killing cone is a metal cone that restrains a chicken so that it can be killed.  Since it was Sunday and I didn't want to go to the store, I made a cone out of a cardboard box.  (One time use only).  I clamped a piece of 2x4 to a ladder to suspend the killing cone from.  I put a large garbage can with a trash bag in it under the killing cone.  I put her in.  I think she expired right then.  To make sure she was dead, I cut her veins like you would for a meat chicken.  I used a kitchen knife, but I learned it wasn't really sharp enough.  Next time I'll use a filleting knife or a box cutter.  Then I disposed of her body appropriately.

It was stressful, but I was glad she was out of her misery.

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