Again, my site is aimed at the person who keeps chickens for pets and eggs-
Sometimes the final step of euthanasia is the kindest, best and only thing we can
do for our feathered friends. This is never an easy choice and being human and attached
to your animals, you'll probably agonize for a long time afterward over whether you
did the right thing or not. Once in a while the choice will be clear-
Euthanasia, Death & Grieving
Putting Your Bird Down, Or Euthanasia
I'm going to discuss here briefly and matter-
It's generally agreed that the cervical dislocation method is the quickest and most
humane method, but it does take a certain amount of nerve, skill and steady hands-
Whatever method you use, do take a moment to hold your friend and soothe it by speaking softly, giving it some pets and maybe some little favorite food tidbits. Take the opportunity to say thank you and goodbye. You will be more at peace with yourself afterwards.
Good page on how to euthanize and descriptions of various methods, written for use on House Sparrows (a pest in many areas) but certainly useful for chickens as well:
A page describing the starter fluid method:
I'm not going to make any judgements as to right or wrong, and don't allow other
people to second-
Good site on pet loss and how to deal with it here:
Good article on pet loss when others find it hard to identify with you, here:
Just realize that you are not alone in your grief, and it's not at all unusual. What
is sometimes VERY hard are additional guilt feelings-
And yes, chickens do mourn for dead flockmates.
Your flock also needs help in mourning the loss of a flockmate. Birds, and chickens
especially, are flock animals and are very bonded to each other (and you-
I've discovered that the best way to deal with a dead flockmate is to show it to
the flock so that they can understand what has happened. When one of our pets dies,
we prefer to bury them in the back yard, so the first thing that happens is that
the grave is dug. The small amount of ceremony also helps our young daughter understand
that the living and dying process is a natural part of life. We have had some of
our birds for so many years (8 to 12 years) that some of them know what this type
The only time this process did not help substantially was when we lost two birds
within 48 hours of each other-
The Grief Process, For You And Your Flock
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