WWYD- Suffering animal? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 04-05-2010, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
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On friday we were all out in the yard and my dh very slowly moved the van up from the barn, just a few feet. Our kids new kittens were sleeping under the van and we didn't know it. They ran out but dd's kitten got caught and run over (to make it worse it was her birthday!). I won't share all the details, thankfully he died pretty quick, about a minute and dd and I were loving on him and crying while he passed. But at first I knew he was suffering and he couldn't make it, we're too far to get him to a vet in time to ease his pain. If it had taken him longer to pass and he were suffering wwyd? I was crying and begging dh to do something, "you have to kill him, he's suffering!" But he couldn't and neither could I. We are trying to get dd a new kitty, we have a dog and we are getting a flock next week (chicks, poults, ducklings), we're getting a few rabbits tomorrow...So this could be something we have to face again and I don't know what I'd do if the poor creature's death is not imminent, kwim? We don't own a gun, btw.

Jewels & Jon (Married 11+ yrs)- Homeschooling, No Circ, BF, CD Mama to:
Alex 8 Gabby 6 (Homeborn!) Gideon 2.... chickens, ducks, cats and a dog
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#2 of 3 Old 04-06-2010, 01:18 AM
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First off, I want to say I'm very sorry to hear about your daughter's kitty

With the poultry, if I'm planning to cull or eat a chicken, I use the cervical dislocation method - lay the bird on the ground, neck outstretched, while you hold it by the legs, lay a broom or shovel handle across the neck right where it joins the skull - hold the handle on each side with your toes & give a sudden sharp pull on the legs to snap the neck. Quick, humane, not messy.

Bigger mammals, it's better to shoot them, but one time I was out in the field with a lambing ewe, & she produced a severely deformed lamb - that was still alive. I didn't own a gun at the time, & besides limb deformities, the lamb had severe cleft palate & was struggling to breathe. I kept a Pulanski tool (1/2 pickaxe, 1/2 axe, used for firefighting & other tasks) in the barn, & I went & got it & cut the lamb's head off. I felt real bad about it, but also that I shouldn't let the poor lamb suffer for my squeamishness.

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#3 of 3 Old 04-06-2010, 01:36 AM
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I'm so sorry for you and your DD's loss.

I'm not a big fan of guns at all. But on a farm, they come in handy at times like this. When I was a pre-teen I saw my beloved dog ran over cuz there was a strange dog in the field across the road. It was a blind corner and the driver didn't have time to react. So my dad heard me screaming and crying and ran out from the garage to see what had happened. He sent me into the house to get a rifle, it was just a .22 caliber. I hated it, but it was the kind thing to do in that case. I saw the tire go over his head.

The method of breaking an animals neck mentioned above also works with smaller animals. When we had rabbits for meat, my father would use an iron rod to the front of the head. Chickens were butchered with an old stump and an axe to the neck.

If you get larger animals like goats I'd consider having a rifle. We used to have to shoot opossums after the hens, snapping turtles in the pond that kill the ducklings. And there were the occasional stock animals that we had to put down for humane reasons. Ugh.... I don't like guns. I really don't like recommending them for valid uses. But as you've witnessed, it's much better to quickly end a life that is suffering and going to end anyway.
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