International Journal for the Study of Animal Problems


Walter Jaksch


The humane killing of animals implies a painless death [euthanasia). Painless death depends on the rapidity with which unconsciousness is achieved and the maintenance of this state until death occurs. Euthanasia methods for day-old chicks must also be economical and should not interfere with using the carcasses for animal food or fertilizer. Manual decapitation or dislocation of the neck is the best available manual method of euthanasia. For greater numbers of birds, the literature recommends homogenization in a crusher. In the author's experiments, the destruction of day-old chicks was most effectively carried out by poisoning with carbon dioxide [C02). A simple gas chamber was constructed, which is now commercially available, into which boxes of chicks were placed. The chamber can euthanize approximately 8,000 chicks within 2-3 hours at a minimal cost.