how do you kill a bird

Just found an adult male thrush crouched in a corner of the garden. Its alert and healthy looking, apart from large stomach wound (intestines and other bits hanging out). Were a long drive from vet and, to be honest, I really cant see recovery would be possible. Im not too squeamish and just want to do whats best.

It unlikely to live very long. Small animals like that go into shock very fast. Breaking the neck would be the fastest but you’d have to catch it and hold it still.

It let me pick it up very easily – which is how I discovered the wound. Like I said, its very alert and warm but I understand about the shock generally killing small creatures. Keeps looking at me, which is not a nice place to be.

Put some rubber gloves on and break its neck. Twist hard and bend the neck over at the same time. It will carry on moving for a few minutes. It’s not a nice thing to have to do but it will put the poor thing out of its misery. I had to do this for a pigeon that the cat got a couple of months ago.

I grew up on a chicken farm, so I knew how to do it – another way is to find a thin edge like the top of a fence and bend the neck over that. I sound deranged, don’t I? Blush

You dont sound deranged to me @TooExtraImmatureCheddar, I was going to suggest bashing its head in with a brick Blush which would be horrible, but quick and I thought the shock might prevent any pain. Sorry youve got to do this OP, it would really, really upset me, but its better than the poor thing suffering Sad

Ive had to put them in a box and they pass very quickly. I cannot break their necks. Ive tried but Im a hypocrite (as Im a meat eater). I just cant kill live animals. When I lived on a farm, one of our cats discovered a nest of little pinkies (mice or voles) and was just throwing one at a time around without killing it. I had to take each one off her when she brought another and I threw it to our working dog who dispatched them instantly. It was the best I could do for them. I think that dog would have been handy these days whenever I find a horrifically injured birdConfused

For larger birds, you hold them by the head and spin them vigorously – it breaks their necks. It’s not a nice thing to have to do, but it is quick and ends their suffering. You can do it to smaller birds as well but be prepared to decapitate them. Sorry if that description is upsetting to anyone. It sounds awful but it is quick. Well done for thinking of the best thing for this little bird op.

I just take their heads off with a sharp spade. Grim, i know and DH has to hide inside but we have a cat who is a master hunter (no amount of bells have helped) and so I have to deal with a few birds.

Ive had to do a quick neck break before. Horrible for me, but far preferable to the poor thing suffering in agony for hours/longer. I cant imagine a vet would do anything other than euthanise it and attempting to travel there would increase its stress and suffering, imo.

I dont think this is necessarily the kindest or most efficient, but when I phoned my dad in a panic over a bird the cat had tormented, he suggested drowning it in a bucket of warmish water – so it wouldnt have the shock of cold water but youd definitely know it was dead and out of its misery.

My only worry with doing this myself, is, what if I didnt do it properly and caused the animal further pain?

Oh OP, I dont know the best way of doing it, but you have my utmost respect for your willingness to put this poor little bird out of its misery. Im not sure that I could do it, but its definitely the kindest thing you can do.

Poor thing Sad hopefully solved by now, but I dispatched an injured pigeon by holding the body in one hand, head/neck in the other and giving a sharp yank. It was very quick.

I think drowning in a bucket of warm water is the kindest thing. Funnily enough I took a pigeon to our local wildlife hospital the other day as I found it with a broken wing, and was wondering if I should drown it. It’s pretty grim though, but worse to leave it suffering. Sending you hugs xx

Its done (neck break). Horrible doing it, but I said I was sorry and hoped he understood (how soft is that). Buried well down amongst the primroses. Thanks everyone for suggestions.

I found an injured sparrow and took it to the local vet who said they would kill it humanely as possible. That was a few years ago though.

Well done for doing it, it’s a horrid thing to have to do but the kindest thing for the bird Flowers

Well Ive just discovered Im squeamish. Reading this thread has knocked me sick, I could never. Well done though- I think!

Well done. It’s horrible to do, but it’s kinder than leaving them to suffer. Flowers

I found a collared dove which had a broken wing and a body wound with maggots in it. DH wrung its neck too, I couldnt do it. Its kindest but hard to do.

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You have done the right thing. Its so difficult. Ive had to deal with the same situation about an hour ago, I was very apologetic to it. Local kids knocked on my door to tell me that the cat had left it on my doorstep. It was clear to me that it wasnt going to make it so its “currently resting in a box in my bathroom” for the local kids and then tomorrow I can tell them it passed away. Its easier to hear as a child.

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My only concern about doing this myself is that I might not do it correctly and end up hurting the animal even more.

It was very easy for me to pick up, which is how I found the wound. As I mentioned, it’s quite warm and alert, but I am aware that shock kills most small animals. Remains fixated on me, which is an unpleasant place to be.

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I brought an injured sparrow to the nearby veterinarian, who assured me that it would be killed as humanely as possible. That was a few years ago though.

The kindest thing, in my opinion, would be to drown in a bucket of warm water. Strangely enough, the other day I took a pigeon to our nearby wildlife hospital after discovering it had a broken wing and wondering if I should drown it. It’s pretty grim though, but worse to leave it suffering. Sending you hugs xx.

Since the basic idea is the same in all references and even cultures, it seems (at least to me) that what the farmer taught and practiced might be the best course of action: knock the bird unconscious (possible side effect: destroy the head or brain), then properly end its life, such as by breaking its neck as mentioned in other answers (just make sure it doesn’t wake up with a splitting headache added to its list of ailments once you are gone). ). Pay attention to the advice given in the other response: don’t work half-heartedly!

EDIT: Because of the picture, this answer may seem to primarily promote swinging the bird, but its main goal is to clarify why, in many cases, the most humane way to deal with birds that are unable to flee or run away from you is to give them a bashing on the head. To do this, simply locate a rock or log. Additionally, you might be safer (you never know what kind of disease the bird might be carrying, for example).

In the UK you should probably contact the RSPCA or RSPB. I think RSCPA is probably best as they actually do welfare stuff whereas RSPB is about conservation. They should have the best knowledge of whether the bird needs to be killed and how best to do it. I presume other countries have similar charities.

Wringing its neck is, in my opinion, the best method for killing the bird on your own without the need for specialized equipment. When done correctly, it should kill the bird almost immediately. But you have to be careful to give it your all and not give it a half-baked effort that will just make it suffer more. This mostly affects those who find it repulsive.

He believed that the brain in decapitated heads (and broken necks) remain operational for about 30 seconds (probably based on well known guillotine stories where the victims blinked their eyes for 15 to 30 seconds, could answer questions (with eye-blinking) and make facial expressions (to the executioner)). Quite recently, researchers found that the brains of decapitated rats remained conscious for about 3.7 seconds.


Can you put a bird down?

Can You Put a Bird Down? If you notice your beloved pet has become too ill and weak, you have the option to put it to sleep. Birds can be euthanized by the administration of an anesthetic gas that immediately puts it to sleep, and then the same injection that is given to dogs and cats would be administered.

What smells can kill birds?

Candles, room fresheners, and carpet fresheners all have fragrances. These items are extremely toxic to birds. Chemicals that ordinarily only irritate humans can be toxic to birds. Renuzit has been added to this list of items toxic to birds.

How do you snap a bird’s neck?

Using the first two fingers of your other hand, grip the head immediately behind the skull with your thumb under the beak. Stretch the neck downwards, at the same time pressing your knuckles into the neck vertebrae and pulling the bird’s head back. Neck dislocation should be achieved in one, swift pull.

What kills birds in the wild?

Any significant concentration of chemicals, including pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and other common lawn and garden additives, can be dangerous to birds. Even if the chemicals are not a direct threat, they may destroy plants or insects birds use as food.