Submitted to: Virginia Cooperative Extension Publications
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2019
Publication Date: 10/15/2019
Citation: Jacobs, L., Bourassa, D.V., Harris, C.E., Buhr, R.J. 2019. Euthanasia for Broiler Chickens: Manual and Mechanical Cervical Dislocation Methods, Publication APSC-161P. Virginia Cooperative Extension Publications. APSC-161P;p.1-4. https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/APSC/APSC-161/APSC-161.html
Interpretive Summary: none
Technical Abstract: For the indicators we observed for euthanasia in broilers, manual cervical dislocation (CD) had shorter time to death compared with the Koechner Euthanizing Device (KED) applications. Extending the spinal column gap with the two-step KED+ application was achieved but did not shorten the time to death. When numerous broilers are to be euthanized, as for flock depopulation or necropsy, the use of the KED for euthanasia is a practical, safe, and efficacious method. For euthanasia of a single broiler or a few birds in a flock, CD is the obvious method and can be performed by a single person without any equipment. However, CD can be physically straining on the operators, and requires training and practice to maintain proficiency to be applied appropriately to numerous broilers. Thus, the need remains to find euthanasia methods equal to or better than CD.