Best way to kill a small mammal

Submitted by Amy Ritchie on 08/19/2002. ( )

I have some rats that I need to mount.. but they're still alive! Can anyone tell me the best way to humanely kill them? I used to use a rat trap, but this was not only difficult, but it smashed up the skull. I want to keep the skulls.

I would really appreciate some feedback on this.


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stick to the neck

This response submitted by redneck on 08/19/2002. ( i )

hey amy best thing to do is to take a knife with heavy handle and whack em on the veck itll kill them quick


This response submitted by redveck on 08/19/2002. ( )

Were is the veck located


This response submitted by Coyote on 08/19/2002. ( )

Step on them right behind the shoulders,it'll collapse there lungs, and they'll die within a few seconds. I hope this helps you out.

try this

This response submitted by F-B on 08/19/2002. ( )

This is if you can get your hands on'em!

Use a small syrenge and needle to inject a dose of acetone. (a couple cc's is more than enough) This will put the rodent down very quickly and in my opinion humanely! Also works well on small mammals up to fox ect. But it does take some skill and learning to inject the larger animals properly and achieve a quick humane dispatch.

Hope this helps!

rat killed humanly

This response submitted by gotum on 08/19/2002. ( )

Get some dri ice a garbage can a old coffe can, screen

I put some bricks in the bottom of the garbage can so I can place a screen over the block to keep Pheasants from getting wet.(easier to skin) but you place the dri ice in the coffe can and on the bottom of the garbage can between the bricks, place your screen ontop of this , then place animal ontop of screen or in this case a box would work as long as it doesn't stop the gasses from filling the garbage cancan.

add some water to the coffe can with dri ice and place the lid on the garbage can.

This is a quick humane killingg method . it's used in the big chicken operations pheasants are dead in less than a minute and you don't have to mutalate the skins or hold them down nothing you can walk away.

The water and Dry Ice together emit co2 thus you are sufficating them.

be carefull with the dri ice you can get burned by touching it. use some leather gloves or your winter mitts even old newspaper just don't let it touch skin.

Good luck and thanks for being concerned about killing humanely.

Oh Ya

This response submitted by gotum on 08/19/2002. ( )

you might want to let the fumes build in the garbage can with the lid on for a few minute before placing in the can then quickly place in and replace the lid. Mucch quicker as there is no air then to start.

good luck


This response submitted by craig on 08/19/2002. ( )

Try placeing them in a stong say feed bag,and then place it over a car exhaust the fumes will do it quickly becareful if the exhaust is hot thou.

Thanks guys

This response submitted by Amy Ritchie on 08/19/2002. ( )

Thanks for your response.. I dispatched one of the rats today by dislocating the neck (I held down the neck while I pulled on the tail). It was very quick.


Sink Em

This response submitted by Jimmy on 08/19/2002. ( )

5 gallon bucket and drown them with a forked stick
come on

Sink Em

This response submitted by Jimmy on 08/19/2002. ( )

5 gallon bucket and drown them with a forked stick
come on

Car exhaust

This response submitted by Chris on 08/19/2002. ( )

Do the ol' car exhaust trick.
Works very quickly and humanely, and no damage at all to Rocky the Rat.
Take the entire car, put it in a garbage bag, tape a plastic pipe to it.
Attach the pipe to the exhaust. The ratty rat will be T#*ts up within a

The entire cage!

This response submitted by Chris on 08/19/2002. ( )

I meant to say entire cage, not car.

big snake

This response submitted by tim on 08/19/2002. ( )

got a big snake? it will take care of them quick. just joking.


This response submitted by wilson on 08/19/2002. ( )

Amy this subject is best disgust in emails with some pros.
But the best way is with two wires, search the achieves for the details.


This response submitted by JT on 08/20/2002. ( )

Nothing kills much more efficient than dynamite. I don't think you should have any problems killing much of anything with dynamite. Just kidding. You might want to see if the Veterinarian could give you a freebee on killing your rat or if they have any dead ones already. If you do the car thing, don't kill yourself by accident.

good luck,



This response submitted by no.2 on 08/20/2002. ( )

I use dynamite when Im constipated.


This response submitted by Stevie on 08/23/2002. ( )

I have never seen so much ignorance in my life. Amy asked for professional advice and about the only thing she got was ignorant rednecks jokes. I think in the times when Peta and other animal rights organizations see everything as barabaric- I really wonder why? I think you have a professional obligation to represent yourself, your business and the profession of taxidermy on this Forum. Not spread ignorance and simpleton thoughts because we are not educated enough to do better. I would sugest anyone that can not help out a fellow taxidermist for the betterment of our industry should not be allowed on this forum. Think long and hard about your replys on this site as your ignorant statements effect everyone- some of you sound like 12 year olds allowed on the computer for the first time. Go back to the hills where you came from, marry your cousin and really mount your taxidermy- Now I sound like you. Damn Ignorant , unprofessional, and Stupid


This response submitted by RIGO on 08/23/2002. ( )


What about a larger mammal?

This response submitted by Bryan on 08/24/2002. ( )

The above mentioned (serious) methods to euthanize rats all seem pretty quick and humane. What about a raccoon caught in a live trap? I would think the quickest kill, without putting a hole in the hide, would be submerging the cage. As far as fast and humane I only hope I go that quick when my time comes, but will the water negatively effect the hide?

AVMA Humane Euthanasia Methods

This response submitted by who cares, it's the advice that matters. on 08/27/2002. ( )

Go the AVMA web site and look up the Humane Euthanasia recommendations. These are the only legal and actually humane methods used to kill various animals. Car exhaust, rat traps, acetone - are NOT good methods and are not humane.

The Dry Ice guy wins. Although a doof for comparing it to the gassing of humans, CO2 is one of the very few accessible, humane methods to kill laboratory animals and small birds. It is very cheap: you can even shake up a can of Coke, crack it, let the CO2 into a bag, pop a mouse into the bag, seal it back up, and voila - refreshments and mice to skin. It works within 5 seconds or so. A variation is the "canned air" computer duster stuff. The premise is quick knockdown and swift death. Be kind to your rats, Amy. Their lives are forwarding yours.

Dead House Cats are illegal via federal law to sell, by the way. Tanned, raw, etc. New law banning sale of cat and dog fur. Love those anti's!

sorry guys

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 08/27/2002. ( )

You cant beat drowning. Its humane, very quick, and doesnt affect the specimen in any way. I always drown coons when possible, and anything else caught near water. Put a rat in a bag, and start up that vehicle, and youll have one heck of a handful. I often wonder how many folks practice what they suggest? A water source is much more accessable and cheaper then dry ice...

Don't freeze them

This response submitted by Christine on 10/07/2002. ( )

The pet store told us to put them in the freezer, but we left them in their over night and they were still alive but they ate all their babies it was sick. So whatever you do never freeze rats its horribly cruel and it doesn't do anything but give them severe cases of hypothermia.


This response submitted by Gareth Davies on 10/28/2002. ( )

I am breeding feeder mice for my pet Califonia Kingsnake (he has to eat afterall).

The best method, I have found, is the dry Ice. We have 2 tupperware boxes. a large box (14 inces long, 6 inches wide, 8.5 inches deep) and a smaller one (14x6x4) both with holes drilled into their lids.

you place napkins in the base of the smaller box (this is to prevent the box cracking because of the cold tempratures) and place in a small (I use 1 inch cube) block of dry ice.

pour hot water over the ice, and put the lid on the smaller box, leave it for a few seconds then place the small animal in the larger box, put the lid on that too, my mice/mouse dies in about 5-10 seconds, although it's recomended that you leave them in there for a little while to make sure they are dead and not knocked out.

the good thing about this method is that the apartus can be stored away and reused easily. total cost is about $2 for the tupperware and $1 - $2 for the dry ice (although you get more than 1 inch cube for that price lol) - all bought from wal mart :D

quick and easy

This response submitted by Brahm on 11/01/2002. ( )

Shoot them in the had.

this is what i do

This response submitted by adam cox on 12/11/2002. ( )

what i do is i try to shoot the squrrli in the head with my pellet gun then i go up to it and i keep on shooting it the head until the thing dies. i hate doing that but i cant think of any other way to kill it after i have my hands on the squrril. i want to keep the fur from the squrrli as well. what do you recommend me to do.


This response submitted by JEREMY on 01/06/2003. ( )

i heard from a cyote once that you can drop a piano in its head

chevy v8

This response submitted by billy bob redneck on 01/15/2003. ( )

we just euthanized our sick wounded hamster with exhaust fumes and it worked pretty good, after only seconds it stoped squrming so we left it for a few more minutes to make sure. we used an old pillow case and tied it to the exhaust then fired it up and viola!

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