Am I a chicken murderer??? :(

Picky Chicky

11 Years
Sep 22, 2008
Holly Grove, VA
Being a newbie, I feel terrible asking this question, but perhaps it's not as bad as I think (correct me if I'm wrong)...

Two questions actually:

1.) I know I'll want to replace the hens that stop laying, but I don't know that I'll have the space to keep them... I'm sure when the time comes, it'll be difficult to cull (is that the right word?) them, but is that the right thing to do? Or will I be considered a chicken murderer?

2.) When we have the $$$ to fence the entire yard I'll probably let them free range, but I don't want them to fly off. Can't I trim back a certain feather(s) to make it so they can't fly off? If so, which feather(s) do I trim? I'm afraid I'll lop off the wrong feathers.

Thanks for the chickie insight!

P.S. I hope you guys aren't all shaking your heads going, "dear God this lady is going to raise chickens?!" But I'd rather err on the side of caution and ask the stupid questions.


11 Years
Sep 10, 2008
Lakeland, FL
Culling is better than not being able to take care of them. As far as free ranging goes, as long as they know where their coop is they'll come back at night. You can also trim some of their primary and secondary wing feathers, but I like to leave mine alone in case predators come calling!

Hangin Wit My Peeps
11 Years
Apr 20, 2008
Birnamwood, Wisconsin
Many here think of their flock as livestock and that's what you do with your livestock. Cull old bring in new. And culling doesn't necessarily mean killing them. To cull is to either give them away or slaughter them. You could try to find new homes for them at about 2 years old. Several people will take 2 yr old hens and get a few more years of light laying yet. If they get them for a cheap price. I don't think anyone will look down on you here for that. It's your decision and your chickens
I'm not there yet so I'm not sure what I will do. Prob find homes for them at 2 with the exception of my 2 cochins...they are here for their lifetime! I am in love with them


11 Years
Jun 26, 2008
Columbiaville, MI
if culling makes a murderer, i am gonna fry. (right after my chickens!)

culling is what makes a strong flock. old, weak, sick etc. cull to create the best flock you can.

yes, you can trim flight feathers, but not all chickens are flighty. find the breeds that work with your set-up.

i am sure no one will laugh at these questions, because we all had them at one point too. asking is the smartest thing to do. shows you truly care about your livestock.



13 Years
Jan 18, 2007
Aboard the the Heart of Gold
I expected to cull the old non layers. Well after I raised and cared for them, that just isn't going to happen! How could I cull Lucy or Monk or Penelope?

I don't think there's anything wrong with culling but I would suggest not naming them if you're sure you want to do that.

You'll be surprised how many eggs you get even from older layers even my 5 year olds pay for their feed, plus the entertainment value is priceless.

I've been adding 3 or 4 pullets a year to keep production up and it works great.

Here is the wing trimming page:

Mine stick around where the food and rest of the flock is so it's not a huge problem, plus most are too chubby to fly over the fence. That helps.

You are going to love having chickens!

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