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Best way to cull?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SassyKat6181, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Songster

    Aug 30, 2010
    Western Mass
    I have a hen that has been ill for about 4 months now.....I have tried everything possible to make her better. She has given up. She sits huddled on the roost and lets the others peck at her without a fight. She is about 1.5 yrs old, a black sexlink from a hatchery. I plan to call the local extension to see if they can autopsy her. I'd like to know if they can find out what is ailing her as I have about 50 birds here (none others with any symptoms).

    What is the best, most humane way to cull her? I watched the videos on the broomstick method and decapitation, I don't think I can handle the flapping. If we gas her, will she just fall asleep peacefully? My husband is willing to shoot her, where is the right spot?

    Thanks everyone.

  2. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    I don't about where the best spot is to shoot a chicken, but that would be pretty quick if you have someone do it. Gassing works better for small chicks, not so much for adult birds. I use a pair of very sharp limb loppers. I place the chicken in a feed sack, position the bird and aim the loppers around the neck, cover up the sack some, then in one lop they are decapitated and already in a sack....... Less painful for both of us.
  3. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

    Jun 3, 2011
    Middle Tennessee
    It's a sad situation - but one that almost all chicken owners face at some time. We had to do our first culling this past Saturday. Sounds like a similar situation to yours. My husband used a shotgun at close range. We felt that was humane because it was instant and the chicken didn't suffer. I'd only use a gun, though, if the shooter is very accurate. My husband competes in shooting tournaments and shoots skeet just about daily. So one shot was all it took.

    Sorry about your sick hen.
  4. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Songster

    Aug 30, 2010
    Western Mass
    Thanks. I called around to a few local vets and they all charge around $85 for a vet visit + tests. I also called around to see if I could have a necrospy done and got $250-500 ranges. This is way too much to spend on a chicken. She is the only one ill, but I wanted to find out if there was something going on that the others could be harboring but not showing.
  5. cubalaya

    cubalaya Crowing

    Nov 19, 2008
    central virginia
    your state vet might be able to do a necropsy. as far as culling, the axe or hatchet is very effective.
  6. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Is there a veterinary college in your state?

    Here, the vets want to charge a huge amount for a necropsy, but if you send the animal directly to the veterinary school, it isn't nearly as much.

    The necropsy is getting done in the same place by the same people, it's just that you aren't paying the vet to package the body and relay the results to you.
  7. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Songster

    Aug 30, 2010
    Western Mass
    I called one school......they want $500! [​IMG] Going to try another tomorrow, they closed at 4.

  8. cassidy22

    cassidy22 Chirping

    Apr 20, 2011
    Front Range - Colorado
    Get a cone (even a traffic cone with the tip cut off a bit) hang them upside down and slit their throat on the side - so you get the jugular, and not their wind pipe. IN the cone, it keeps them from flopping and flapping all around. This is how we process chickens, and we do dozens upon dozens in a day. It's not terrible.
    I am not sure how safe gassing a bird can be, and I am not sure if it is peaceful for them. A quick axe to the neck, or hanging them upside down and slitting their jugular, it's really not as bad as you think. Upside down, they get a little disoriented, and actually calm down a bit.
  9. ChicKat

    ChicKat Crowing Premium Member

    So sorry to hear about your chicken.

    You may want to call your county agent, and see if there is a land-grant university with an agricultural program. They will usually be the most reasonable source for a necropsy. The cost should e in about the 40.-48 dollar range for a simple necropsy, but if you need the slides and cultures it will be more like 80.00 more.

    There is a thread here with some advice about euthanizing, perhaps you have already seen it.

    If you are going to have a necropsy, you may be able to take you sick hen to the place while she is still alive, and they will euthanize her for you. That way you don't have to worry about packing in ice, and any decomposition of the chicken while it is getting to the lab.

    I think that if you do what ever choice you take, and you do it quickly you will end your chickens suffering, and that is your goal.
  10. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Here in Fl you can have your States dept of Ag vet do a necropsy for $30. If you get into your states NPIP program there are many resources to help.

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