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Can I get a reality check? (to cull, or not to cull)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by speltier, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. speltier

    speltier In the Brooder

    Jan 25, 2009
    Berkeley, Califonia
    Ok, I've been reading the 'swollen eye' threads day and night, in between changing the abx-water and flushing/medicating this chook's eye with terramycin. History...

    I got this barred 'Rock pullet from a lady in Cotati... as soon as I got her home, with her two friends, I noticed that her eye was swollen shut. That was about two weeks ago. I also noticed a couple of bubbles from her nose. She's continued to eat well, act energetic, etc... I debated culling her on the spot, but I figured with only 10, I could afford to risk treating her. I've been treating their water with Tetracycline for about 7 days and two days ago I began with Terramycin eye ointment and saline flushes 3-4x daily.

    I expressed a yellow clump that looked almost like a piece of grain that had swollen up from moisture... bacterial debris, I guess. Anyway, her condition didn't magically improve after that, and remains about the same to date.

    I'm planning to give her until Friday. She doesn't seem to be gaining weight like her sibling, and I don't really want to have to put this bird through indefinitely long eye-prodding and abx administration.

    I'm not too keen on the idea, but I've been weighing culling her this weekend if she's not improved. Insight? I'm looking forward to a happy, healthy and closed flock. I really hope she gets better. I'm new, though, so I'd love your opinion. Thanks a lot.

  2. Teach97

    Teach97 Bantam Addict

    Nov 12, 2008
    Hooker, OK
    Wish I could give you great advice like...cull her out! But I've been doing the exact same thing (just about) with a black tailed white Japanese hen and rooster...I am totally a marshmellow on the deal...at least I can give you a [​IMG] of mutual denial
  3. ewesfullchicks

    ewesfullchicks In the Brooder

    Sep 27, 2007
    I ended up treating mine with the same problem, and all are now fine. One had a particularly bad, bad eye infection, and ended up losing that eye. However, she's the one who now hops inside the feeder, and has turned out to be quite a character.

    They never may be as productive as the other birds, but I've no way to tell that.

    I continued to treat them because they were all eating and drinking fine. If they were not, and were slowly wasting away - I would have culled.

    I DID keep them away from the rest of the flock during that time of treatment.

    Hope this helps,

  4. bheila

    bheila Songster

    Feb 8, 2008
    Kent, Wa
    I would probably cull her. I have a closed flock myself because I made the stupid decision and excepted a rooster from an outside source. Needless to say some/all of my flock got Coryza. I culled the really bad chickens and kept the not so sick ones.I do treat the symptoms of the not to severe ones. I figure that I can at least keep the 1 year old hens another 2 years for their good laying cycle and then I will start all over again with a healthy flock. Good luck with your decision.
  5. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
  6. speltier

    speltier In the Brooder

    Jan 25, 2009
    Berkeley, Califonia
    I treated her again tonight.. it's obviously pretty uncomfortable when I palpate around her eye, rubbing the ointment in, especially. Also, there's not much actual exudate, which I suspect is a good thing... Anyway, I'll see how she is over the next couple of days and play it by ear. Thanks for the insight.

    Oh, also, I've read that Coryza(sp?) has a foul smell... none of that so far.

    If I decide to off her, what's the recommended method? I was going to take her by the head and (respectfully) give her a snap or two.. is that out of the pale? <sigh> What kinda bedtime story am I writing for myself here?

  7. I would seperate her from the flock and try to treat her if its not real bad , but then if it seems bad and scared of the rest of them catching its best not to wait , so your decission . I know thats a hard call to make.
    Yupperz that would deffinately do the job !!!
  8. jacyjones

    jacyjones Songster

    Jun 9, 2008
    Aberystwyth, Wales
    It is a difficult one - I try and treat any of mine that are ill and separate when necessary. I tend to take the view that I keep them going if they are perky, eating and running around. I cull when this changes and treatment does not improve their quality of life. It doesn't happen often but we do occasionally have to kill one when it gets too ill to recover.
  9. Andora

    Andora Songster

    Aug 26, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    When my birds had IC, I was told by an avian expert at our local university to give them Sulmet in the water. It worked on all but the worst cases. But you're right--no foul smell, it might not be coryza. I would inject Tylan 50 in that case, for an infection, along with putting topical ointment on the eye. It sounds like you are already on top of it!

    As far as culling...I will never have the balls to do it. When I had diseases go through my flock I took the saddest sick birds to be put to sleep. One I took to get a necropsy for $10 and they put her to sleep there, and another I took to my vet (the one that treats my dogs and cats) and they put her to sleep (for free) while I held her. It was much more peaceful than snapping her neck or something, she just quietly relaxed and fell asleep.

    I keep a closed flock now, after learning the hard way. I only buy from hatcheries or from very select friends and trusted sources, and I only buy chicks unless it's an NPIP breeder.
  10. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Culling this bird is a good idea for another reason. If you want a closed flock and you are trying to build some hardy genes, a bird with a weak immune system isn't one you want to contribute to the genetics of your flock.

    You can wring her neck with a good hard snap or two.

    Culling is for the good of the entire flock and may save you additional time, money and heartache down the road.

    Its never easy but its the responsible and sensible thing to do. Good luck!

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