Conflicted/Your opinions on slow thrive & culling

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Schwartzfarmnc, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. Schwartzfarmnc

    Schwartzfarmnc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Let me start off by saying that our girls are not only our breakfast buddies but pets also. We have 16 sweethearts but one is so small and we believe mentally off, she has always been like this even at 3 days old she'd end up on her back and couldn't right herself without help, but now she is 21 weeks old, doesn't eat like the others and the other girls are so much larger than she and continue to hit and peck her because I feel they know she is weak. I do want to give her the opportunity to thrive but I also don't want her to end up being killed by the other girs or starving to death even though she does eat, her crop is never full.

    We did try to bring her in the house and feed separate but she eats a little and then stops. You can tell she is not all there by the way she looks and acts and I doubt we would ever get an egg from her so my question is, how long should we allow her to live before we take care of the little bird? The other 15 despise her so I don't want them to stress out because of her since they are just now starting to lay. What would anyone else do with a bird like ours?
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  2. Buugette

    Buugette [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Cra

    May 26, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
    Perhaps you could rehome her to someone who would want a special needs chicken.

    We had a failure to thrive chick... we fed poly-vi-sol vitamines, scrambled eggs, yogurt, pedialyte and chick starter... it took a while, but he grew and is now happy, healthy, and the same size as everyone else.

    Depends on how much time and effort you want to put into it.

    D
     
  3. Schwartzfarmnc

    Schwartzfarmnc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Time would not be an issue, my true concern is that she will end up being killed by our Barred Rocks, they are 3 times her size. We try to feed her anything she will eat, and sometimes she partakes but others she just stands there staring at you. I would give away if someone really wanted her, she is one that my wife fell in love with but she even knows we probably will have to make a decision before too long.
     
  4. Buugette

    Buugette [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Cra

    May 26, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
    Then you have to make this happen... get some vitamins into her... perk her up a little. Are you able to keep her inside for a while, seperated from the others, but where there is activity and she can see you and your wife. She may regain some confidence if not being picked on all the time. If you have the time and the ability, you have nothing to lose as long as she is not suffering, and it doesn't sound like she is in pain, other than being picked on.

    D
     
  5. SunnyDawn

    SunnyDawn Sun Lovin' Lizard

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    I'm afraid that is a personal decision only you can make. My DH and I deal with these things early. We love our girls but don't keep special needs chicks around for long. I feel like if they wouldn't make it in nature without help... Not really comfortable saying this out loud since so many folks get upset by these hard decisions but I really feel like it's up to the individual to make that decision. It's never easy to deal with it. It seems like the special needs chicks are the ones DH and I get attached to the most but we don't want to leave the poor thing to be pecked to death by the others and I certainly don't have the time or energy to devote to a chicken that will most likely never be productive or normal. We still say a blessing over the little ones for a better life the next time around and although that may sound silly it works for us.

    I guess what I'm saying is, you need to come to terms with what ever is best for your situation and don't let others make it harder for you than it already is. [​IMG]
     
  6. Schwartzfarmnc

    Schwartzfarmnc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2010
    West Jefferson
    Thank you both for the advise.

    My wife homeschools so she stays home all day and could manage to keep her inside for the time being, but I'm afraid that even if she does gain a little weight and starts to improve once you move her back in with the other girls she will certainly be singled out as a target for abuse, and I'm not blaming the other girls at all I do feel that is just nature. I also understand it will be a personal decision but I was hoping for any advise from others who went through something similar maybe?

    What what I am reading here, if we don't want to provide a place to keep her as a house type chicken then we should give a time frame and once the date is met and if she hasn't improved enough to survive then we would cull. My wife's thoughts are that if this bird is not properly eating, could she become more susceptible to health issues or problems and then spread these to other birds, and that is a good question I cannot answer at the present time.
     
  7. SunnyDawn

    SunnyDawn Sun Lovin' Lizard

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    Quote:Well if the little one is exposed to anything, yes her resistance would not be as good as the other, thriving birds. However if she has not been exposed to anything then it's not an issue.
     
  8. DelcoChix

    DelcoChix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feel for you in this situation--we're in the same boat, have the hens/pullets for fun and 4-H. They are sort of in between livestock and pets--not able to off those who aren't producing...but not wanting to or able to give lots of special care to one needy bird for the rest of it's life.
    We have a 2 1/2 year old Golden Comet hen who went into her first molt last fall, and her feathers never really grew back in well. No clue why, separated her from the flock for about 2-3 months (really cold winter),under heatlamp, then gradually re-introduced her back as she never "got better." She's bright eyed, eats well...to my knowledge has not laid an egg in almost a year, and looks like she's been through a washing machine spin cycle. She almost looks like a frizzle gone bad....but darn it, she gets along with the others, picks on the bantams when they sneak into the bigger run, stays off to herself a bit, but appears to be healthy otherwise..almost got the courage to cull her this spring, but kept hoping she'd either improve or die. Tried all kinds of protein rich foods (sardines-greek yogurt-treats,etc.), used DE, poultry dust...etc....but nothing. Jury's out on her future--just can't quite get up the guts to kill her because she's not laying and looks scruffy...darn it.
    Good luck with your decision...I can relate.
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I was just wondering if you have considered keeping your special girl in a large crate among all of the other chickens seeing them with her own food and water and little perch, but where she can't be pecked or bullied. She may do well and be happy enough, but remain safe and thrive.
     
  10. Schwartzfarmnc

    Schwartzfarmnc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    West Jefferson
    Quote:We built into our coop plans an area for birds that need to be separated, but my concern is that when you put her there she goes nuts, and makes the others stressed out too. I know we can assist her somewhat, but what kind of life will it be for her and the others and when we add next years birds will they even accept her? Last night we brought some extra food out for the girls and watch the interactions between them, this bird never came over to get the goodies, and when we tried to single her out to ensure she was able to get them, she just runs off. She eats grass, but never fills her crop as far as I can tell. When I went in last night to put them to bed, she was on the perch with the others and you can really see the size difference, she is like a banty hen compared the others, but at least they let her sleep up there, as long as she' not beside a certain few. We have come to the conclusion that if she continues on this path through the end of September will no progress we will just cull her, it's a tough decision but one that we knew might need to be made.
     

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