Culled for the first time

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chicktwins, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. chicktwins

    chicktwins Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] We culled our first bird today. She was our 17 week old Buff Laced Polish with a cross beak. We called her Cross (obviously because of her beak). She was a sweet girl and we are all sad but now it was the best for her. She was no longer keeping up with the other birds as far as size and her beak was a constant caked mess. She would make such a mess trying to eat and drink that her chest and neck were constantly wet looking. She only ever stayed in the coop and never could enjoy most of the treats the flock was given because of her not being able to peck at stuff with any success. My girls said they understood that we were doing what was best for her as well as the group as a whole but now one of them is crying and constantly bringing it up. UUGH!! It was definitely the right thing to do so all is well.
     
  2. foxypoproxy

    foxypoproxy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very sorry to hear you had to cull your polish. [​IMG]
    Polish are great chickens.
     
  3. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes we chicken keepers have to make some tough choices sometimes. It is not a pleasant learning experience for the girls, but they will get through it.
     
  4. jtbrown

    jtbrown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So sorry. Our cross beak is 22 weeks old, Tuesday is his day. So sorry.
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    How old are your girls? How we as adults handle things will definitey affect how they do. If you can be matter-of-fact with her and tell her (lovingly and patiently, of course) that this was the best thing for the bird and it's our responsibility as the keepers of the birds to make sure they don't suffer in anyway, I'm sure she'll understand. Also, you could tell her that it's OK to be sad about it, but these things do happen. Just keep reassuring her that it was the best thing for the chicken. It could have starved to death if you hadn't culled it, and that would be far worse. A terrible way for anything to die. If you're crying and upset about it,(not saying you are, just throwing that example out there) how could you expect anything different from your kids? They take their cues from us as to how to react.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  6. chicktwins

    chicktwins Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am not upset at all by it because I knew the day would come. I have been speaking to them about it since the day we noticed she was cross beaked. We discussed it yesterday as well and I told them that it would be much better all around for her not to suffer. They asked me what would happen if we just left her and I told them that she would eventually starve to death and it was already starting to become evident by the way she was looking. They agreed that it was the best thing for her but they said it still made them sad because she was one of their favorites. I told them it was ok to be sad about her loss but that they still had to know we did the right thing. That allowing her to die on her own would make her suffer and if the other chickens were around when that happened they might peck at her body and would they want that to happen. They said absolutely no way would they want that. I think once they realized that the other chickens could potentially do something like that they were definitely on board. They are 7 yrs old so they understand but they have lost a dog in the last 2 years and a great grandfather in the last 4 months so all things considered I expected them to be a bit sad by it. It's definitely alright that they feel that way, I just don't ever want them to question that the wrong decision was made by ending her suffering. I was a vet tech for 9 yrs before I had them and have euthanized many pets and though I became somewhat calloused by the act it never made the decision for my personal pets easier. I just try to look at it in the sense of the quality of life that animal would have if I didn't euthanize. The girls know that it would be much worse on the animal as well as those caring for the animal to watch it suffer. Thanks for all the messages. [​IMG]
     
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Kudos to you for doing what you knew was best for your bird, and for teaching your girls how to properly take care of their animals. I certainly wouldn't say you're "calloused" so much as a realist. I'm kind of in the same boat. I've never been a vet tech, but have lived on a farm for almost 30 years and have seen animals come and go. It's hard when it's one I've become attached to, but you've gotta do what you've gotta do. Your girls will feel better about it in time. Sounds like they've had lots of losses to deal with lately.
     
  8. ScottyHOMEy

    ScottyHOMEy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    chicktwins,

    One of my stepdaughters spent a number of years as a vet tech, and remarked once on the emotional strain of putting an animal down. Shelly's a thoughtful young lady, and questioned the distinction between putting an animal down to avoid the suffering of illness or injury, and the arduous work when it was her employer's "turn" to euthanize the animals at the pound that could not be re-homed. The former, she had no question about, the latter was a challenge as to whether life confined to a pound is better than no life at all. She is perceptive and practical enough, as well, to recognize that the costs of maintaining an animal can be a factor in either case.

    I'll digress for just a moment to interject that our last dog, Miss Maya, was a pound dog that Shelly could not make herself put down. She came to live here. A (mostly) shepherd mix. Not the smartest dog I ever knew, but as faithful and doting a companion as I ever had in a dog. Her liver gave out suddenly this past June. Shelly's younger sister got to blitzing her siblings, her mom, and me, with texts about the decision to have her put to rest. It descended at times into sniping, but it was about Maya, not me. A frustrated kid who just moved 700 miles away learning that the dog she grew up with was at her end. All understandable, to be expected, and tolerable . . . until we all got copied on a text with her questioning (not knowing that the deed was done at that point) if I wasn't taking the "easy" way out. Well, I'd been there cradling my sweet pal Maya's head as the vet and her tech saw to a dignified end to her life. Easy??? The gods smiled upon me such that I was able to hold my tongue. That's where Shelly stepped in. She was terse in her reply, without being sharp. What she laid out to her sister in that text brings me back to your point.

    No one of good character kills any animal without having an honest purpose for doing so. That purpose might be to end or prevent the animal suffering. In the case of butchering, one may pause to reflect that the animal has been well-husbanded for its intended purpose. It's one's thoughts during that pause, however long or brief, that speaks to whether or not taking that life is right.

    One of this year's batch of layer chicks, a White Wyandotte, developed a severely crossed beak. I watched her, and she actually thrived for quite a while. The biggest pullet in the coop. I have an idea that she rose in the pecking order because her pecks were actually pinches. But she started failing and quickly. I had to cull her.

    Easy? No. Right? Yes.

    From what you describe, it sounds like you're handling it right, outlining the reality of those two questions and their answers for your daughters.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  9. chicktwins

    chicktwins Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You guys are the best!! Everyone's kind words and support are exactly why I posted about this in the first place. I know most of you have been there and can relate with the animals as well as with the children. I try my best to be as straight forward as I can be with the girls because I have always taught them that they can trust me to tell them the truth no matter how hard it may be to hear. They have handled every situation with much more maturity because of it and that's how I know it is the right thing to teach them. I am not one to sugar coat much of anything. I love them to pieces as well as our animals and my goal is to turn my children into the kindest little humans you will ever come across. Thanks again for the condolences!!
     

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