Culling Chicks Opinion Changed =/

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by CluckyCharms, Nov 23, 2012.

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  1. CluckyCharms

    CluckyCharms Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't know if it's because I've taken such a strong interest in preserving GOOD quality chickens or if it's because I'm losing my soul as one person accused me of, but my opinion regarding culling has changed.

    We had a Silkie born completely deformed yesterday. I mean, leg and wing are completely fubar - no chance of her leading a normal life at all. She was walking around fine still (or so I tried to justify that she was) but she was "walking" on one leg and either her chest or her beak for balance. How is that okay to let her live? I've seen others who let chickens live and tube feed them daily because the chicken is so severely cross-beaked that he or she cannot even eat by his or herself. How is that okay? I'm not saying this to influence others into killing anything that isn't "exactly perfect" but to me - if they are not able to be a chicken and live as chickens should it's not being very "humane" to allow them live this way.

    We decided to cull that Silkie and I feel 100% good about the decision...she's in a much better place now, even if there is no "place" per say, depending on your beliefs, for deceased animals.

    We have a GLB that has recently begun showing signs of developing vulture hocks - which are clearly a big no-no in the Brahma world. My immediate reaction was "cull it", he's not a good quality Brahma because of those hocks that are starting to appear. We don't keep roosters because we're not allowed to, we rehome them. Because of that I wanted to cull him - I don't want to provide someone with a rooster that is a) positively nasty in temper and b) he now is showing signs of hockies already and he's still very young. Because of me, someone may get that roo and breed the ever-lovin' crazies out of him and spread a bunch of chicks with vulture hocks all over flocks everywhere, and then those chicks create other chicks and those create more chicks - all with vulture hocks. No wonder people have a hard time getting varieties standardized! Pretty soon, years and years and years down the road, it's totally fine for a Brahma to NOT look like a Brahma even according to the "standard" which by that time may change due to the gradual change in all these birds that are now different than what they were intended to be due to too many people saying "have a heart, let it live".

    My husband doesn't like chickens...he doesn't hate them but he "tolerates" me having them. In any case, even he flipped a biscuit and said "that's a perfectly healthy bird we're not killing it, what's wrong with you?" There's nothing "wrong" with me, but there comes a certain point where I decided (I guess) to leave my heart out of it and think with my brain instead. If people just let everything live when it comes to chickens - we'd have absolutely no breeds at all. We'd have a mish-mash of all sorts of backyard mixes and be left with nothing that was initially created to be what it is. How is that right?

    When I first arrived here I was extremely naive in regard to chickens and breeds. I literally thought chickens were chickens...bawk bawk, plop an egg and some looked different than others but I had NO idea there were actual *breeds* of chickens, and an APA that has SOP in regard to what each of those breeds are supposed to be.

    In good conscience, whether I'm breeding them personally or not (which I'm not as of yet) - I still am starting to have some pretty serious "fits" if a chick I have isn't exactly what it is supposed to be in every single aspect. The ONLY exception I have to this is a purposeful mix such as an EE or OE or something similar, that was purposely bred to be different in which case there are no standards per say, regarding that bird.

    Chickens aren't people, they are chickens. I LOVE chickens and I still cuddle with mine every single day. Snickerdoodle fell asleep up my sweatshirt sleeve just last night, it was precious. BUT....I've gone from "Let them all live and be free and happy" and I was basically poopin Skittles rainbows and lollipops. It's been almost three months since I joined this site and in that time I have gone from that to - if it's not the way it's was made to be (by breed definition) it shouldn't be breathing.

    So what's wrong with me? I don't think anything is wrong with me and I don't think I've "lost my soul" (please, eyeroll). I just think that I'm more educated now than I was before (only slightly, I have a TON to learn still), but my priorities have changed and I no longer believe it's okay to let every chicken be a chicken.

    If by chance one of our chickens escapes and someone else homes it with their flock - and breeds it... that would be partially *my* responsibility for allowing a breed flaw into my flock in the first place.

    I'm not so drastic as to say "kill kill killl" and I'm not a psycho but...I'm still trying to figure out why my oh-so-strong feelings on this subject has changed so much in such a short time and why I have this obsession with having to have perfect chickens. I LOVE easter eggers (did I mention that already?) and those are exceptions as are any chickens that are purposely bred to be different.

    ::ducks from incoming tomatoes while hoping there is someone out there that hasn't "lost their soul" and agrees with me on this?::

    [Edited to add] I had this discussion (briefly) at TSC with an older man and his grandson. They were there picking up 10 bags (holy crap that's a lot of feed) of layer feed. After saying my viewpoint his grandson said "well they are alive you can't just pick and choose what you think should live, that's not right." and his grandfather said "Yes she can, it's called good breeding ethics" (but I'm not a breeder). In any case, this man was about 70 I would guess, and he breeds nothing but New Hampshires. I said "you mean new hampshire reds right?" and he said no...he said he's not sure where the "new-fandangled red" comes from but that he "don't breed those dern things" lol - now I have to find out what the difference is between the two. In any case, to me it sounds like a pretty good example of people letting "whatever" live - it becomes something it wasn't before. Unless they are two different breeds in which case, disregard that last bit.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
    3 people like this.
  2. Amanda15

    Amanda15 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 30, 2012
    New Jersey
    That's mean...
  3. gabrielle1976

    gabrielle1976 Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 21, 2009
    Columbia river gorge
    I have only ever culled one chick and it was becuase it had no chance at all as its brains were completly exsposed. To me thats a completly diffrent thing.

    I feel that chooseing to kill an animal becuase it isnt up to our standerds isnt needed there are people that love pet quaility chickens o0ut there , and I feel we often downt have have enough information to make quaility of life decisions when it comes to non fatal deformites . I have a silkie named butter who coudnt walk for the first weeks of her life who I had to feed she was healthy and happy why would I kill her?

    I found ways to help her adapt
    And she is a well grown little chicken now and dosnt need any help eating or getting around
    She limps but she dosnt seem to mind , she seems like a happy chicken .
    I think no matter what that Killing shoud never be routine , should never be easy , and should never be used for convienance , life is is always precious no matter whos it is.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
    2 people like this.
  4. CluckyCharms

    CluckyCharms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mean would be abusing my chicks, starving them, not cleaning their poop, letting them live in excrement or living with some sort of disease or lice, mites etc and not treating them. That would be mean. My chicks get their brooders cleaned out four times per day. They never have poop in their brooders for longer than 2 hours at a time. They get fresh water twice per day with ACV in it. They get treats frequently and the best feed I could find. They get cuddled on an individual basis every single day, more than once per day. They get daily outtings in the yard during which time I throw around small mealworms and other treats for them to go on a little scavenger hunt. They get their bottoms washed gently in warm water every evening. Their coop is more like a castle and I just bought a ton of things to actually decorate the inside like a human's house. That's really bad and I'm so mean.[​IMG]

    I don't believe I'm mean for wanting to make sure that the animals God placed on this earth stay the way He made them.
  5. Crafty-Duck

    Crafty-Duck Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2012
    Lucky Duck Pond
    If it were me I couldn't kill anything! but I think sometimes it is for the better especially when they need a lot of care,some people work and really don't have the time and finding someone to take it can be near impossible.
  6. CluckyCharms

    CluckyCharms Chillin' With My Peeps

    I totally and completely respect your beliefs and opinion - it's the same way I used to feel before I came here. I simply don't feel that way anymore.

    I don't believe I'm saying cull for convenience, what I'm saying is that culling should happen in order to preserve what we have been given to provide and care for on this planet, and I believe part of that is making sure that animals aren't turned into something unrecognizable from what they were created to be. Not culling an obviously deformed chicken without knowing the cause for the deformity (whether it is genetic or hereditary for example) can eventually lead to that chicken producing other deformed chickens. And the hocks...Brahmas aren't supposed to have vulture hocks. Whether we breed our birds or not...anything can happen. Chickens do escape their homes sometimes via flying away or finding a hole in the fencing and people do adopt stray chickens. I don't think it's okay to let those flaws walk around where they can cause the entire breed to change what it was intended to be. That's all. =/

    I DO hear where you're coming from though, and I hope this thread stays civil.
  7. sparrker

    sparrker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 12, 2011
    Baldwinsville, NY
    I agree completely with cluckycharms. I culled all of our roosters except for the one we have. I guess I'm mean too, but think what you want to think. I don't care I want healthy chickens and a healthy flock of 70 birds. If I know a chick is injured I will but my best effort into helping it but if I know that it won't survive I will cull it. I had a chick that was scalped this past summer by a hen and she survived because I tended to her daily. She has the funniest chicken mohawk now but is the same size as the others.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
  8. Crafty-Duck

    Crafty-Duck Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2012
    Lucky Duck Pond
    I guess you can look at this way! people who do not agree with culling chickens because it's mean, when did you last eat chicken?
  9. Makomd

    Makomd Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 24, 2011
    ES of MD , USA
    I see nothing wrong with what you are doing. I think different people are into to chickens for obviously different reasons. To each their own I think best applies. I do utilize a "laying" pen for those that do not meet standards, but will produce some food for us, roosters are often sold to neighbors for meat, they do the dirty work.

    To some a chicken is solely a pet, to me they are for food first whether that means eggs or meat, but I guarantee no meat sold at the store receives as much love and treats as those in my backyard.
  10. Funky Feathers

    Funky Feathers former Fattie

    Jan 15, 2009
    My Coop
    No it's not. It's called being a responsible breeder. 3 years ago I discovered a Wry Neck gene in my birds and I culled every bird that had the gene so it wouldn't screw up the project on that color variety. It was hard work figuring out who had the gene, but people will thank me. They would be very angry by now if I had let that destroy the whole project.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
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