Culling? First cull and need some emotional support.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ScottyTerrier, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. ScottyTerrier

    ScottyTerrier Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 21, 2015
    Hello backyardchickeners.

    I'm at three months with my new chicken flock.

    I bought several candy corn Polish chicken eggs off ebay. Out of those hatchlings two are beautiful polish with (used to have) nice puffs. Two others that hatched are large, darker colored and looks more like "normal" chichkens, pretty sure they are a polish mix. They are larger and fatter. I suspect they are both are hens, unfortunately.

    Unfortunately because both of them are highly suspected of pecking the head puffs off of my two prized polish. There is one polish who is just perfect and he is recently getting head plucked which is rather upsetting. They can't free range unless I want them to be fox bait. They are in a large 14x6' run.

    I will probably have to cull these birds, this is my first culling. They are nice birds my wife really likes the darker one. . I have silkies and Im positive it's not them. The silkies go unpunished with their feathers. None seem to be plucked, just my polish. I have to cull a drake pekin too soon as I can't have too many drakes, only have 4 girl ducks.

    I guess I just want some positive stories and attitudes about culling. I'm sure everyone went through that frusteration of killing a nice chicken or duck you raised and had to cull. Also entertaining alternatives to a cull although I'm almost positive this is what has to happen.

    Thank you for the support!
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Spring Dreaming Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I have culled for behavioral issues, I have culled for health issues, I give everyone a chance but sometimes a bird just isn't working, or there are more nice roosters than I can find places for. It's never easy culling a healthy bird, but sometimes it's the best decision for the whole flock. It does sometimes makes it easier to make use of the meat so the bird didn't go to waste. Unfortunately such is the life and the end of most chickens.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    If you think they're both hens, why not try selling them first? I'm not one for passing on behavioral issues, but in this case I think it wouldn't be a continuing thing. Give full disclosure. If the birds are younger, and go to a home of older, non crested birds, I'm thinking their behavior would not continue. And someone could get some layers, and you'd get a little money for your time and trouble. That's what I'd try first.

    You can post pics of the birds in question, along with their ages, and we can confirm gender if you'd like. We may also be able to guess on what breed they're mixed with, for advertising purposes.
  4. ScottyTerrier

    ScottyTerrier Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 21, 2015
    Okay that is a good idea. Honestly that is just a guess from a newbie chicken owner, the gender of the two with the behavioral issues.

    I'll take a nice pic and post it tomorrow of the two and post it. I will try to sell them or just give them away to someone who will hopefully use them as a layer. Although if you don't know the person what is the chance they will use them as a meat bird instead of a layer? I guess it's worth the chance that someone keeps them alive. They are nice birds and I raised them so its always going to be hard. I hope I'm right about the gender guess.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015
  5. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hey there ScottyTerrier

    As donrae has suggested, I would definitely try going down the rehoming path before culling them but also as suggested, with full disclosure as to why you are rehoming them.

    If you do go down the cull path do you plan to eat them? It does not make a difference as such whether you do or not but where I am heading is that if you are planning to eat them and others in the future, then while culling is not easy it is a necessary evil that you will need to overcome for your future plans. Having said that, you could still not do the deed yourself and pay someone to process them for you.

    I have no plans to eat my gals and also know that I could not cull them. I do, however, have a Vet who has euthanized them for me in the past for a small fee or no fee for a chick with a birth defect.

    So, if you really do not do want to do the deed and are not successful at rehoming them, you could try a Vet.
  6. ScottyTerrier

    ScottyTerrier Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 21, 2015
    Thank you teila. I honestly will be able to do it and not let it upset me too bad. Of course it will bum me out a bit, but I do understand chickens are a food source to be eaten as well and I know if I eat them I am already contributing to taking chicky lives. Still it is definitely more personal, to do in your own chickens, especially for my first time as I have only kept them as egg laying pets.

    I am the man of our house so I am prepared to do it, I joked with my wife she should do it because I learned of one of the better ways to take a pekin as a meat bird from a lady's blog online.

    If most say they're rooster I will probably do it myself. if I just want to end I quick I will shoot them with quail shot from a shotgun, or if I want to keep the meat I may put their head In a feed bag w a hole and take their head with a cleaver. The second is the way the lady suggested it sounds more difficult as far as being personal but I can't think of a better way to make sure the meat is best quality or quicker way for them to to go. Those are the current plans I don't like posting this here as not everyone wants to talk about ways to do in their fluffy friends, everyone loves their chickens, I love mine too but I figured I should post in case someone wants to chime in about these methods.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015
  7. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hey ScottyTerrier

    I hear ya .. I am a hypocrite in that I do eat chicken just not my own [​IMG] Of course I have no issues with what other people do also; to each their own. The Vet suggestion was simply an alternative to having to do it yourself.

    My hubby is probably worse than me in that while I am pretty sure I could not do it, I know definitely for sure he could not.

    What I have seen that you might find helpful is a BYC Processing Day Support Group:

    Lots of people on there going through the same emotions you are.

    Good luck whichever path you decide to go down.
  8. ScottyTerrier

    ScottyTerrier Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 21, 2015
    Totally get it and you are not a hypocrite! :D I used to be a vegetarian I would have never dreamed of doing in my own chickens. Everyone's different on how they handle things and in this case it seems there is no wrong way.
  9. tjo804

    tjo804 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 15, 2014
    Cedar Creek, Texas
    Here is a link to the article that gave me all the information I needed when my pet roo attacked my Granddaughter.
    It is very informative and walks you through it with pictures. The Pictures are *Real* but not *Gorey*.


    After all was said and done. I laid him in the fridge and said "There you go little man". It was hard but had to be done and since he was a pet (4 years) The children (when I said children I meant teenagers) refused to eat him so instead of a nice warm pan in the oven, we had another prayer and a funeral we buried him in the back yard with the dog.

    You did come to the site that has everything!
    This is a link to the re-homing page.

    Good Luck with your decision.
  10. attimus

    attimus Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just recently culled two roosters and it was my 3rd time and 4 and 5th to process. Ive found being new to it I certainly had to work myself up to be ready for it. If it was easy everyone would do it but in the scheme of cohesive flocks it tends to become a necessity. I also have a Drake in line but am finding it a little harder as he minds his own business. There is certainly s moral dilemma in taking any life but I think when it's to live well from something that lived well it makes it a little easier.
    Best of luck

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