Culling, how many

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by horsechick, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. horsechick

    horsechick Songster

    Nov 14, 2007
    Eaton, Ohio
    Was wondering how many actually do cull their chicks? How old? and how?
    And when culling, what do you look for?
    I would guess obvious faults?
    Or do you just get rid of them for free?
    or raise for meat etc?
    If you feel like it p.m. me and let me know.

  2. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    I cull hard and cull often. I don't kill and eat, but some day I might. I give them to a neighbor who will take any of my culls any day of the week, for free. I dont' feel like running ads, answering calls, wasting my time to show a three dollar chick or a ten dollar hen, having "chicken people" tracking in diseases and nosing about and wanting to see my secret stash of good birds. It is a lot less stressful for me to just give my culls away. I cull for unthriftiness, congenital defect, feather faults that just irk me, bad dispositions, slow feathering, crooked toe, or if only one or two of a variety hatches at a given time and I don't want to introduce one bird to a flock two months later, unless it is a breed I can't afford to lose a pullet from. I cull known cockerels ASAP unless I am growing out some to choose from. I cull birds that just can't get along in the flock and get picked on. I cull birds that are always headed for any opening and don't steer good when you try to head them off. Like I said, I cull early, cull often.
  3. horsechick

    horsechick Songster

    Nov 14, 2007
    Eaton, Ohio
    Thanks, just what we needed, great info.
    I figured we need to learn about it as well.
    So when we are trying to do something with the birds or breeds we get further than having so many that are not going to be used.
    I know we seem to be looking for the same kinds of breeds, columbians etc.
    We have mottleds that are about 2 months old now.
    Plan on getting more of them.

    My daughter loves silkies and also wants to try a mille fleur silkie [​IMG]
    So that is her project.

    Thanks for the insight.
    Really appreciate it,
  4. seriousbill

    seriousbill Songster

    May 4, 2008
    I cull in waves and base my decisions mostly on the breed standard, with production being a secondary consideration. The first cull comes at 8-10 weeks; that's when I remove all of the obviously flawed males (mostly looking at body type or any obvious issues, like crooked toes): they go into the freezer as fryers. The second cull comes at 16-24 weeks, when I make the finer distinctions between males I've kept (body type, size, markings, comb, color of beak and legs, shape of tail and angle, etc): they go into the freezer as roasters, or they go to a neighbor, relative or friend's farm as rehomes. Then at 6 months or later, I decide if there are any poor females. With pullets and hens I cull lightly, and I sell most of those as backyard layers or pets to folks in the area. Often, with females, I cull older girls out as better replacements come along. I don't find this annoying, because I sell several at once and only do it once or twice a year.


    NYREDS Crowing

    Jan 14, 2008
    I too cull hard & often
    My first cull occurs when chicks come out of the incubator where I cull for crooked toes, crossed beaks or other obvious defects.
    I cull cockerels early for comb faults but am more inclined to give pullets the benefit of the doubt a little longer.
    Basically I cull constantly-each day as I look the birds over I have an eye out for something I don't like. I don't cull for disposition or herdability.
    I don't butcher my culls. At this point I raise mostly bantams & they're just not worth butchering. There's a nearby auction where people who just want chickens buy. I send most of my culls there.

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