Culling older hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by montverdechick, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. montverdechick

    montverdechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2007
    Central Florida
    So, I got a call from Ideal Poultry today telling me that the Welsummer chicks I was on the wait list for are available next week! My hubby said I could get them, but only if we culled my four 4-year olds that are barely laying. I agreed, and I know we need to, but I feel bad about it. They are the first chickens I ever raised and its hard...

    Anyone else been though this? Any advice on how to deal? Best way to do it? Thanks for you help...
  2. NottinghamChicks

    NottinghamChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Perhaps if those are his rules, and you are agreeing, then maybe he can do the deed and you clean them up! I have not kileed any livestock in almost 8 years so when and if the time comes for me I think it will be hard, but with time things will get better.
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    It is part of the cycle, I did my first ones this year, and really, it was not that bad. I knew it had to be done, and I had raised them. I used the sharp knife and the killing cone. Once that part was over, my SIL and I really felt it was not that bad.

    I know that some have a terrible time dealing with this, and I am sorry for them. I works for me to be a little detached, I knew it was going to have to happen, so I started distancing myself a little from them. Also, it helps for me to think that they do not suffer, it is over quickly, and they had a good life.

  4. AllTheseCreatures

    AllTheseCreatures Chillin' With My Peeps

    We're facing this prospect this year as well. We did one rooster and used an axe to do the deed. Wow, I really didn't like that at all. It was just awful. I'm going with the sharp knife and the cone this time.

    When we killed the rooster, I cried. But then I just got down to the work of finishing what I had started and I calmed right down. I think it's normal and healthy to feel sensitive about taking a life, even an animals life.
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    We did that a couple of months ago. It's tough, but you need to detatch yourself and look at it from a business standpoint. If they're not producing, you're feeding them for nothing. [​IMG] I know others won't agree with me, but for those of us with limited income and space, it's gotta be done. This is why I don't name them, play with them, or make pets of them. I love having them, watching them and eating their eggs. But when they're no longer productive, I can't justify feeding them. We've used an axe, and we've used a sharp knife. Both are quick and humane. I canned our old tough hens. Pressure-canning makes them very tender, and rice with canned chicken over it makes a good, quick meal.
  6. Kim_NC

    Kim_NC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2009
    Mt Airy, NC
    Quote:You don't have to hide from me. I totally agree with you. [​IMG]

    We farm, it's our income. Non productive animals cannot stay. Everyone must earn their keep. Of course, our chickens are not pets, though we do enjoy them. Only my breeding roosters and broody hens have names. Even then, when it's time....well, it's time.
  7. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

    Apr 18, 2010
    Head on over to the Meat Bird Etc section for help on how to deal and how to do it [​IMG] Lots of folks end up in the situation where they need to dispatch a roo or older chicken, and they would rather have a meal out of them to honor their life, than to just throw it away. Lots of threads on how to cook an older chicken too [​IMG]
  8. montverdechick

    montverdechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2007
    Central Florida
    Thank you all for your feedback and support. I know I can do this, hubby has done it before. And, I am all for growing my own food. I just gave to step back and take a deep breath. After the first one, I'm sure it will get easier.

    We were going to cook them in the pressure cooker to tenderize. Hope it works!

    Thanks again for your support!
  9. ray2310

    ray2310 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2009
    Smithfield, PA
    We went thru the same thing and have about a dozen more original chickens to cull once our current chicks grow up. It's not easy.
    What comforts us is knowing that we loved them, treated them with respect and gave them the best possible life that we could give them. My wife always says our chickens only have one bad day.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011
  10. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    We also farm and the cycle of life must continue. One has a choice, I suppose, to sell hens at 18-24 months, while there is still some interest in them as a layer, or face having to make soup out of them later. Economically, something has to done according to your own management plan. Everybody finds their own plan, but face it we must.

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