culling your flock by cornishman

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cornishman, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. cornishman

    cornishman In the Brooder

    Feb 27, 2007
    well i have read lots of posts on here about different things wrong with people's chickens and different ways to help and have thrown in my 2 cents worth here and there and i hope that i have helped a few people out in some form or fashion. everybody knows me on here as cornishman and i just though i would tell you some things that i know has helped me in raising HEALTHY CHICKENS!!! so if anyone is interested here goes...i have been raising and selling chickens for over 20 years or more{lost count} and i know i don't know everything and i'm not the smartest person in the world and you don't have to be to raise chickens. first there are different reasons for culling your chickens...sickness...this is totally up to you! you can keep trying to HELP the poor bird out and sometimes it might work and sometimes it just don't. if the bird is bad sick then i don't hesitate to cull it out of my flock in other words i ring it's neck. some people think this is cruel but i know that it is necessary and you have to have the guts to do it. just look at it like you want healthy chickens? if there is any physical deffect then i cull it! such as crooked toes, bad legs, broke wing, or ANY other physical problem...CULL IT!!! lots of people just leave these around in the pen and it just makes thier chickens look bad because they are BAD!!! another reason to cull might be wrong color...for instance if you are raising a certain breed and you notice a bird that is not colored right...then cull it might want to sell this kind...i'm not saying kill all of them just the sick ones. if you got ones that are too small, too big, not colored right like they are supposed to be, then sell them to help pay the feed bill. if you don't know what your breed is supposed to be like then ask someone who knows. what i'm trying to say is BREED FROM ONLY THE BEST BIRDS AND KEEP ONLY THE BEST BIRDS AROUND AND CULLING IS THE ONLY WAY TO DO IT!!! CORNISHMAN!!! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2007
  2. tennessee_chicken_lover

    tennessee_chicken_lover In the Brooder

    Mar 26, 2007
    East Tennesse
    True I Agree Fully [​IMG]
  3. mlheran

    mlheran Songster

    I have to ask, when you say "wring their neck" do you mean an actual twisting motion? Like, their head in one hand and their neck in the other? I've been reading through my chicken books and they suggest snapping the neck by holding the head firmly (and feet too), tilting the head back, and pulling until the vertebrae "pop." It's supposed to be the best for butchering as blood can't get into the treachea (as with an axe). I'm not sure I have the guts yet for these hands-on methods, nor do I really trust my aim with a hatchet, but I think it's good to know how to do these things -especially if a chicken becomes seriously ill or wounded. I know it sounds sick, but I kind of wish there was some way you could practice (without live chickens!) so you'd know you'd do it right when you need to. [​IMG]

    Thanks for the info!
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I also agree, only keep birds that are healthy, unless, they are strictly pets and you have just a few.
  5. Llysse

    Llysse Songster

    Mar 11, 2007
    I don't know that I agree fully.

    Of course, Cornishman is talking about raising birds to breed, and not as pets, so we'll leave that aside. I DO agree that there are certain weaknesses that you don't want to breed into your flock for the long term. However, in the case of a broken wing that Cornishman mentions for example, that's just not a genetic weakness unless you're talking about a literal bone weakness and not a simple accident of some sort beyond your or the bird's control.

    In other words, I agree that I would not want to breed in genetic flaws. That's just foolish. But I wouldn't refuse to breed a bird just because it's met with as accident. I know plenty of humans who've broken arms and legs and who've still produced wonderful children. [​IMG] I also know lost of humans who've never broken a bone in their lives and have an awful herd of screaming brats.

    I think I'm just as likely to select for personality in my birds. That's just me, though. I don't ever intend to show.
  6. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    Quote:OMG!!! You are soooo right![​IMG]
  7. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    I know it sounds sick, but I kind of wish there was some way you could practice (without live chickens!) so you'd know you'd do it right when you need to.

    The farmer down the street from me raises turkeys for meat. He had one that just 'dropped dead' (guess turkeys do that sometimes...heart attacks due to size and all) and he gave it to us, since there was obviously nothing wrong with the meat. I wanted to try my aim and the block in our yard, so I used the already dead turkey to practice. You have to swing hard and fast to get the head off completely in one good clean hit. I went over to his farm the next week and he was culling. I asked if I could help. It was easier to 'practice' on birds I had no emotional attachment to, and now I feel I could do it if I had to. I hope this doesnt make me sound like a sicko or anything!

    Also, I dont think I could 'wring their necks'. I would worry they would move and cause my grip to slip and not complete the break, which would cause the bird to suffer needlessly. IMO and at my house, it will be done with the block or the cone, so its done quickly and correctly and painlessly for the bird. And as far as broken wings, I dont think I would personally cull a bird simply for a bone break UNLESS the bone is pertruding from the skin, or the bird is otherwise suffering, or it is a genetic disorder of some form. BTJM. If a bird were, say, hit by a car and treatment is not possible I would cull it to end its pain.​
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2007
  8. FrozenChicken

    FrozenChicken Songster

    Apr 1, 2007
    Alberta, Canada
    Usually when I get a sick bird I follow this simple procedure.
    - I evaluate the bird age, and injury and measure of sickness, older birds that are sickly are culled , injurys that will cause the bird long term suffering those birds are culled.
    - If it seems more minor I will separate the bird from the others and give it a mixture of water and chick booster. If the bird doesn't perk up it is culled
    Culling is done with the axe which is always sharp so there is no room for error.

    Culling is also a remedy for dealing with problem birds. Birds that peck other birds.
  9. cornishman

    cornishman In the Brooder

    Feb 27, 2007
    thanks for all of ya'll's replies. i know that it's hard to let go of some of your best chickens that you get attatched to as i said before. it's just something that has to be done sometimes. only the strong survive as you have heard before. what i'm trying to say is nature has a way of making this happen and wheather or not we like it or not it does happen. i just believe that sometimes by culling that we can actually save the rest of the flock from getting some of these bad dieases by using a little common sense. cornishman.[​IMG]
  10. chicknmania

    chicknmania Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    I know culling is the most efficient and logical way to deal with poultry for the serious farmer. Chickens get old and don't lay as much, etc, you cull em. We may soon be facing this (and I dread it) because of the problems our flock has had. I hope not, because I don't think I have the guts to wring their necks or cut off their heads. The problem, according to my son, is that you shouldn't name your birds. Once you name em, they become pets. I've noticed that's true as I am not as attached to our birds who don't have names because you can't tell one from another. Most of ours DO have names, but there'r a few that don't. Also, I tend to get more attached to the ones who have health problems, because you spend more time taking care of them, and then when they die...[​IMG] My son wanted to experience culling first hand, I guess, last fall, so he went to help a friend butcher turkeys and chickens at Thanksgiving. The first turkey they killed he was holding it and when they cut the head off the blood sprayed right in his face. He said the first chicken they killed was, like, all rotten inside when they opened it was one of their caged birds; I 'm guessing it might've had avian tb, since that's where we got Hannah. It wasn't a fun experience. [​IMG]

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