North Georgia is "home" to thousands of factory chicken houses. Every day dozens of "culls" are gathered from each building and disposed of at the discretion of the factory manager, who usually lives on site and is contracturally obligated to cull non-standard chicks according to agribusiness specifications. I acquire culls from a neighbor and friend who burns these "useless" birds. Presumably he wrings the live culls' necks before throwing them on the fire. I haven't asked. I would like to meet someone from my area (Northwest Georgia) who caponizes and could give me some hands-on instruction. I'm not much of a book-learner. Initially, I asked for culled birds simply to experiment on in learning to caponize young roosters, but the idea expanded as soon as I was introduced to the live birds, who are deeply traumatized by the brutal concentration-camp experience of the factory farm. Now I'm thinking a bit bigger, and perhaps a bit badder as well. On first bringing the chicks home, four or five out of about a dozen were already dead, and I tried to find testes through surgery but was unsuccessful. Perhaps they were all hens? It is my understanding that these birds are not sexed, and that I should get about 50/50 hens and chicks. I don't yet know how to sex young chicks, but I have met a local chicken house worker who may help me with that. Those birds who survived the shock of liberation have amazingly and gradually begun to act like real chickens, and their individual personalities have started to emerge, along with their instincts to scratch and forage. They are, naturally, still terrified of humans. If I am to continue this project into the future, there are a number of issues and questions to be addressed: Diseases - When first acquired, the living chicks smell of death, and not just because of the dead birds they accompany. When released in their new home, this smell lingers with the birds for several days. This is the smell you will find inside a chicken house, masked from the outside by the concentrated smell of chicken manure, which while offensive to some, is far more pleasant than the smell inside the houses. When no longer fed massive doses of hormones and antibiotics, the chicks' immune systems and natural behaviors should rapidly rebound, but in the meantime what diseases or parasites am I likely to bring home with these birds and spread to my flock, which may eventually become overwhelmingly based on these birds? I may set up a quarantine area for the new birds, but could use some guidance in this. And what about some sort of dusting or bathing or gassing of the new chicks? Perhaps they should be fed antibiotic/antiparasitic natural food additives, like garlic, diatomaceous earth, etc? Legality - I'd like to see other animal lovers engage, in a friendly way, in this sort of rescue. Make friends with chicken house managers, who are usually fairly poor and just trying to hang onto their family farmland and make a living off of it. They should not be judged or condemned for the monstrous torture they are forced to collaborate in. But I am fairly sure they are contracturally obligated to dispose of culls in a way that seeks to elliminate all culls from the market through their destruction and burial. Anyone who has knowledge of the contractural obligations of fryer/broiler factory farm managers would be a great help here. For now, I'm not going to ask my supplier directly. I'm pretty sure he doesn't know and doesn't care. Advantages - Of course the birds are free for the taking, and for some managers I hope there would be a sense of relief from the necessity to gratuitously murder innocent creatures at the start of every workday, although they are unlikely to talk about it. If you like to have chicks to eat bugs in your garden, cull rescue will give you chicks all through the growing season. After a growth and purification period, you will have meat birds year round, if culls are rescued regularly. These are not birds from an egg producing breed, but of course like all chickens they will lay, just not as much as laying breeds, but perhaps (is this true?) over a longer period. I don't even know what breed these birds are, but of course they are all white. Does anybody know? Leghorns? They are not bred for beauty, and are frankly still a bit unattractive, especially about the head. I've heard there are what, 5, 10, 20?, times as many chickens in the world as there are humans, and almost all of them suffer unimaginably inhumane living and dying conditions. This state of affairs is intolerable and unsustainable. One day soon I expect we will have the opportunity and necessity to transition from this sort of mass over-production to a more humane human/animal society. This project might be a small embryonic step in that direction. Love to all, including the birds.