Had to cull my first hen :(


In the Brooder
5 Years
Jun 4, 2014
My birds were sick a while back, I got them all through it. One of my original birds (6 chicks raised by me) was never quite right afterwards. I think she had brain damage from the really high fever she ran while she was sick and in quarantine. I was keeping an eye on her and trying to figure out what was going on with her but last night she took a bad turn, the rooster attacked her and dragged her out of their house. I watched him do it and ran to get her but by the time I got to them he had her under a lean-to shelter. By the time I got under there and pulled her out she was hurt.

All I could do was hold her, tell her it was ok, that I had her and cry. She went to sleep a minute after I had her in my arms and was content to just snuggle into me and rest. I had to put her down last night and, crap I am crying now. I never expected to get so attached to them but I feel so terrible for not getting to her quicker or figuring out what was going on with her. I didn't think I would cry when I had to cull any of them. I thought I could be tough but I am apparently a big old softy.

They are just animals, raised for meat and eggs. Culling is part of animal keeping, thing happen and sometimes they are beyond saving. Blah blah blah. I got attached to all of them and especially her, she would let me hold her and just lean into me and lay her head in my hand and go to sleep. I should be angry at the rooster, I'm not, I am attached to him too, even though he is a pain in the butt.

Anyway it was a crappy ending to a crappy day. I just have to share my sadness
Sorry for your loss. They are fascinating animals, as worthy of being a pet as any other. But I believe that about all livestock. ;)

I don't believe there's any point being angry at your rooster, but I would cull or rehome him, myself. I choose who lives and dies out of my animals --- I do not believe in leaving that choice in their 'hands'. I've been able to save so many sick and injured animals that the idea of some animal arbitrarily taking the opportunity to save them out of my hands is completely unacceptable for me. If he gets sick with whatever she got, too bad for him --- he just killed your opportunity to learn how to fix it. Just my two cent's worth there. If you hatch some babies and they get a temporary illness, and he kills the lot, what possible value is he anymore? Food value.

Best wishes.
It never gets any easier having to put down our favorite chickens. I suspect your rooster instinctively sensed something was wrong with your hen and wanted to eliminate her from the flock as not to attract predators.
Dont second guess yourself with wouldve's, couldve's, shouldve's. Have comfort knowing she was able to snuggle with you one last time before ending her pain and suffering. I wish you the best.

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