Help- rescued meat chicken cull/no cull

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by chickenmom1965, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. chickenmom1965

    chickenmom1965 New Egg

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    First post/been reading for a while. I have a backyard brood of 7 egg layers that are generally food producing pets. No desire to kill them. Someone dumped a BIG meat chicken in my yard 5 weeks ago with a note that they couldn't kill her or keep her so the left her. She is HUGE. They said she is about 30 weeks old. She laid a couple eggs but she is so fat she basically lays around and eats more.
    So here is my question- is it humane to let her eat and relax and live out her life till she dies here basically like a hospice hen
    Or
    Am I letting her suffer unknowingly. She is bright eyed, no sneezing, no parasites. Her butt is a bit red from sitting all the time but no sores or wounds. She wadddles around and seems OK but she is soo big. She must weigh 25 pounds. Can't pick her up

    I am looking for input because I know little about meaties (since I am a vegetarian) and don't want this chick to suffer or get diseases that could infect my hens. 6 week quarantine and she is showing no sign of disease (except perhaps over eating-we free range)
     
  2. jrjoplin

    jrjoplin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The breeds that are developed for meat production are not meant to lead long happy lives. If that's what she is then at her size she'll soon have other health problems. It sounds as if she may already have some issues walking around and that's likely due to her legs not being able to carry the weight. As far as what to do with her my opinion is that she's better off culled. Perhaps you could find someone that would take her and process her.

    I'm sorry that your having to deal with someone else's problem.

    *I wanted to add that any issues she has will most likely be congenital and I don't think that you need to worry about your flock since she made it through the quarantine without signs of illness
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015
  3. sunny & the 5 egg layers

    sunny & the 5 egg layers Overrun With Chickens

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    People have taken care of meat birds as pets and allowed them to live out their short lives. Their food has to be adequately rationed in order to prevent obesity that they are prone to.
    Catskill Animal Sanctuary (you can look them up online), have aided several meat birds in hospice care. You can search them on YouTube to find the videos.
    They suspend the bird using a homemade sling (made of a fabric bag) to help the bird take the weight off their legs.

    Meat birds naturally don't live long. If you are willing to spend the time to devote to this hen, to make her comfortably live out her remaining life, I say go for it.
     
  4. chickenmom1965

    chickenmom1965 New Egg

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    Thanks JR and Sonny. I am feeling better that she won't end up harming my girls. Rationing could work as we really augment free ranging so maybe she needs less "augmentation" lol. I will take a look at the Animal Sanctuary and see what we can do for this young old bird!! And if not, my daughter is an accomplished and humane butcher. Can't imagine a bird this old could even make a soup but we will see.

    Thanks to you both for quick and thoughtful replies.
     
  5. Majd

    Majd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I guess all you need to know has been said! Welcome to backyard chickens! Have any pics of your hens and that new big old hen and her eggs!
     
  6. chickenmom1965

    chickenmom1965 New Egg

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    I do but the monile app won't let me upload. Maybe I can from my laptop.
     
  7. N F C

    N F C eggnog time! Premium Member Project Manager

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    Good of you to take in the meatie. Whether you keep her or cull her, at least she is being taken care of properly.

    I'd love to see a photo if you can get one uploaded...25 pounds? Wow!
     
  8. chickenmom1965

    chickenmom1965 New Egg

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    I am not sure if these pictures do her justice. Here is Bertha, our hospice meatie. Second pic shows one of my RR/Cornish crossbreads behind her. We just let her out of quarantine and my other birds don't get very close to her And yep that is a baby bunny who snuck into the run and was eating out of Bertha's feeder this morning. Had to shoo it out but it was really freaking cute.



    yet. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. N F C

    N F C eggnog time! Premium Member Project Manager

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    Whoa, that IS a big bird!

    Funny about the rabbit photobombing the picture [​IMG]
     
  10. Majd

    Majd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She is big, but she's not that bad for a meaty at her age, strong girl! Standing proud! And her legs seem of relatively good size compared to other cornush crosses! So with a restricted diet, lots of exercise and lots of free ranging and eating greens and vegetables, she will do fine! There are a few really good threads of people here on BYC raising them that way and they live pretty normal lives, that they even bred and hatched their eggs!
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1007773/cornish-rock-cross-black-australorp-crosses/10
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/917933/10-cornish-x-eggs-in-the-incubator
    Here are a couple useful threads... There are more if you search!
     

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