How do you cope with the culprit?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kimb, May 16, 2010.

  1. kimb

    kimb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 30, 2009
    New Hampshire
    This afternoon, I had to cull my little d'uccle girl ... she's been lame on/off and finally about a week ago just stopped being able to stand at all ... long story short - her sister d'uccle plucked her quite a bit (first her feet, later her neck, later than that her vent ... every opportunity she had of getting better she would let her sister pluck her feathers [​IMG]... I'd keep them separated for weeks at a time and then the plucker would be nice to her, then out of no where I'd find her upside down with something plucked ... I made up my mind 2 weeks ago that she was NOT allowed near her until/if she was 100% ... today was so nice out that I took some extra hardware wire and made a small pen out in the grass for her to be in ... in a matter of an hour (max) we were cutting up a fallen tree in the backyard... somehow she must've shimmied over to the edge of the wire close enough for her sister to make a bloody mess of her head [​IMG] It just wasn't fair anymore to keep her around to suffer physically so that I wouldn't have to suffer mentally... so we made the decision to let her go.

    Her sister doesn't/hasn't plucked ANY one else, even lives well with my super docile silkie girl ... but how do I cope with keeping her? bf (who really liked the one we culled) kept making remarks to her throughout the day ... something as simple as "I don't like you" to her (he said this to the culprit) would make me tear up (because I am angry with the culprit, and sad that I culled the attacked, but I guess angrier with myself for letting the situation happen), but I'm trying hard not to blame her for what I'm assuming was instinctual to get rid of the "weak link" or the "sick one" ... am I right to think like this, or is she always going to pick on the lesser bird? ... (realizing that in this case the lesser bird really was sick and suffering from something - I just don't know what).

    How do you cope? ... Just wait to see if she ever plucks anyone else? (well she doesn't bother anyone else I have, but I have chicks and chicks-to-be, that are kept separate for now... keep telling yourself it's nature - can't blame yourself [​IMG] ?

    Ugg - it's so heart wrenching, I'm now down to 1/4 silkies and 1/3 d'uccles that I got last november ...
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Think you need a new boyfriend. He has a cruel streak to say things that make you cry. I'm sure he thinks he is just being cute . NOT
  3. Neilette

    Neilette Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2010
    Seattle, WA
  4. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    Now that's not fair. We don't know how the boyfriend is feeling in all of this, he could be equally upset (especially if he was tasked with culling the wounded bird), but we live in a soicety where men aren't allowed to display unhappiness in ways other than anger.

    As for the bird who felt compelled to harass the weaker one to this point... well honestly I'd be making tamales. There will always be a bottom bird, and she seems programmed to bully it, there's a good chance the next lower bird (who is now bottom) will recieve her "attentions". Long and short, I would've culled the attacker, and let the attacked heal up before reintroducing to the flock.
  5. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    when I have a pecker/plucker, I make all the victims and sometimes, non-victims taste terrible with a sulfa solution application in a grease base. They are treated topically and the culprit is treated systemically and learns by having his taste buds affected negatively.
  6. acid_chipmunk

    acid_chipmunk Polish Silkies d'Uccles O my!

    Mar 29, 2010
    First, I would talk to the BF and tell him you didn't like what he was saying.

    Second, I had the same problem. My BR was picking the feathers on my SLW. We thought she had stopped after we added a Cochin X to the bunch and knew that the Cochin had taken over the picking. So, we removed the Cochin to freezer camp and thought everything would be OK. We were wrong. About an hour after we removed her, I caught the BR picking the new feathers that were coming in on the SLW. She was just laying there letting her do it! That was the final straw for me and hubby. BR went to freezer camp, too. Nothing that we did, separating, tar, blu-kote, nothing stopped them from picking. As hard as it is, my advice is to cull her before she starts doing it to someone else.
  7. kimb

    kimb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 30, 2009
    New Hampshire
    Quote:I realize I wrote that wrong... he was saying he didn't like the chicken that plucked her sister. She's a very friendly little girl and is always under my feet when I'm out and about the yard. And he would look at her and say "I don't like you" ...

    Sorry for the misinterpretation ... I would totally agree if he was being mean to me - but he's just being mean to the plucker (not physically mean!) He feels really bad about about having to cull the chicken (yes he did the deed), he's really supportive of me exhausting all my efforts to rehab them before making the decision to cull (and this particular chicken, has been in/out of the house & made her, her separate space in the coop - for the past 6 months x( ) ...
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
  8. kimb

    kimb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 30, 2009
    New Hampshire
    Quote:The problem there is that the attacked has been "sick" for quite some time. It started with her not walking well (her feet always shook) ... off and on again walking and just sitting, and about 2 weeks ago she ceased to move at all, droopy wings, couldn't get her legs under her (they were stretched out behind her) and she would tip down, so I would make a pillow out of hay and prop her up correctly ... most people probably would've culled her months ago, I just couldn't do it (since she was eating/drinking) I am going to send her out for a necropsy since I suspect that she may have been suffering from mareks, if that's the case, how can I actually blame the culprit for essentially trying to survive in the presence of a killer disease?

    I don't feel absolutely awful about the cull, because I had planned that if she wasn't better soon, it wasn't fair to keep her immobile just for my own selfishness (that's just no life for a chicken). but I hate that instead of getting a beautiful weekend in the sun with her own favorite treats, I was rushing around to get it done so that she wouldn't have to be in pain anymore [​IMG]

    I guess if I had let her go a while ago, I wouldn't have been in that predicament in the first place [​IMG]
  9. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    I would cull the culprit if it happened again.Or give it away.I gave away hens that were overly aggresive.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by