How to convince 11 and 15 year old girls to cull/sell?

Clay Valley Farmer

9 Years
Sep 7, 2010
Here is the deal, daughter and her cousin were sold a trio of so called Silkie chicks last year. Turned out the deal was a bit sketchy and the chicks were very poor quality, 4 toes, more white skinned than black, but have silk feathers. Anyway now they have hatched some (6-8) chicks from these mutts and don't want to sell or give them away.

The roo from the trio is a nut case and if he weighed more than 2 lb or could fly higher than the top of a rubber boot he would be a danger. They hens are very poor layers to the point of totally quitting recently and have not been able to stay focused on brooding more than a day or two.

I would like to get rid of them, the other chickens won't accept them so they need their own area which cuts into space for layers. On top of that they are near useless for egg laying, useless for brooding, Roo is a major PITA and attacks every time without fail. I don't even think it is fair to sell the chicks even with disclosure that they are very far from breed.

I would be happy to give the chicks away and stew the trio, but how do you sell that idea to a couple young owners. I would not mind if they wanted to keep a couple breed quality chickens to hatch and sell some chicks but these mutts are bugging me. Not like we are short of chickens either...

Make the decision. Tell them they are not valuable to the farm, they are more then welcome to have some brahmas/marans/whatever, but everyone has to get along.

If they, down the road, want more bantees they have to find their own spot, get from a reputable place and its all out of their pocket/dime. Even when they spend the night somewhere, you charge a chicken sitting fee.

Yep, they should just want some of your layers
Also I suggested high stipulatioñs for bantees because they need to learn that bantees are useless outside cuteness and brooding.

My mom has two in my flock, all they do is eat my feed! So I told her she is now giving me lunch money on a weekend day LOL.
I always tell my younger siblings that they can pick out chicks if I can get rid of lousy layers. They always prefer the chicks to the adults, but they are 6, 8, and 9 so it may not work for older kids.

Also if you get them super interested in ducks or a different chicken breed, and then tell them that you don't have room for them it will than be their idea to cull the silkies not yours.
Good food for though.

As it sits a good chunk of the egg sales money replaces an allowance and contributes to their rainy day savings. The last while we have not been able to keep up 100% with egg demmand so booting the silkies in favor of anything that lays decent eggs would equate to an increase in allowance. Marans would be nice, also have wanted some chanteclurs. Actually was thinking of getting a few chanteclurs to add to a brood of turkey chicks in a couple weeks. I know, don't mix turkeys and chickens, but of the people around here doing it black head does not seem to be an issue... Knock on wood.

Now just to wait until there is a sudden urge for one of the kids to buy something. I'll offer up to buy the so called silkies out for what they paid which would cover buying some new chicks or if they want to come out ahead they can raise some of the week old non-silkie chicks already in the brooder for free.

Just have to deal with getting rid of the silkie mutt chicks before they become pets.
I think you just have to decide for them.My kids also won't let go on any of the chickens. I had a sick one and they dragged it out for over a month making me treat her.Finally I just culled her while they were at school. Now I have to get rid of the rooster we got,and ofcourse the kids don't want too. P

I would sit down with the girls and explain that breeding is done to SELL.If you are not going to sell then do not breed otherwise you end up an animal hoarder, which is harmful to the animals. If they are going to breed then they need to do it with good quality birds that others will want to buy otherwise you will sell poor quality chickens to others,and you already know how that feels.

It is hard I know. I laid it down with my kids,and I will have to do it again essentially telling them what is going on can no longer continue otherwise we will get rid of everyone.
I'd just explain to them that they can't expect to keep all the chicks they hatch as it's just not feasible to keep adding more and more mouths to the feed bill without any ever leaving. I'd also explain to them that keeping a few hatched chicks is okay sometimes, but that if they sell those chicks, they'll have extra money to help them take better care of their other chickens.

For the trio, I'd just tell them that the rooster is too aggressive and explain that traits like that are passed on to the chicks (I'm sure they don't want to end up with a bunch of mean chickens that no one will even want to be around, no matter how cute they are). You could explain to them that the hens and rooster are NOT what they or you thought you all were getting at the time and let them know that if they are serious about breeding silkies, then they will need some better birds (and will have to sell some chicks and not keep them all when they hatch).

If it were me, I'd offer to help them find some actual quality silkies (a pair or another trio maybe), but only if they agreed to let me get rid of the other ones. Since you're not overly fond of the silkies, maybe you could try to steer them in the direction of a different breed. Bantam cochin are good layers (at least mine is), and my year old hen has yet to go broody, so possibly you could offer to get them a pair (or just a couple hens) of some other breed of bantam if they're just looking for pets. Another option would be to try and get them interested in some larger breed birds that could also be considered cute but will lay eggs and not go broody all the time (standard cochin, EE, or Polish maybe). You could let each girl pick out her own breed and get each one her own hen for your laying flock. They could still raise them and make them into big pets, and you'd get some eggs out of it.

Do they do all the caring for the silkies? If not, you could make them start doing all the silkie related chores and buying their food. They may come around fast if they have to deal with the annoying roo every day.
I'd explain to them that they live in my house, I feed and clothe them, and they are raising chickens on my property with my money. When they feed, house, and pay for the birds, then they make the culling decisions.

They arn't taking the breeding program seriously if they don't care about the quality of the birds. It's just a gee wizz thing from the way you describe it. Putting your foot down will show them that they can't half-do things in life and expect good results.
Yes, it kind of is/was a gee wizz thing, one of those things that happen but were not really planned out on paper so to speak.

On that though when it comes to learning I kind of like the guided exploration and let things evolve so they get to make their own decisions, try their own ideas. Granted it is time though to place some constraints on the project.

Not that it was a loss, they learned a lot about looking after animals, responsibility, incubating and so on but it has kind of ended up at a dead end and they need to take what they learned and apply it in a more fruitfull venture.

We have some good EEs and a couple nice big cochins, they are nice birds. Would be nice to see them look at the project a little more long term with a clearer objective of what they would want to accomplish.

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