Improving your flock!

CUDA

Songster
11 Years
Mar 4, 2008
1,272
36
181
Michigan
Ok, first off, if you treat your chickens as pets, you won't want to read this, so don't say I didn't give you fair warning!
I just got my first hatch of the year, and so I thought I would give some advice for keeping your flock as healthy as possible. As I move my chicks to the brooder, and over the next few days, I keep an eye out for weak looking chicks. Any chick that isn't nice and perky after 24 hours or so, and isn't up running around and have a twinkle in the eye, now is the time to cull. Even though these chicks may live, they will never be the best birds possible, period. It is better for your flock, and your feed bill to cull them right away. Doing this will improve your over all health of your birds, and keep weak, and sickly birds from bringing your genetic pool down. This is just my opinion, and I am not telling you that you have to do this, but if you do, you will see a much healthier flock of birds as the years roll by. Thanks!
 

onthespot

Deluxe Dozens
11 Years
Mar 29, 2008
7,187
42
271
Riverside/Norco, CA
what method do you use to cull your day olds? I just hatched my two first silkies, culled one last night, splayed legs. ( I wont say here how I culled it. just wondering how you dispatch them)

The other one has a single splayed leg, about half splayed. boo. probably should go to birdie heaven too.
 

CUDA

Songster
11 Years
Mar 4, 2008
1,272
36
181
Michigan
My brood stock are my pets. Don't get me wrong, all my birds get the best I can give them, but I have no room on my yard for inferior fowl. If you do any hatching, and want some good healthy pets, I would still do it though. JMO. Thanks.
 

wynedot55

Songster
12 Years
Mar 28, 2007
1,295
8
181
your right you have to cull the sick weak or bad chicks.but a bad chick will cull its self by dieing pretty quick.
 

Mrs MIA

Chick Magnet
11 Years
Mar 3, 2008
7,988
60
303
Culling can be as simple as selling the chick, or giving it away, too. If it is not sick, but just not "up to par" for improvement of your flock, give it away. Someone will surely love it! My breeder flock is separate from my "personal" egg flock, and I don't give a rip if my egg flock is sub-standard as long as I'm getting eggs. If they don't lay eggs, they're invited to dinner. Simple as that.
Now, granted, there are a few "pets" that enjoy immunity for the boys' sake, but the rest of the flock is managed as I see fit.
 

GwenFarms

Songster
11 Years
Feb 26, 2008
827
2
151
I always let any grow until 14 wks and then cull by butchering as long as they aren' t sick. It just seems like a wasted life to me to cull that young. JMO!
 

CUDA

Songster
11 Years
Mar 4, 2008
1,272
36
181
Michigan
That's fine until a weak one brings a disease like CRD to your flock, but as I said, JMO. I also have a ton of birds, so some things are different with how I raise them than a person with only a few birds would.
 

onthespot

Deluxe Dozens
11 Years
Mar 29, 2008
7,187
42
271
Riverside/Norco, CA
I just examined the bum leg on the other one. He does not want to put weight on it. I pulled it to a "correct" position and pulled down on it and the knee joint sorta crunched like a dog with a bad patella, so he will be going south too. I am at work, sneaked it here so I could evaluate him for a while. I work in homecare as a nurse, so the family would NOT take it well if I culled it while on the clock, if you know what I mean. I will wait til I get home. Thanks for your help and frankness. I guess it is good to get a rough start like this early on. It helps you to make better, more reasoned decisions when acquiring breeding stock.
 

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