Need to cull, how to decide?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Island Juli, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. Island Juli

    Island Juli Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've gotten several hens as rescues, and I know some of them are not laying any longer. I have 40 7-week old pullets coming up and I don't need to be feeding those no longer producing.

    I have 4 Easter Eggers and I get 1 beautiful blue egg from them every 3 or 4 days. I'd like to keep the one(s) laying, but can't afford to keep those that aren't. I found someone to process for me, but want to make sure I don't pick the ones laying. I do have a place to separate, but unsure how long to keep one in there before I decide who is and who isn't laying.

    I also have 6 barred rocks, I know I'm getting some eggs from them, but again, no idea whose laying.

    I have 3 young Australorps and 4 older ones. I know the younger ones are laying but unsure of the older ones.

    So I guess my question is, how long to keep each one separated so I know who is laying and will it stress them out so much they won't lay?

    I am going to try to catch them on nests and mark them, but again, they could be sitting and not laying.

    Help! :)
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    A general rule of thumb is that if you can fit three fingers between the pelvic bones, a hen is laying - two fingers and she may be laying. Tightly spaced pelvic bones indicate that a hen is not laying.
     
  3. Whittni

    Whittni Overrun With Chickens

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    Laying hens have puffy moist vents. This video explains it really well.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    When I've wanted to separate layers, they've always taken it quite well. Since you have breeds that lay different color eggs, you can put two hens together, that will lessen stress since they won't be alone. Put an EE and a brown egger in together. I put mine where they were close to the main flock, sometime a cage inside the main coop or run works depending on your set-up.

    I've found a simple confinement doesn't cause them to quit laying. They're still in the same environment, same sounds and smells, etc. Maybe some super-sensitive birds might be affected, but mine always take it in stride.

    I usually gave mine three days. I figured if they weren't laying more than twice a week, it didn't count [​IMG]
     
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