New pullet introduction to the flock, ending in my first culling.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lobb40118, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. lobb40118

    lobb40118 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 1, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    Well I am new to chicken raising. I started with 3 Pullets and there was a small pecking order issue that ended rather quickly and they all hang out now and no issues. I have to keep the cooped up during the day but let them out when I get home from work and on weekends. I decided to get a new pullet to add. I added her at night to the roost to lessen the impact. She got beat up the next day but no blood she kind of hid and that was it. I would let the others out and keep her in for the couple hours they were out so she could eat and drink without worring. Well Friday was exactly one week. I was out of town Wed-Fri and they were cooped up all three days. Come Saturday morning I checked them all and they all 4 were fine. I have to do a class on Saturday. When I got home in the afternoon to let them all out I found the new gils burried in pine chips with a hole in the back of her neck all the way to the spine. I could see the bones. I picked her up took her in the house and cleaned her, but she had a massive injury and was really weak I would say do to loss of blood. I had to make the hard decision to end her pain. I have never culled anything. I have hunted but pulling a trigger from a distance is completely different. I found my axe and sharpened it with a file as best I could. I found a 2x6 and nailed two nails in a V placed the head in a V and lightly pulled the body back to expose the neck and then took off the head with the axe. It was tough because I had her with the mindset of eggs and not meat but after a few rational minutes realized it is better to end the suffering. I did not want her life to be a waste though so i attempted to harvest the meat. I did but not much meat on a 17 week amercauna pullet. I have 4 kids and my second child help a lot with the birds. He was upset and wanted to take her to a vet, but when I explained the difference between a pet and utility animal it eased his pain a bit but It still upset him a bit. Luckily this one was the new bird and none of my birds are allowed names for just this reason. I learned the cold hard facts of chicken society that day. The 3 original girls are doing fine and I explained to him (and the others) that this is just the way of birds and that sometimes things like this happen and to not be upset with the other girls. I have learned that I will NOT introduce anymore birds at this time because of the nature of my coop set up and the lack of space to segregate new comers and the fact that i could only handle one more bird and one bird being introduced on her own is dangerous. I will let these girls produce eggs for their 2-3 years and the replace them with a group of 4 next time.
     
  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    You did well! Most people in your situation would have been too weak to see the sense in culling her quickly to avoid further suffering. Live and learn! [​IMG]
     
  3. lobb40118

    lobb40118 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 1, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    Thanks, the hardest part was making the cull decision, once the decision was made the act itself was not as bad as I thought. Plus I did not scald and pluck i skinned so there was not much of a smell.
     
  4. hatchaholic

    hatchaholic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 23, 2008
    South Carolina
    sorry for your bad experience. I always hate to integrate new birds. We lost a litttle cockerel the last time.
     
  5. Beau coop

    Beau coop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2008
    WNY
    [​IMG] Sorry you had to go thru that. You did what was best for your girl. [​IMG]
     
  6. Blisskat

    Blisskat Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 8, 2009
    I'm sorry to hear about your loss.

    In my experience, if a chicken gets an injury, the other chickens will often keep pecking at that injury (I guess because they see the shiny blood?). If the chicken is not separated quickly and the injury allowed to heal at least to a scab, the damage can become as you found.

    It's only happend a couple of times to me, and luckily we were able to catch it before the other chickens could cause too much damage.
     
  7. crzychicken

    crzychicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 24, 2008
    ahhhhhhh that stinks! [​IMG] I also plan on introducing new hens this spring [​IMG]. I'm scared to do it but i need more hens. I plan on getting a small coop for them and let the small one be in there own pen and coop and the big girls free range around them, just before i put them together I plan to put up fenece for the older girls right next to the new girls for 1 or 2 weeks then for the 1 or 2 weeks let them be in the outside pen together but still in there own coops, after that when they get along [​IMG] I will then put them in the coop together at night. I hear when the girls have control for their domain they don't want to give it up. I'm new to this chicken thing but I'm also addicted to it. [​IMG]
    My nieghbor just throws hers all together and says they work it out but she also throws in about 50 at one time and she make sure she culls off her older girls before, so the ratio is off from younger to the older I guess it makes them get confused with so many running around and they free range.
     

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