Question: Dealing with sick/injured poultry in centuries/ages past

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jmc, May 29, 2010.

  1. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    What do you think the average chicken-, duck-, turkey-owning family would have done with a sick or injured bird 50, 100, 200, 500 years ago?
  2. Papadavid

    Papadavid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2010
    Probablly kill it. would consider it a waste of feed to try to save it. if it were injured, they would probably eat it. [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  3. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    anyone else? surely somebody must have a thought on this.............
  4. arch_cpj

    arch_cpj Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2010
    medina county
    JMC Im pretty sure back in the day the sick were culled immediately there was no meds to give you may have seen the hurt nursed along but my hunch is momma made a pot of soup of stewed the bird just the way it had to be...
  5. aprophet

    aprophet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 12, 2010
    chesapeake Va.

    they probably lost a whole flock to sickness that would have been a good reason to cull one
  6. MotherJean

    MotherJean Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree. Immediately cull for the stew pot. And, you don't have to go back in time very far either. When I was a kid (admittedly half a century ago) Coccidiosis was just about the only disease that was routinely treated because 1. antibiotics were available and inexpensivem and, 2. the chance for cure was pretty good. Pretty much every other problem was considered a risk to the whole flock, so killing one to save the many was the prudent course. Of course, in the pre-antibiotics era, even Cocci was dealt with on the chopping block.
  7. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    also, i think people regard animals as sort of 'more human' nowadays...........which is why some will spend hundreds of dollars to try to save one bird, which often dies anyway (i know directly of two cases, who knows how many others there could be)
    another think i thing drives the different way of handling sick and injured birds is that now, in our non-agricultural society--largely so--people now have poultry who are pets to them............
  8. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    I think it would depend on how many birds the family had left...if they had any breeders left or not..
    I think that if they had enough birds left to breed then they would have just ate it.... but if they needed the bird to breed and make more meat for them.. then they would have tried to save it...
  9. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    Probably depends on whether it was strictly a commercial enterprise, or if there were children from the family who felt the sick bird was his or her pet. I'd assume that -- just like today -- there were differences between people in the ways they felt about some of their sick animals and in the efforts made to save them or not. I've heard plenty of stories about my farm family past and the animals that became pets of the children because they were blind, or limped, or whatever. Farm animals that were nursed back to health by the entire family, just because someone in the family loved that animal or felt bad for it - including, sometimes even the dad. They were dirt poor, just had hearts that were wide open. That doesn't mean they saved every animal. They didn't have money for expensive treatment. It just means they didn't automatically dispose of every injured or sick one. And, my guess is, as far back as 500 years ago, things have been pretty similar. Some have automatically disposed. Some have not.
  10. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    My folks, as their folks before them, Culled the sick and Burned or Buried them. The injured were made into chicken and dumplings, pressure cooked. When raising meat to feed your family you cannot take any chances, they are the only meat on your table. And remember, bak then no animal was allowed to suffer. I have tried to splint a Roos bad leg. I saw his suffering (standing there trembling with pain) and I culled my absolute favorite Bird, and I cried that day. That is why Extra Roos were always kept in a flock. When Dad's favorite Milker broke her leg crossing the creek, he shot her and called for the Butcher, then went and had a good cry. That is the first time I remember seeing a grown man cry, I was a youngster then.

    But people, they didn't have all the problems with sick birds that I am hearing about here. Because they stopped it before anything could spread. If breeding produced inferior offspring the Roo was replaced. Or if Mom notied that a certain hen produced small chicks or sickling chicks, then she was Culled. My Mom and Grandmother would not have known about or seen Wry Neck or Fowl Pox or a Lame Roo, etc. The chickens then were truely healthy and strong. I do remember Dad talking about Norther Fowl mites or something. The answer was a closed flock and no one went to see or trade other peoples Chickens for a long time.

    Oh, and our family birds were not shown so they were not exposed to other birds. When Mom wanted new blood lines they ordered from one of the hatcheries. Grandma wouldn't have had that option, she's just let more broodies set or maybe trade for a few with a neighbor. More likely they got some from her and later from Mom.

    People having pet chickens has brought to the front a lot of pesky Chicken diseases. When you have a closed flock there is less danger. But if you just have a few, well then at some point you will need more to replace the ones you have if you want eggs. People that sell eggs and chicks need to monitor them. I see feed back on the arrival of eggs and chicks on ebay and eggbid. But what about 6 weeks later or 12 weeks later. Are the chicks ok then? Have the buyers had any problems? The breeders need to keep up with this information to find out if They have a problem with the birds that they breed. Just because the birds are pretty doesn't mean there is no problems.

    Well, I've rattled on long enough.

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