Roo pecked by older hens question and how to cull a bird

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chiknfarmer, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. chiknfarmer

    chiknfarmer New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Jul 20, 2011
    First off, we ordered 7 roos this spring so we could choose which one we liked the best (the most beta of the bunch) and send the rest to freezer camp. We started yesterday trying to integrate flocks to see how the roos reacted to the older hens (age 1-4 yrs old). We put the roo in the coop at dusk. When we woke up this morning and let them out of the coop, his hind end had been so badly pecked we decided to cull him. We know this is a fact of chicken life, we take good care of our girls and give them lots of treats but know when enough is enough and culling them is the best option. I wonder if anyone has had similar experience integrating a young roo and older hens? what time of day or night to do this integration?

    also, as an fyi for those of you who will at some point need to cull a bird, we have found that placing them upside down in a "cone" (a piece of rigid plastic curled up and stapled to a wall where bottom opening is just big enough for the head to fit through, also google Joel Salatin's pastured poultry operation, we use the same cone type method). Once upside down, most birds become very calm. The cone holds the bird still, so it isn't able to flap its wings or escape. We take a VERY, VERY sharp knife, hold the beak in one hand and slice with some pressure along the carotid artery in the neck. This will bleed them out very quickly. There is twitching that happens, but this is an involuntary twitch that most animals have after they have lost consciousness.

    I think the most important thing to remember as a chicken owner is that there will come a time when a bird will be sick or injured and will need to be culled quickly to avoid distress. I know its hard to do and to think about, but the best way to honor your bird is to give them peace as quickly as possible. You gave them a good life, what more could you give them but a quick passing.
     
  2. zebserema

    zebserema Chillin' With My Peeps

    218
    0
    89
    Jun 17, 2011
    my hens did the exact thing to my rooster he would stick his head in a corner so that they couldnt hurt his eyes now he is grown and the king of the roost
     
  3. Echobabe

    Echobabe Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    0
    129
    Oct 30, 2007
    That poor boy! I learned the hard way to never just put them together--that was some of the worst advice I every received. It should be a slow introduction. They should be able to see each other for a few days. The first time you ever put them together should be in the chicken yard (or free range is better), and monitor them closely. You will notice anything major that comes up and separate if you need to. Try it again the next day if that happens. When you think its time, put them into the same coop, but separated in the coop for a few nights. Let everyone get used to each others smells and sounds, and so that everyone knows where they sleep at night. There will always be problems, but I swear this way heads off the worst fighting and hierarchy issues.

    Oh yeah, and ADD more waterers and food trays when you combine flocks. Otherwise you'll have 1 set of birds guarding the supplies from the other set (That's OUR water, that's OUR food).

    Too bad the hens destroyed what was probably the sweetest roo of the bunch--he probably would have been easy for them to manage-lol. Good luck with the rest!

    PS. Nice job describing how you cull. It sounds very easy for the birds, less traumatic for you and them. We've just used the hatchet and the stump around here, and so far haven't had any last minute incidents. Still, we just had to cull my favorite and I'd rather not think of her as I saw her last :-(
     
  4. Chickntenn

    Chickntenn Out Of The Brooder

    I found that using a gallon plastic milk jug work really well for a cone. I cut the top a bit bigger then cut out the bottom. We put the bird in, head down through the opening in the top of the jug. My Husband held the jug handle and the birds feet while I used the knife. The chicken was very calm, no real stress.
     
  5. ellyn

    ellyn Out Of The Brooder

    31
    1
    24
    Jun 12, 2011
    Chicknfarmer,

    I don't look forward to the day I have to cull for any reason, but I appreciated you words at the end of you note.

    "I think the most important thing to remember as a chicken owner is that there will come a time when a bird will be sick or injured and will need to be culled quickly to avoid distress. I know its hard to do and to think about, but the best way to honor your bird is to give them peace as quickly as possible. You gave them a good life, what more could you give them but a quick passing."
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by