To cull or not to cull...help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chick4smiles, May 18, 2011.

  1. chick4smiles

    chick4smiles Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a 10wk old Lavendar Ameraucana that is struggling to grow, seems to have a bad right leg (can't roost at night), and to the best of my knowledge, is having what appears to be regular seizures. She eats and drinks plenty and does her best to keep up with her siblings (she's one of four), but she's half their size and is picked on by the older birds.
    She's always been smaller, but has had these other "symptoms" for the last week. I keep struggling with whether or not to give her a chance or cull her in case she's miserable. She flips out if she's separated from her hatch-mates, which makes me believe that she has not completely lost her mental capacity, but I would hate for her to die and be in pain in the process.

    I've read on various threads that Poly-vi-sol (without iron) might help and that Hypericum could help if it's neurological.

    What would you do?
     
  2. JoePa

    JoePa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    cull it - makes your life easier after it's done -
     
  3. Atomic Ranch

    Atomic Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would try to treat. It can be frustrating not knowing what might work, but I've learned after a lot of trial and error that information is indispensable. I've figured out SO much just dealing with a runny eye problem... I was a day away from culling, but I'm glad I discovered what works and what doesn't for certain conditions and symptoms. Treating chickens is like putting a puzzle together, piece by piece. I'd give it a little time, and if you do end up culling in the end, at least you'll have learned something. Who knows, you may have a victory!
     
  4. chick4smiles

    chick4smiles Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 22, 2011
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    Quote:Yeah...I think I'll try and learn from the experience, I just hope I don't cause her any more pain. I'm not even sure if she's in pain! Nature might make it's decision, but I guess I'll see if I can help. The DB seems to want to try and to help her, too. The previous post is right, though...it'll be a lot of worry and angst to try and keep her alive and happy. [​IMG]
     
  5. mrszlopez

    mrszlopez Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think she has a good chance. I have a RIR rooster that has seizures on a daily basis multiple times a day, and he is also completely blind. He lives with his two hens & crows, eats & lives a normal life in the same way the other chickens do. Even if it is neurological, if she is thriving, eating, drinking, scratching & living a fairly normal life, i wouldnt recommend to cull her. i would love to see some pics of her too btw ! [​IMG]
     
  6. Missouri Chicken Chick

    Missouri Chicken Chick Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 29, 2011
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    As hard as it is, I would cull.

    In regard to the comments on this string, Maybe it's just me, but I don't think that having multiple seizures on a daily basis and being blind is living a "normal life." If the bird can't roost normally, that will be difficult for it to stay safe, warm, etc. at night.

    Not culling the bird is just added stress on both yourself AND the bird due to the special care that the bird will require during its lifetime. I realize it seems REALLY hard to think of culling something you've put so much time into, but I honestly think that sometimes we have to make hard decisions and do what's best for the birds we tend to. Again, it's just my opinion, but in the situation described above I don't consider that humane. In addition, you could end up spending LOTS of money on this bird that most likely will not be very healthy throughout its entire life.
     
  7. chick4smiles

    chick4smiles Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:I hope I'm doing this right...it's my first time uploading an image...she's the one in the front/middle pecking at the ground...sorry it's not that great of a pic, but at least you can see the other three!

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Atomic Ranch

    Atomic Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    While I agree and understand the cull crowd, I should like to add that animals are largely unaware of their shortcomings, and do not compare themselves to their peers like humans do. Blind dogs, cats, etc., accept their condition as "normal". Those who have seizures (including humans sometimes) do not know they are having seizures while they're happening, nor do they remember them. They also exhibit a tremendous ability to adapt and make due. Gosh, I don't live a "normal" life either, by "standards".

    Trust your observational skills. If she's miserable, cull her. If she makes the other birds miserable, cull her. If she makes you miserable, cull her. Good luck [​IMG]
     
  9. chick4smiles

    chick4smiles Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 22, 2011
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    I truly appreciate ALL angles of this issue and can see the pros and cons of each side of the debate (which I didn't mean to start, even though I asked "what would you do?"). I think I'll pay particular attention to her for the next few days and then make a decision. A little extra vitamins isn't going to hurt anybody...
    I like the idea of going with my gut. It'll probably take my gut a few days to decide, though...I'm indecisive by nature.
    Thanks for all the input!
     
  10. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    I have a partridge Brahma hen that has a bad leg. Not spraddle, it just never worked right. I just kept thinking she would get better, so never culled her. Now she's an adult. She can't roost and pretty much hops and flaps her wings to get around. She is a "sitting duck," so to speak for any roo who wants to have his way with her, plus the other hens pick on her. Last week one of the roos was pretty rough with her and ripped her up pretty bad on each side. Now she lives in the grow-out pen with the babies. She is very sweet and doesn't hurt them at all.

    She seems content to be with the chicks, but she has never been able to scratch and never had a dust bath. She is well over a year old and has never laid an egg, either.

    The moral of this story, I guess, is that I should have culled her when she was a chick. Since I didn't, it's now my responsibility to keep her safe from the rest of the flock. I just don't have the heart to cull her now.
     

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