To cull or not to cull: What is best for little hen and flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ChristyDawn, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. ChristyDawn

    ChristyDawn Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 5, 2009
    Moravian Falls, NC
    I have a little crippled hen that I got when she was a week + old in a group of 18 or so chicks. I call her "Puddie Foot" because her feet seem weak and limp. She hobbles a long as best she can and can even trot if she needs to. When she stands it is with one foot in front of the other. She seems to be standing on her knee with the back foot. She is a doll and has gotten along well considering her condition. I would like to know whether or no to to keep her around (this weekend is cull camp for all the extra roos). I am afraid I don't have a lot of info here, but if anyone has and guidance I would sure appreciate it!
  2. CalebtheChicken

    CalebtheChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 5, 2010
    Jeremiah, Ky.
    As long as she's eating and drinking I would leave her be, but you might need to give her more protein so she can build some muscle.
  3. ChristyDawn

    ChristyDawn Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 5, 2009
    Moravian Falls, NC
    Will do. I hate to think of culling with out giving her a fighting chance. In the back of my mind I was concerned it would be hereditary and didn't like the thought of having little chicks with the same problem. Extra snacks are headed her way. Thanks for the response!
  4. JustOneMore

    JustOneMore Chillin' With My Peeps

    We had a "limpy" chick that came in an order with 10 others. I watched her closely for signs that the others were picking on her. As long as they weren't going to be cruel to her I wanted to give her a chance. Originally she had a strong limp and odd posture (she holds her head on her back ... no raising of her neck). She's now 12 weeks old and has just a slight limp but still that odd posture. The others don't bother her one bit, nor do the adult hens she's with in the coop and the yard. If her differences don't bother her or them, why they bother me?!?

    We have a laying flock and no roosters so I am not worried about her passing on any deformities ... no roos, no chicks!

    Good luck with your girl
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I have a crippled Black Star hen that hobbles on one leg due to an accident. She lays an egg just about every day in her hospital cage and free ranges in a fenced in area of the yard when I put her out there. I keep her seperated because the other hens constantly attack her if given the chance.
  6. ChristyDawn

    ChristyDawn Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 5, 2009
    Moravian Falls, NC
    Thanks for sharing! She gets picked on from time to time, but that is because I have too many roos at the moment. Everyone is getting picked on. There are a few other chickens keeping an eye on her and the coop is set up so she can get around fairly easy. I think we will up her protein and see how things go.
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Definitely give her a chance. You'll be amazed at how good chickens are at overcoming their handicaps. I have a hen that was hatched half blind and is now losing the rest of her vision. She does great and has been a huge blessing to me.
    You might also try protein snacks that are also high in calcium to help her grow strong.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Best of luck! Culling is up to you and the goals of your flock. If they are pets, great, she can have a chance to grow up and out of it. If you're going for production, a chain is only as strong as the weakest link.
  9. newTexan2chickens

    newTexan2chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2010
    I have the same question.... will not be using mine to hatch any eggs tho so I am going to let her hang out until she starts to look bad. So far no one picks on her at all.

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