To cull or not to cull :(

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Felicitas, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. Felicitas

    Felicitas Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a 2-and-a-half-week-old chick with a bad leg. We don't know if he was born that way or if he injured it because we didn't notice it until a couple of days after the hatch. Basically, one leg stretches out straight behind him or to the side. He can bend it and I've seen him get it underneath him, but he can't put any weight on it and he pretty much just drags it around the brooder. Other than that, he eats and drinks great, and the the others don't pick on him, so I have hesitated to cull him. But as they get bigger ... I don't know. He gets trampled over a lot. I'm starting to think he's a male because he already has a very prominent comb coming in. I was going to sell or give away most of my cockerels and I don't imagine anyone will want a young roo with a completely useless leg.

    I think I know the answer to this but I'm too much of a softie. [​IMG]
    What is the quickest and most painless (for everyone) way to cull a chick?

  2. obsessed

    obsessed Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 3, 2008
    Slidell, LA
    Sorry, about your chick. I never culled anything (I don't even have chickens, yet). Maybe a quick snap of the neck might be easiest.
  3. morelcabin

    morelcabin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    No! don't try snapping or wringing it's neck...been there, done that and will never ever try that again...that it best left for serial killers who get a thrill out of feeling the life drain out of something...ewwwww it was awful for me.
    On the other hand I have never had to cull a very small chick, but anything over a few weeks old you are best to just use a chppoing block. Might still be hard on you but not like me on that.
  4. jimnjay

    jimnjay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    It really depends on your purposes. If you are looking for the best egg production you can get then a chicken that may or may not be productive is a consideration. Sometimes you can brace the legs by attaching tape to the two legs so they are in the correct position and it will strengthen the leg so it work properly. They can get along with a bad leg. I have to question the quality of life.

    I have begun to cull any chick that is not doing well for whatever reason. I have found that sickly chicks straggle on for sometimes months and fail to thrive even after months and months. It is hard to make these decisions. If you want a strong and healthy flock that produces good eggs and good hatches, it is best to make sure you have only the most healthy are hearty birds possible.

    Thes best way to cull a bird is just as the previous poster mentioned. Quickly snap the neck. I have found it very difficult to do and so I use a method that is not considered to be the best way by many. That is to soak a cloth or paper towel with ether (the substance in engine Starting Fluid) You place that in an air tight container with the chick/chicken and close the lid and walk away. The bird will go to sleep in 45-60 seconds and before they wake up the air in the container will be gone and they suffocate. Some feel this is painful to the bird but when I found I could not pull off the head, I forced myself to watch. They do go to sleep without any fuss. I am not sure how long it take for them to expire but it appears to be a painless process to me. I have had to cull several birds in the past year and It is never easy.

    If you are keeping you chickens for eggs and as pets and entertainment then you may be fine with your gimpy chicken and he/she may be fine with the leg as it is.

    Good Luck with it.
  5. Momma_Cluck

    Momma_Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2008
    N. West Michigan
    I had the unfortunate duty of "putting down" our Silkie Hen who suffered a head injury & seizures....

    For your baby-- try a splint 1st-- and see if she/he gets the use of it again...
    If you DO have to "cull"... here is how we did it....

    Get an airtight container from the dollar store big enough for the chick, and a can of carburetor fluid (the ether-spray type) and some cotton or batting.

    #1- Drill or burn a small hole in the lid of the container just big enough
    for the 'straw" that comes with the spray.

    #2- Dig a hole big enough for the container.

    #3- put batting/cotton in bottom of the container

    #4- put the chick in the container and close the lid.

    #5-stick the end of the straw into the container and spray in a LOT of
    the ether.....

    #6- Bury the container.

    This way is quick, painless, bloodless.... they go to sleep and die from asphyxia/ether overdose.
  6. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    I can't help you because I never have and never will cull one of my chickens. I just personally cannot do it. But if I lived closer, I would take him off your hands since I would like a special needs rooster for my pullet. I raised her from a day old chick with the same leg problem. She was, however, getting picked on by the other chicks so she could never live with other chickens. She is total pet now and lives in a cage in the house. She's perfectly healthy just has special needs. She even lays eggs.

    Sorry I'm sure that is not much of luck whatever you choose to do.
  7. Felicitas

    Felicitas Chillin' With My Peeps

    The ether method does sound less traumatic, if indeed the chick does just go to sleep and never have to struggle.

    Thanks ...
  8. I am not sure about the ether method. I have heard horrid stories when it was done.

    The fast way. A plastic bag and a car tire. Lots of people on here use this method for chicks.
  9. Poohbear

    Poohbear On a Time Out

    Nov 12, 2008
    Be kind to the chick and kill him quickly with a stick or machete on a wood block or something. If you're going to raise chickens, sometimes culling (killing) is inevitable. Take charge of your duty as flock shepard and dispatch the chick quickly and for sure. I have culled many birds and never enjoyed doing it. Just a part of raising chickens. If you cannot cull him, ask a friend that can. Sometimes friends are very good to have in situations like this. A chick on one leg will not be able to roost or have a normal chicken life. Sorry.
  10. morelcabin

    morelcabin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    Quote:Good advice

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