To cull or not to cull...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mommasachs, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. mommasachs

    mommasachs Just Hatched

    Apr 16, 2012
    Problem: I have 4 hens. My favorite girl, Annie, is getting picked on (drawing blood, major open wounds) by 2 of her flock mates. Annie, has never been like the other girls.. more brave more curious, friendly, etc. The other 3 hens hang together in the yard and mimic each other and over in the other part of the yard is my Annie doing her own thing. Annie is one of my better layers. So I am partial to her for a lot of the reasons listed.

    Option #1 - Cull Annie from the flock. She doesn't fit in and is getting major harm from 2 of the other hens (the 3rd hen doesn't seem to mind her at all)
    Annie is a great layer and one of my "mean" hens lays only about 2 times a week. (so culling Annie hurts my egg supply) With winter coming around the corner they will not be able to free range as much and Annie normally gets her injuries when the birds are cooped up. So culling Annie will leave a happy threesome for the winter months.

    Option # 2 - Cull the hen that lays the least and so happens to be one of the 2 inflicting the wounds on Annie. Then take the 1 remaining "mean" hen and isolate her and then re introduce her to the other 2 in a week or so. Hopefully, reorganizing the pecking order??

    Any thoughts? Have I confused you? lol. I would appreciate your thoughts.
  2. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

    Jul 29, 2012
    Oregon City, OR
    My Coop
    Have you tried isolating one of the mean girls for a couple of weeks and let a new pecking order develop? then reintroduce the mean one and see if the abuse continues. Sometimes just isolating the major aggressor fixes the problem, but not always. She just may be mean no matter what. In which case option 2 is my opinion
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Option # 3 - Get pinless peepers and put them on the two hens who are the trouble makers.
    1 person likes this.
  4. Amarisus

    Amarisus Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Fallbrook CA
    I personally wouldn't cull anyone yet. I would try to take both mean hens and sperate them from the flock for a few days(maybe two seperate dog kennels) then introduce the less mean one back first then maybe a day or two later put the meanest one back and see how it goes. If that doesn't work I'd cull the mean one or give her to some one else. Good luck keep us posted
  5. Ntsees

    Ntsees Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 27, 2012
    Unless you have a specific reason for keeping the less-productive hens, they should be culled. In terms of costs and benefits, you gain more (eggs) by keeping Annie. The other hens are eating about the same amount of food (cost) as Annie but is less productive.

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