Although we are raising our flock as egg and meat providers, I was a little sad about having to cull one of our Buff Orpingtons today. While they were out ranging the property, this one suffered a severe laceration to her throat. She had bled quite a bit and was not in good shape by the time I got home from work. My youngest son (a teenager, not that young) did everything he could to stop the bleeding and separate her from the others who were already pecking at her. He was successful in stopping the bleeding, but the size of the wound, from just under her beak, straight back past and through her left ear, down to nearly midway on her neck, was too much for me to repair. Though not severed, her artery was clearly visible. I actually think it may have been injured based upon the blood around by the coop. When I examined her, the tell-tale signs were there, her feet were cold, she was shaking and listless. She was not a very people-social gal, and she just lay there. With little in the way of options, I put her down, as humanely as possible. These are the trials of those who raise animals I know. As I said we plan to harvest both meat and eggs from our flock, but I was not prepared to be taking it from a chicken who has not yet laid her first egg. I am a carnivore, but not one who is purposefully cruel. My wife and I have done, until now, a good job of giving them a clean, secure environment; good feed, plenty of open ranging and interaction. The hardest part of this is not knowing how she got the injury to begin with. I immediately examined the coop, the run and a little brush pile in my yard I have not yet burned that they have taken to lounging about at points through out the day. The cut was so clean, not a tear or rip; more like a very sloppy surgeon with a very sharp scalpel. Disappointing, I was so hoping to not lose any birds in such a manner. No time to dwell however, 19 others to keep going.