What is the more humane option?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by JP103, Jan 18, 2017.

  1. JP103

    JP103 New Egg

    Jan 18, 2017
    I'm looking for advice on what is more humane? I have 7 chickens, 3 Rhode Island Reds, and 4 white Orpingtons. This fall I had 2 Rhode Island Reds that had their back feathers at the base of their tail feathers pecked out and then pecked at to the point of having an open wound. I got two extra large dog kennels and put them both in their own in my garage and treated them with wound cleaner as well as fed them a high protein feather fixer feed. The two chickens in the garage are now fully feathered with wounds healed (they don't look 100% normal as their new feathers are less mature looking than the rest of their body) but my dilemma is I don't think I want to return them to the flock because the others are getting along well, producing and seem happy... Better than when the other two were with them... 1 of the 2 in the garage is driving me nuts! Acts completely neurotic... Monday discovered she likes eating her own eggs... shel and all... and I can't beat her to the egg, she rips it apart as soon as she lays it.... they both produce eggs smaller somewhat less healthy looking than the rest of the flock and in general are taking more attention and care while stressing me out and producing less... I feel terrible but the more I realize I don't want to disrupt the others with these two the more I feel agitated with the other two... when they are wreaking havoc I could almost follow suit and either "cull" them (quickly i.e. I'm thinking shotgun blast) or take them in the woods and let them go... but I'm struggling a little with what is the more humane way to handle it... I read an article about how to train a chicken not to eat their eggs but I honestly don't have the time or energy nor desire to clean up mustard or dish soap from the kennel and from what I read if the other chickens see this they may follow along and start eating their eggs... the second of the two in the garage for the most part seems sweet natured / timid but again smaller less healthy looking egg production and I don't want to disrupt the ones that are living well and producing. I have asked a few locals that have chickens and no one wants them as they may disturb their flocks... letting an animal that needs a social environment that has been hand fed and raised in captivity free in the woods seems slightly inhumane to me too though. The time I've spent healing their wounds and getting their feathers back in has definitely stressed me and taken away time from the rest of the flock.. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!
  2. dragonthehunter

    dragonthehunter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2016
    New brunswick Canada
    Do not let them go that is so inhumane to the bird
    try and give them away
    Or give them fake eggs to teach them not to eat them
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
  3. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2016
    NW Missouri
    I'd cull them myself. Egg eating birds usually end up in the freezer at my house. Unless I really need them for breeding, then I break them of egg eating. I for sure wouldn't just turn them loose in the woods. You'd just be inviting predators to come get more chicken dinners after they find these two.
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas and :welcome! Pleased you joined our community but sorry about your dilemma. Yes, I agree with the above post...don't just let the chicken go. It is totally defenseless and wouldn't last the night. The most humane method for dispatch is to do so as quickly as possible - method is up to you and what you are able to handle. Birds that need to be culled can also be turned into a wonderful meal. Best of luck with whatever you decide to do. Best wishes!
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  5. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013
    x2, redsoxs has said it well.

    [​IMG] best of luck to you
  6. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under JP103 [​IMG] Welcome!

    As you have already received some great advice I will just add that I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun. Unlike non chicken loving friends, family and colleagues, BYC’ers never tire of stories or pictures that feature our feathered and non feathered friends [​IMG]
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Every chicken is an egg eater, so training them to not eat an egg that is cracked or leaking in the nest just isn't going to happen. And that sounds like what is happening....if they are laying eggs that are "less than healthy looking", I presume you are discussing shells that are thin and fragile, yolks that are pale, etc. These kind of eggs will often break easily when they are laid or when birds climb in and out of the nests....cleaning them up is just a natural instinct of the bird and will go away when the eggs are no longer getting broken in the nests.

    Forty years of chickens now and I've never had a habitual, dedicated egg eater...but had plenty that arrived in certain seasons when shells were not at their finest and then disappeared again when eggs resumed normal shell strength. And that's any given chicken on any given day. I wouldn't give two bucks for a chicken that wouldn't eat an egg when it broke in front of her.

    That aside, it's not exactly humane to just turn them loose and a shotgun is kind of an overkill. You could just simply dislocate their necks. Here's a vid of the most effective method of dislocation I've ever found and I've used it down through the years....it's simple and it gets the job done. In older DP birds, you'll likely not have the head come off in your hand, but you will feel it dislocate. In young broiler birds like in this vid, the tissues are so tender and young that the head can pop off.

    It's quick, there's very little post-mortem movement and no bloody carcass to contend with.

    1 person likes this.
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by