When and How to Cull

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chasingsunshine, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. chasingsunshine

    chasingsunshine Out Of The Brooder

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    This morning one of my cochin pullets was dead. She'd been sick for a while (treating for worms) and after keeping her inside for a few weeks I put her back in the coop because she was looking better, and I was deworming everyone. Fast forward to coming home from work, and my easter egger was flopped over on her side. I'd suspected she was sick, and had been for a while sadly because she didn't seem lethargic and I didn't take much notice of what I realize now to be symptoms of something serious (she wasn't just a smaller breed, she just wasn't growing ... her comb was pale because she was sick, not because she was young).

    Surprise though, I went to pick up my little easter egger in a bag to take care of her body, and she was alive! But barely. In the course of 7 hours she went from looking a little droopy to being apparently unable to hold her head up. She can't stand, her head flops and twists around horribly when she tries to move, and she won't eat. I brought her inside, and she's laying on a blanket and will flap her wings a little when I move the blanket, but I know that she likely won't get better.

    A hard question now, when do you cull a sick chicken? Should I give her a day inside and do all I can to help? And if not ... what's the best way to cull? When I bought pet/layer hens I didn't mentally prepare myself for this :(
     
  2. JensChickies

    JensChickies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awwww I wish I could help you out. If she were mine I would give her the night. She might even pass. I would tube feed giving vitamins/water and also start treating for coccidiosis. If she improved overnight I would take it day by day. Chickens need to be hydrated before they eat. If she's not showing the slightest improvement by tomorrow I would put her down. I'm sorry that this is happening.
     
  3. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree. Take her inside overnight so she is warm, offer her water if she will take it, and give her lots of love so she knows someone cares about her. She may pass overnight, but if she does she will do so with someone by her side.

    If she is still with you in the morning, but you feel that here is no improvement, you will need to reassess. I had a sick chicken a few days ago and took her to the vet. If you can do that, I would recommend it.

    If the vet deems that treatment is a viable option, you might choose to do that. If not, you can ask to have her euthanized in a humane manner. I am not able to cull a chicken myself (more power to you if you can do it) so I took up the vet's offer to take care of it for me. My girl felt no pain and slipped away quietly and with dignity. The cost ($57) was well worth it to me.

    If you cannot afford a vet, you could ask around and see if someone else could cull her. Is there a local butcher or slaughterman who could take care of it for you? A relative or friend?

    I do wish you all the best, and hope your girl recovers so you don't need to make the choice. Keep us updated.

    Krista
     
  4. JensChickies

    JensChickies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah i just reread your post, treat for coccidiosis. If you can tube her,do it. Atleast that might give her a fighting chance. I treat mine with corid.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Did you ever treat for coccidiosis after you posted earlier? If not, I would get some Corid right away. It is pretty harmless, but it may save lives. She may need some electrolytes before you get the Corid tomorrow. Give some by dipping her beak , or by giving her a few drops at a time from a dropper or syringe. Buttermilk can also be good to give before getting cocci meds to help coat the intestines. Chickens can get chronic strains of cocci, and having it can later be a precursor of enteritis. Coccidiosis is common in chickens under 20 weeks of age, but can affect older chickens too. Dosage of Corid is 2 tsp of the liquid, or 1.5 tsp of the powder per gallon of water for 5-7 days. Afterward several days of vitamins and probiotics may help the intestines return to normal.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
  6. chasingsunshine

    chasingsunshine Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 16, 2014
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    Thank you for the kind words and suggestions, but she didn't make it more than a few hours :( She was our favorite, and we were really looking forward to the blue eggs she was going to lay, but at least she died happier and warmer than our other girl. The closest vet to me is over an hour away, which makes it almost impossible to get to with work during the week, so it's unfortunately not an option for emergency needs. Plus, they don't say on their website that they treat birds, so I haven't really bothered to contact them.

    I'm ordering some Corid to have on hand. The other two birds have seemed fine through all this, and are going to keep getting the wormer since I do believe I saw a worm in the poop of the sick bird, but I am going to be extra careful and watchful of their health for the next month.
    This is a hard lesson to learn on being prepared for anything, and I'm going to make a better stock of chicken supplies so that next time I can start treating them right away.
     
  7. JensChickies

    JensChickies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awww I'm sorry. Your right though, atleast she passed away warm and happy. Corid is always good to have on hand. If you see any signs of what you noticed in your other birds that have passed, you might want to treat them. If they were mine I would just treat them just in case. After treating you want to follow up with probiotics and vitamins to replenish the healthy bugs in the gut. What ever you choose to do, good luck. I am so very sorry for the loss of your pullet. :hugs
     
  8. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry for your loss. It is always hard to lose one of your flock, particularly when it is your favourite girl.

    I am glad she passed peacefully.

    Krista
     
  9. DuckieLover2014

    DuckieLover2014 Out Of The Brooder

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    Im so sorry for your loss. Im glad she passed peacefully and is not suffering.

    L.j~
     

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