When Do You Cull?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by The Monkey Mama, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. The Monkey Mama

    The Monkey Mama Songster

    Jun 12, 2008
    Kennesaw, GA
    I have two batches of chicks I hatched recently from eggs I bought off eBay - one batch of 7 week olds and one batch of 10 day olds.

    One of the 7 week ones developed leg problems at 4 weeks and can't use his legs [he appears to be a Roo], but he gets around in his own weird floppy way and he is eating, drinking and growing fine. The other birds pick on him some, but not as bad as they might. I planned to cull him when this first happened, but DH wanted to wait and eat him later [he said the little guy has so much fight and will to live that he can't see culling him while he's still growing and doing well otherwise]. [​IMG]

    Then, in my new batch of 10 day olds, I have one Brown Leghorn that developed leg problems at about 3 days old. That one is really pitiful - it is NOT growing like the others - it is still the same size as a just hatched chick while the others are growing like weeds. It does get around kind of, and the others leave it alone, but it does not appear to be thriving at all. It also looks like its breathing is kind of labored. I kept thinking it would die on its own, but it is STILL hanging in there a week later.

    How do you guys handle things like this? It seems like I should cull him, but this would be my first time doing something like that and I feel kinda mean killing something so little to be honest.

    What would you guys do?


  2. coffeemama

    coffeemama Barista Queen

    Mar 5, 2008
    Well first of all I would try poly-visol or something. I'm not sure, but the late development of the leg issues may be a vitamin deficiency. There are many people here who would just cull them now-I like to give chicks a chance withing time/financial reason.
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    It is never an easy discision to make and an even less easy plan to carry out. Leg problems will not fix themselves and you can't fix them with vitamins. I cry every time I have to do it. I take them outside and let lay int he grass and feel the warmth of the son. I talk to them, say a prayer, and do the deed. Very sharp scissors and a trash bag and it is over quickly. They don't suffer. Try not to linger on it. To let one linger and suffer is far more cruel than culling. [​IMG]
  4. poopcoop

    poopcoop Songster

    Mar 17, 2008
    Swansea, SC
    I had 3 chicks the same way, I let mine grow up and they got to the age of 15 weeks. They never got to be same size as the other chickens and I just recently(Thursday) had to put all 3 of them down. Because of them laying around so much they started to lose their chest feathers and you could see their skin and I didn't want maggots to set in.

    If I had to do it over again, I would put them down as soon as the problem developed. It was very hard after so many weeks of giving them special attention and holding them up to eat. I would not have to want to do that again.

  5. coffeemama

    coffeemama Barista Queen

    Mar 5, 2008
    Well Miss P sounds like she knows-I have never had leg issues, just neck and feet and those resolved with vitamins. Sorry that you have to cull them [​IMG]
  6. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    I guess this means my 2 week old meat bird has to be culled. He can't walk [​IMG]

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