When to cull a sick hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by capebird, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. capebird

    capebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2011
    Cape Cod
    I've got a hen who is sick. Stands in the corner. Doesn't seem to be eating. Over the past 4 weeks her weight has dropped very significantly. I'm faced with 2 choices: 1) just letting nature take its course in which case I''d presume she'd die sooner or later and 2) kill her, for lack of a better way of expressing it.
    what would you do?

    If option # 2 is the best way to approach this… how would you do it so it's quick and humane. I've not been faced with this since taking up poultry keeping.

    thanks for the help.
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I think it's a personal decision. I would be interested in finding the cause of her illness, just in case my others were in danger. Coccidiosis, worms, mites and lice, vent gleet, sour or impacted crop, Mareks disease, and egg yolk peritonitis would be some of the things I would rule out. Are there any other symptoms that you have noticed? How old, any diarrhea, does she eat anything? Coccidiosis is very easy to treat with amprollium (Corid) for 5 days. I realize that everyone doesn't have time to treat a sick hen, but I would cull if I tried to treat her first, and she didn't respond or was in pain. I haven't culled myself.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014
  3. Saerie

    Saerie Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 20, 2014
    Like said, it is a personal choice. If there's no way of healing her then out of kindness I would put her out of her misery. If you do decide that that is what you'll do, then I can tell you how to put her down quickly and painlessly.
  4. Sarevan

    Sarevan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2013
    White Swan, WA
    I am new to chickens after a 30 some year break, the ones before were my Mom's babies. I was just an egg getter and feather plucker.

    When to cull is a decision everyone has to make. Not wanting or unable to find an illness cause can be a reason. Then when others show same symptoms you have to decide to diagnose then treat or cull. If you cull you don't know if your replacement birds will have the same fate. I would rather find the cause and treat until I can no longer afford or the bird is so bad the kindest thing to do is cull.

    I would search on here for How to cull. There are several ways to do it if you don't plan on eating the meat. I myself have used a hatchet on a roo that nearly ripped into my face, it got my hood over my head instead. I thought of my great niece being injured visiting the girls and that decided it. I caught him, Sister feteched the hatchet one hit he was gone.

    I have seen people used a sealed box with dry ice and a seperator with holes between the bird and ice. I think they pour a bit of water in then seal it. Other than the flopping it was quick. ( there is a post on here of too much dry ice and the explosion)How you chose to cull and when is something you need to decide how to do. Good luck, oh no matter what anyone says there is NO wrong way. Just how the way you decide to do it makes you feel for that decision.
  5. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2013
    X2,many issues if caught early and treated will result in bird making a full recovery.

    More information is needed to give advice on appropriate treatment.

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