When to cull, before winter or in the spring?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by raimnel, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. raimnel

    raimnel Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have 22 chickens that are almost 24 weeks old, we have alot of roos. 8 that need to go. That would leave us with 14 birds in a 9x10 coop. do we do it now or in the spring. I live in Wisconsin and it's getting cold. we have no heat in the coop except for body heat. do we keep the roos around for heat?

    Also, how do I decide who goes?
    I have 2 EE's and the one who was (when he was little) a friend is now attacking us when we enter. I'm sad to cull him, but he is also meaner with the girls. the other EE is gentler with the girls and is not mean to us. But will he be a good daddy? Will he attack us after the meany is gone?
    The other roos that I can't decide between are 2 splash silkies, do I pick the prettier one? There's no other differences.
    The other roos are black/blue silkies but I want to keep a splash roo.
    The other 2 roos are buff brahma bantams and one has a weird eye thing going on. Anyone ever seen this? The clear part of his eyeball is protuding out from his socket. He can barrely blink and cover the eye, actually I'm not sure if he can.

    Thanks for listening to me ramble.
    Amy
     
  2. doubled

    doubled Chillin' With My Peeps

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    well, i do my dressing outside so i'd do it now or sometime before it starts to warm up too much, too much bacteria otherwise. also, the sooner you do it, the more tender the birds will be. not to say an older bird won't be just fine in soup but not as great fried...

    get rid of the mean one especially since you have kids and the one with the eye problem...
     
  3. raimnel

    raimnel Chillin' With My Peeps

    I forgot to ask, Can we eat the one with the eye problem?
    My home ec teacher always said " When in doubt, throw it out!" [​IMG] She was talking about leftovers or thing you find in the freezer that you have no clue what it is or how long it's been there. But it could be refered to this!
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    The roos are not going to make much of a difference in winter coop temperature, and may very well cause social problems, and certainly will consume a considerable quantity of feed before spring. Personally I would put them in the freezer *now*. (When it is still warm enough to be not too hard on the hands doing your processing outside or in an unheated garage, too). I honestly do not think you would gain anything by keeping them overwinter.

    As for whether to eat the one with the eye problem, unless it looks like an infection, then, me, I would see what his innards look like, and if there is nothing abnormal then he's probably fine to eat.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    I'd do it now, too. Chickens don't need to rely on body heat produced by coop mates. They have built in down coats. The amount of feed wasted to keep the extra roos alive through the winter would be incentive enough for me.

    I don't think I would eat the guy with the funky eye, though. Too icky.

    Good luck.
     
  6. doubled

    doubled Chillin' With My Peeps

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    as soon as you cut his head of, you'll forget all about the eye
     
  7. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    If it was me, I cull before winter, alot less to feed as well.

    Eye or no eye, its the meat he is carrying is what it counts. As long it is not contagious, it will be fine to eat.
     
  8. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Quote:[​IMG] I'm laughing, but I don't want to be.
     
  9. chickeydee

    chickeydee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Get rid of the roos .They eat to much and when one gets the hen they all do .I had 12 roos and I picked out the two I want and cut the rest .It was not as hard as people make it seem .I would do it now .you do not have to use much ice since it is cold .The one with the eye I would not eat if it is an infection . Do you plan on skinning or de feathering .I like defeathering myself.
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    do we keep the roos around for heat?

    I'd process the ones that go now and not wait. Exactly as Pat said, cost of food and potential social problems with them probably in more confinement due to weather.

    I have 2 EE's and the one who was (when he was little) a friend is now attacking us when we enter.

    I'd get rid of the meaner one. You won't be any worse off and may be better off.

    The other roos that I can't decide between are 2 splash silkies, do I pick the prettier one? There's no other differences.

    We all have our criteria for picking which to keep. If there are no other differences, I'd certainly pick the more attractive one.

    The other 2 roos are buff brahma bantams and one has a weird eye thing going on. Anyone ever seen this? The clear part of his eyeball is protuding out from his socket. He can barrely blink and cover the eye, actually I'm not sure if he can.

    If this is not a recent development, I would not be concerned about it. If it is an active infection, I would not eat him.

    In responce to chickeydee's question, I skin the darker birds and either skin or pluck the light colored birds, depending mainly on how many I do at one time. If I do enough to make it worthwhile to heat the water, I pluck. Otherwise I skin. They all have pinfeathers that are left after plucking but you don't notice them as much on the lighter colored chickens.
     

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