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Author Topic: Advice on Culling a sick Hen  (Read 900 times)

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Prod

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Advice on Culling a sick Hen
« on: August 31, 2013, 15:30 »
I have reached the point where I may have to dispatch one of my hens.  I know that it is something I would have to do at some point and, whilst I could ask a neighbour, I guess I am just postponing the inevitable. I know there are different methods but it is the actual 'act'  that is worrying me. Apart from insects/flies I have never knowingly killed anything in my life and I am uneasy about doing so & how I will fell afterwards.  I realise that to some of you who cull chickens to eat I must sound a wuss   but I wondered how others felt about culling and how they felt afterwards?? :wub: :wub: :wub:


splash101

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Re: Advice on Culling a sick Hen
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2013, 15:55 »
No I dont think you are a wuss. Its better than having it suffer though.

Anyone who has done it has had to face the 1st time.

I think the hardest thing was knowing that the time had come and i had got to do it. I was quite nervous the night before as I had planned to do it 1st thing the next morning.
The act itself was very quick and calm. I imagined lots of flapping and squawking but there was none of that.
Once it was done I too felt calm and very much relieved that it had gone to plan and that i had seen it through.

I did think (all in my mind i'm sure) that the other chickens looked at me different that day.

Even when i have to do it now, It doesnt fill me with dread but i'm not at the stage yet that i can just do it without feeling anything.

I cant do it either if someone is watching, not that my hubby would be able to watch he'd have passed out by that stage  :nowink:


Whatever you decide, you know we are all behind you

ehs284

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Re: Advice on Culling a sick Hen
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2013, 16:38 »
Agree with Splash. Best of luck when the time comes.
I don't know what method you intend to use, but this is the way I've dealt with the act as the first time I tried to dislocate the neck it wasn't good.
Keep the bird calm.
Have a hard board securely fixed at a low level.
Have a sharp axe
Hold the bird gently in the left arm (if you're right handed) and using the other hand, suddenly pull and twist the neck using as much force as possible.
The bird will be unconscious
Quickly lay it down on the board with neck outstretched
With a single blow decapitate.
The bird will not know what happened and you will be certain that it did not suffer.
The body will twitch, but these are muscle spasms; no head, no pain.

EnviroChick

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Re: Advice on Culling a sick Hen
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2013, 17:42 »
Hi Prod.

Sorry to hear one of your chickens is poorly. I had to dispatch one of my own a few weeks ago. I used the broomstick method as I think it is one of the most humane. I'm relatively new to chicken keeping and had to dispatch one of my ladies much sooner in my poultry career than I anticipated :(

I found this article to be very helpfulhttp://greenmeadowpoultry.co.uk/despatching.html

and there's a very short video here which demonstrates the method clearly. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR55rMaBQfs

I was sad that I had to do it, she was my favourite chook, but in the end I was glad that I was able to do it. She had been very unsteady on her legs for a few days and one morning I found her at the bottom of the coop unable to stand and she was very distressed. There was no vet available at that hour so I knew I had to do it myself (I don't know anybody else localy who keeps poultry so I had nobody to ask for help), I couldn't leave her suffering. I seperated her from the other girls, kept her calm and quiet by talking to her. Gave her a quick (gentle) hug and apologised :(

I had a little sob for myself afterwards, like you I had never culled an animal before so the whole experience was entirely new to me. But now I know that should I ever need to do it again in the future I know I am capable.

It's perfectly ok to feel a bit nervous and distressed by the idea of dispatching a pet. When the deed needs doing, get whatever equipment you might need together and maybe go through the motions once or twice. Try to stay calm, deep breaths and try to relax.....easier said than done ....I know.

Best of luck with whatever you decide to do. I'll be thinking of you xx

grinling

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Re: Advice on Culling a sick Hen
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2013, 21:54 »
culling something you know has no name and is there for food is one thing, but having to do so to something you have loved is different. my BIL did Snowy for me whilst I sobbed my heart out, but I have culled others since then for other reasons. I dread the day if I need to do one of the girls, but BIL would help of needed and I would help him with his.

Jomtie

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Re: Advice on Culling a sick Hen
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2013, 11:53 »
I'm a complete wuss. I know that all you hardened poultry keepers will baulk at the thought, but my poorly coucou Margot, who was also my  favourite (but don't tell the others I said that!) was taken to the vet who put her to sleep by injection. He keeps chickens himself but can't bring himself to dispatch his own by any other method either!! Our local poultry farm will do it for 5 but I preferred to take her to the vet. 
Hens - Tilly (Copper Black), Hettie (Blacktail), Clara (Bluebelle) & Ruby (Partridge). 
RIP Margot the Coucou Marans & Geraldine the Ginger Ranger.
Cats - Herbie (LH black moggy), Louie (Seal Point Ragdoll) & Jazzi (Dilute Torbie kitten)
RIP Ollie (Seal Point Ragdoll - Sept 2005 - April 2013) :(

Prod

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Re: Advice on Culling a sick Hen
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2013, 13:03 »
Well I originally posted this as I have a hybrid with an infected eye which seemed to have got better. However if you read my post 'Infectious Sinusitus' you will see I have had to cull my Cream Legbars.  I used the broomstick method.   Unfortunately later today I will have to cull 3 more including my legbar cockerel and the hybrid whose eye has got progressively worse.  I am not looking forward to it.   It sounds awful  but I bought a garden incinerator this morning as I cannot keep burying them. I am not going to replace any more chickens till spring I think and hope we get a hard winter to kill off anything that is lurking.........  Oh the joy of keeping chickens. 

grinling

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Re: Advice on Culling a sick Hen
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2013, 21:41 »
It is illegal to bury them, (found out after doing so myself) and you might also get a visit from Mr Fox.
As for getting a chicken farm to dispatch, a mate of BIL does this in the egg sheds when they change the birds over...vet is a more pleasant option.

nerdle

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Re: Advice on Culling a sick Hen
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2013, 14:29 »
I went to the vet. 10.26.
Three Pekins. Chocolate, Lavender and White.  Chocky, Lavvy and Whitey.

Prod

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Re: Advice on Culling a sick Hen
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2013, 15:19 »
I went to the vet. 10.26.

Well I lost 3 and I have had to cull 5  so after already paying for antibiotics more vet's fees were out of the question. Since I started keeping them last year my partner says I have spent the equivalent of a third world country's debt  so  no more......... :(

grinling

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Re: Advice on Culling a sick Hen
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2013, 19:17 »
if you are now chickenless, it might be better going to a different supplier or have chicks or borrow an incubator and hatch eggs.
If you were nearer, I would gladly put eggs under Roberta when she goes broody, but I'm in Lincolnshire which is probably a bit far.
Good luck.

Prod

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Re: Advice on Culling a sick Hen
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2013, 07:44 »
if you are now chickenless, it might be better going to a different supplier or have chicks or borrow an incubator and hatch eggs.
If you were nearer, I would gladly put eggs under Roberta when she goes broody, but I'm in Lincolnshire which is probably a bit far.
Good luck.

Hi that is so kind of you.   I still have 3 of my original girls that I bought when I started plus a pair of Buff Orpingtons. My bluebell went broody so she hatched 3 chicks, one happens to be a Buff Orpington hen and the other two are welsummer cross cockerels.   I also have a trio of rare Nankins   so I will keep to those for the moment  and see what happens over the next few mths.....

Mrs Bee

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Re: Advice on Culling a sick Hen
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2013, 08:01 »
I think the thinking about the deed before hand can be the worst part.
I had to dispatch a chicken for the first time recently. Used the broomstick method as taught by the lady that I buy my chickens from.

It was so quick.
I thought I would feel a bit wobbly and upset but I was fine. I think it was knowing that she was right poorly.

Had to do it while everyone else was out as they would have been upset and very wobbly.

The local vet charges 22.50 which is more than I paid for the chicken.

ANHBUC

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Re: Advice on Culling a sick Hen
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2013, 15:48 »
I'm a complete wuss. I know that all you hardened poultry keepers will baulk at the thought, but my poorly coucou Margot, who was also my  favourite (but don't tell the others I said that!) was taken to the vet who put her to sleep by injection. He keeps chickens himself but can't bring himself to dispatch his own by any other method either!! Our local poultry farm will do it for 5 but I preferred to take her to the vet.

Definitely not a wuss Jomtie, it is not something I relish doing.

It is illegal to bury them, (found out after doing so myself) and you might also get a visit from Mr Fox.
As for getting a chicken farm to dispatch, a mate of BIL does this in the egg sheds when they change the birds over...vet is a more pleasant option.

I did not know that grinling, having had a look online it is also illegal to burn or cremate them in your garden.  I would not bury them personally as a friends dog dug up three of her hens this summer, one had been buried for 3 years.  I think the hot weather must have released the scent which was irresistible to her dog.   :(

I think the thinking about the deed before hand can be the worst part.
I had to dispatch a chicken for the first time recently. Used the broomstick method as taught by the lady that I buy my chickens from.

It was so quick.
I thought I would feel a bit wobbly and upset but I was fine. I think it was knowing that she was right poorly.

Had to do it while everyone else was out as they would have been upset and very wobbly.

The local vet charges 22.50 which is more than I paid for the chicken.

I have to put the key in the back of the front door when I am dispatching in the garage so that I don't get any family members with keys letting themselves in.  I have to clear all traces/feathers up before hubby goes in.  I did ask for his help holding a chicken when treating it for bumble foot but he ended up having to go out for some air.  The chicken just laid there calmly and quietly.  ::)   :lol:
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Mrs Bee

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Re: Advice on Culling a sick Hen
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2013, 16:39 »
They do say that women are the stronger sex, ANHBUC. ::)
If a job has to be done, we just get on a do it.



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