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Old 04/27/13, 11:34 AM
K Epp's Avatar  
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Georgia
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How do you cull...

How do you cull a sick or injured bird? A chick who has hatched that for some reason just isn't right? I don't look forward to it, but I guess it is time for me to learn how to do this. I have over 50 chickens, ducks and turkeys now and have had a few issues arise. I had a chick I was given that had a bad peck on its head. I thought it was going to be fine and at 3 mths was starting to integrate it and some others into the flock by keeping them in a large dog kennel in the barn with the chickens and goats. I went down to check the next day she couldn't hold her head up and was very clumsy. I put her in a cat carrier and brought her into the garage, but the next morning when I went to feed her she was dead. I have a bantam pullet who is about the same age who was injured in a fish tank in my house now. It can't get around very good. The injury is in its hip joint. Its eating and drinking fine and I though it would recover, but after a week it is still the same. I don't know that she will ever be able to go back with the other birds and I don't want a house chicken either. I don't know what to do...
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Old 04/27/13, 05:59 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Eastern North Carolina
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How do you cull a sick or injured bird?
There are lots of ways to kill a bird.
Cutting the head off is quick and painless.
Breaking the neck works just as well
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Old 04/27/13, 07:20 PM
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With that size, you should probably snip off the heads quickly and painlessly with a good set of pruning shears so you don't hesitate and prolong the act.

Wringing necks is very difficult to handle emotion-wise-- having to screw up your resolve to do it in the first place, and then relying on your hands not to hesitate while the living thing twitches... at least with the shears it'd be over before you could really lose your nerve.

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Old 04/27/13, 09:33 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 41
When I cull (for physical problem, illness, or production standards) I cut the head off. That is the easiest way for both you and the bird.
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Old 04/27/13, 10:23 PM
K Epp's Avatar  
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Georgia
Posts: 810
Thanks for the instructions. I'm not to that point with her yet. I just don't know anything else to do to help her. I thought I was supposed to hit it with a hammer or something. I have a few bantam in the brooder now and when its time to move them to the 1st grow out coop I'm going to try to put her with them. By then her clumsiness wont be such a danger for them.
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Old 04/28/13, 01:48 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 178
We use a block of wood with two nails to hold the head and then chop it off with an axe.
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