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Should it be culled or not?

Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:11 am
by Olivia9801
Every year I raise a few chickens to replace those that pass away. Furthermore I find it a real pleasure as well to raise chickens both for me and my children.

This year I went for light Sussex eggs again and managed just two hens and two cockerels. They all look beautiful birds except one of the cockerels has a nasty limp due to a hip or leg issue. I have had chicks with displaced hip issues before, and they were put down as soonest after veterinary advice. However this cockerel didn't reveal any such symptom after hatching and for a good few weeks.

Anyway It's had this bad limp for a while as I hoped it would heal. He's eating well. And moves along with the other three, but should I allow it to remain or have it put down?

There is a possibility it may adapt and cope well with this issue in which case it maybe incorrect to have it culled? The other worry is that I dont think anyone would want it either? I keep just one cockerel so fitting him will be an issue.

Advice would be appreciated.

Re: Should it be culled or not?

Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:43 pm
by Marigold
Of course it's your decision, and anything anyone else may say is just their personal opinion. Here is mine.
You would have to cull him sooner or later because he would be impossible to rehome, and would either fight with or be bullied by his healthy brother when the Spring arrived and they became fully mature. You couldn't sensibly try to keep them both, could you, and as he's disabled he would in any case be unsuitable for breeding, so in a sense the choice of which one is surplus has been made for you.
I share your problems about culling birds who have been wanted and cared for. but if you hatch your own, you have to face up to the fact that surplus cockerels have to be dealt with somehow.

Re: Should it be culled or not?

Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:39 pm
by bigyetiman
I agree with Marigold's points, but as she says at the end of the day it is you that will have to make the final decision, and it's never easy I know

Re: Should it be culled or not?

Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:43 pm
by Hen-Gen
I too agree with the others. You do not say how old he is but if he is eating well and appears to be pain free then you could keep him until he is 26 weeks then eat him.