Time to say goodbye to this batch. :(

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Icemaiden
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Re: Time to say goodbye to this batch. :(

Post by Icemaiden » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:12 am

When I first decided to keep ex-batts, my plan was to keep them until they stopped laying, then let them "fully free range" & let nature take its course. Once I'd been given advice on the forum as to how the latter would mean their dying in terror in the jaws of a fox, & once we'd adopted our first 4 hens & they'd become family, my original plans went out of the window!

Now, so long as they have quality of life, we keep them. After all, neither I nor my husband produce eggs, but we're not ready to be euthanised yet!

I freely admit to being a bit soft. Guilty as charged, mi'lud...
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
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LadyA
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Re: Time to say goodbye to this batch. :(

Post by LadyA » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:18 am

Icemaiden wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:12 am


Now, so long as they have quality of life, we keep them. After all, neither I nor my husband produce eggs, but we're not ready to be euthanised yet!

I freely admit to being a bit soft. Guilty as charged, mi'lud...
I used to keep all the oldies until they became ill. But (apart from not having an extra house anymore) I'm on a very low income now, and can't afford too many freeloaders around here! My two special needs cats, which I didn't know when they arrived would turn out to be special needs, and house cats, are worryingly expensive, and in return for all the money spent on them, all I get in return is....well, yeah. Cuddles, and furry warmth on the couch in the evenings, and giggles at their games. I wouldn't get rid of them, but do I regret having these two expensive freeloaders? Yes! Mouses gaily running around having festivities outside, and these two can't go out!! :roll: And I've always fed my hens organically, which is €22 for a bag here, and I have to go almost an hour's round trip to get it. So the years of me keeping the pensioner hens are gone. For me, I hate watching the hens becoming ill, and having to cull them myself. This way, I won't have to go through this drip feed of culling, and the guy that culled them will use them (tough as I'm sure they will be!) for meat. Once they become ill, I wouldn't allow the guys to use them for meat, because although I generally had a good idea what the issue was, I couldn't be absolutely sure.
This is going to be a bit experimental too. This last batch were so good. No issues at all, since I got them, except the one that died in her sleep recently, and the one that I almost culled because she looked so very ill a week or so ago, but she suddenly recovered in the nick of time! And this batch had come into a "clean" environment, where there hadn't been chickens for a bit. The ground had had a rest, and the house/run had been empty for a while and scoured & disinfected. Did that have anything to do with the health of this batch, or was I just lucky? So, I'm going to leave it at least six weeks or so before getting new ones and meanwhile, disinfect the house & run, maybe spread a little lime on the ground outside, and then see how well they do. I was going to start today and clean the house - but there's a wind out there this morning that would take the door off if I left it open!
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself!
bigyetiman
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Re: Time to say goodbye to this batch. :(

Post by bigyetiman » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:35 pm

It is always a tricky one if you are not hard hearted what to do with older hens. Luckily we have the room to keep a few old timers especially if they are characters. Not an option for everybody.
Most hybrid layers don't have a long life and we do despatch any swiftly that are sick.I never thought the OH would do it, but after the 1st time she is swift and efficient with a meat cleaver, very scary.
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Tweetypie
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Re: Time to say goodbye to this batch. :(

Post by Tweetypie » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:59 pm

I'm so glad I am not the only soft touch on here :-)
Well, I am pleased to say that for the past 4 days, I am now back to collecting 4 eggs a day! I have so many I will have to either do some baking, or give the neighbour a dozen. ;-) I am making the most of it really, but hope they continue to be healthy for a few more years.
I would dread having to despatch mine, I would have to ask the vet to euthanase, as I know my husband would not do the deed either. He's quite handy with his rifle (pigeons), but I know he couldn't do it to the hens.
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Marigold
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Re: Time to say goodbye to this batch. :(

Post by Marigold » Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:39 am

No reason why you shouldn't take them to the vet when the time comes, Tweetipie. I've done that with several of mine and it's comforting to see them just go to sleep on the table. My vet charges about £18, which includes disposing of the body. It depends on cost for many people with lots of birds, of course. It's probably good to know how to do it yourself in an emergency, or if you find an injured bird when out in the countryside, but best to be shown how to do it properly, or at least to have someone you can trust to do it for you.
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chrismahon
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Re: Time to say goodbye to this batch. :(

Post by chrismahon » Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:00 pm

A chicken's brain is a very small target Tweetypie and when it came to say goodbye to our Basil we took him for his first and last visit to the vet, even though we have an air rifle and air pistols, as I couldn't bear to get it wrong. He was a huge chap (over 6Kg) so he had two injections, the first smaller one just to knock him out (still took two minutes, much to the vet's astonishment) and the second was the final 'blow'. For reference, the shot must be sent from above the eyes backwards towards the ears. Don't steady the head or you will shoot yourself in the finger! If the bird just slumps it is only stunned- it should start struggling immediately, so you have missed and need a very fast second shot.

The vet, when asked if she treated many chickens, answered "no", which we read as doesn't treat any. She also did emphasise that we couldn't eat him afterwards.
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LadyA
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Re: Time to say goodbye to this batch. :(

Post by LadyA » Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:23 am

Remember that scene in "The Good Life" where the husband went out to kill a chicken with a pistol, and missed completely? And then, there's the (true) story of the chicken that a farmer botched beheading with an axe. He missed the brain stem, and that bird lived without its head for around two years!! He was famous, it seems, as a sort of sideshow, back in the US in the 1930s. They fed him with a dropper straight into his crop! That's why I always use a broomstick, and dislocate the neck. You can feel it go. And you know the bird has had a swift end.
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself!
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Tweetypie
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Re: Time to say goodbye to this batch. :(

Post by Tweetypie » Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:00 pm

I can't remember that episode, LadyA, but I used to love that series. All those types of tv series' were great, unlike the junk they put on now. 🤨
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LadyA
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Re: Time to say goodbye to this batch. :(

Post by LadyA » Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:48 am

It was quite early on, when they were getting set up with their self sufficiency.
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself!
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LadyA
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Re: Time to say goodbye to this batch. :(

Post by LadyA » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:14 am

Gosh, things here got so busy, that only now am I getting there, as regards to being ready for new hens!! The house & run is clean and now I just have to clean the feeder, and get new bedding and stuff for the floor of the run. So, hopefully, end of this week or next week, I'll be in line for some new girls, and importantly, good eggs, again! My daughter nearly went into shock at the cost of eggs! "Mum!" she said "Do you KNOW what eggs cost?? Not even organic ones, just free range? 20c EACH!!" :lol: :lol: So, they will be glad to have free range organic eggs again too!

I'm going this morning looking for something to give some rain/wind shelter on one side of the run. It's roofed and has mesh walls, but the prevailing gales here are something else! I used to use tarp, but it just got shredded very quickly with the wind. I am thinking of maybe willow screening? It doesn't need to keep everything out, just so that the rain isn't blowing as strongly straight into the run.
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself!
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