Culling: Sacrificing a Few for Good of Many

Culling chickens doesn’t only happen in bird flu-affected farms. It is a normal occurrence in backyard flocks, albeit in a much smaller scale.

For the uninitiated, culling is the process of removing inferior, sick or injured chickens from the flock whenever you spot them.

Raising chickens is an investment so we expect to get something in return. At some point, we expect them to lay eggs or be sold for their meat.

If there are chickens in the flock that don’t meet our expectations, culling them isn’t a bad idea. Culling removes the risk of spreading disease, increases food and water space for productive chickens, gives more space for other chickens, and increases of egg-per-hen ratio.

Here are the things to look for when culling your chicken flock courtesy of poultryone.com:

Feathers

The feathers of a laying hen should be dirty, worn, and ragged looking, since they are concentrating their energy on producing eggs and not on preening and replacing their Generic Viagra dirty feathers.

 

Combs and wattles

A non-producing hen will have scaly, pale, and shriveled combs and wattles, while a good layer will have waxy, full, bright red ones.

 

Pubic bones

Pubic bones should be flexible and you should be able to fit two or three fingers between them. A non-layer will have tight pubic bones that are quite rigid.

 

Vent

Pull back the hen’s tail feathers and inspect the vent. It should be large, oval, and moist if she’s laying well. A non-layer’s vent will be dry, tight, and round. Of all the indicators of good and non-layers, the pubic bones and the vent are the most reliable.

 

Carriage

A good layer will be alert to her surroundings and not be listless and lazy. Her eyes should be bright and she should be relatively active (such as scratching in the litter, running around with her companions, etc.).

 

Skin

Depending on when you check, a hen’s skin should be bleached, while non-layers will have dark pigmented skin.

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