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#1869 - 07/25/02 05:51 AM Putting down hatchlings
Big Boy Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 845
Loc: Kansas
I know that this is a sticky subject but I want to know how others feel on the matter. When should a person put-down a bird and what should factor into the decision? I cannot afford to raise every fowl hatched on my place. The ones that are crippled at birth or deformed are 'euthanized'. Those that are sufficiently damaged to either preclude reproductive activities or to require excessive amounts of coddling (for the rest of what could be a long life) are put down. That being said, I do make occasional exceptions but usually I do as I have stated. Sometimes I would love to be able to keep such birds but you can't breed them (crippled or deformed hatchlings and birds that are due to various defects and/or disqualifications a hindrance to a breeding program) and to spend money on a bird that will take 12 weeks instead of 6-8 weeks to attain butcher size seems like a waste of time, money, and materials. What do you think?

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#1870 - 07/25/02 06:19 AM Re: Putting down hatchlings
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi BigBoy!.. I think that not only is it sticky, but like you said, it's personal. I had a young SL Cochin that was abused by the flock to the point of death, I brought her in the house skinny, gasping for breath and listless.. I thought she was a gonner and would have put her down, but at the time didn't know how to do that to something that small... I have since leaned from the old archives how to do this.. but, needless to say, 3 days later, when I thought she was ready to die, she quit gasping for air and started eating and drinking on her own! She is now, a beautiful, healthy member of the flock and my husband always says, "remember when you were thinking of killing her?".... (like I needed to be reminded!!)
On that, I had the space, the time and the resources to devote to this bird, as well as others who have stayed in the bathroom... and then there were those were crippled or whatnot, and I let nature take it's course... I really have a tough time euthanizing babies.. nothing to take the head off an adult, but the babys, eeegads..

So I say, if you gotta do it, do it humanely.. it's not fun, but sometimes it has to be done...

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#1871 - 07/25/02 07:11 AM Re: Putting down hatchlings
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
I have never had to put down a chick yet (knock on wood) but I would definitely do it if I had one that was deformed or suffering.

I look at it this way....
Part of the joy I get out of raising chickens is in knowing the quality of life my birds get when compared to the commercial operations. It doesn't matter if I am raising them to butcher or to lay. I admit to being a bit of a sucker and a hen can hang around for a long time around my place. But my birds are not getting better quality of life if I am overrun with roosters or have sick birds in cages or birds that are being picked on. I believe that a normal chicken loves to sunbathe, dustbathe, scratch and peck. If they can't do that, they aren't enjoying their life and I am not enjoying my chickens and my whole flock suffers. I guess that would be my general standard. I have tried to save chickens from various injuries or even illness sometimes and have been successful about 50% of the time. But if I feel a bird is truly suffering then I won't keep him around. That isn't fair to the bird.

It's an unpleasant task but watching a bird sick or suffering is more unpleasant to me.

Susie

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#1872 - 07/25/02 10:13 AM Re: Putting down hatchlings
Anonymous
Unregistered


In my personal opinon. when and what should factor?? you ask.. when the bird is suffering not when you are.. just my view but I have a real issue with killing any living thing unless like i said.. (the animal is in distress.)

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#1873 - 07/25/02 12:17 PM Re: Putting down hatchlings
Oatman99 Offline
Bantam

Registered: 07/21/02
Posts: 49
Loc: Wisconsin
I have stressed this many times (in the old archives)--if it can hatch on its own and take that first big leap into life, why not give it a chance to continue that which it strived so hard for in the beginning? Nature has its own way of dealing with these things. If a chick was ment to die, it would have done so before hatching. It's when people interfere that things get so out of hand and they are forced to make that big decision: to play God or let it suffer. I personally have never killed a chicken (baby or adult), and have seen many doubtfuls do miraculous things, live a half of a decade or more, and even sometimes outlive all of their "normal" brothers and sisters. Everything experiences pain and suffering at one point or another. The next time you stub your toe or break your arm should I shoot you just because you're a burden to society? No! Then why do the same to another creature? I can see where some people think it is useless to prolong the inevitable, so why not make its pain and suffering end--painless and quick. Yes it is true that everything will eventually die and the cycle of life will once agian repeat itself, but what good would the world be if all that was in it was focused on "getting rid of" all of those who were "less vigorous", sickly, and corrupted with some ailment or another? If something is going to die, it will, and if it is going to live it will do that also. So why take that chance?

Oatman_99

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#1874 - 07/25/02 02:37 PM Re: Putting down hatchlings
Aram Seattle Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 547
Loc: Washington
Otman, I am afraid to voice my opinion on the issue, wink but let's put it this way; next time I have to euthanize, I will really consider what you said.

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#1875 - 07/25/02 03:05 PM Re: Putting down hatchlings
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
Oatman,

You are entitled to your opinions and also to express them but let's not turn managing livestock into a "playing God" speech. I am worried that people will not want to come here for advice, will not ask how to humanely put a bird down, will not ask the questions they should about butchering (these birds are not 100% pets for every member here) and will not take the steps they need to take with sick birds which might needlessly and cruelly dispatch their entire flock!

Nature is far from perfect and unfortunately not everything that was "meant to live" lives and not everything that was "meant to die" dies and nature rarely resolves things without major pain and suffering. Nature wouldn't give you an 80% hatch rate, eggs in the winter or a 90% average survival of a brood. Nature doesn't separate the sick hen from the flock. Nature lets her get pecked to death. Nature doesn't feed chickens vitamins and antibiotics and cleanse their wounds to prevent infections.

When we, as humans, take on the care of animals, we have decisions to make and some of them are tough ones. To put birds into an artificial environment that we manipulate and expect "nature" to work things out just isn't going to happen. Nature wouldn't have a chicken living for a decade. You would do well to remember that.

Peace,
Susie

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#1876 - 07/25/02 03:47 PM Re: Putting down hatchlings
Graciel Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 423
Loc: New York
Domestic animals that you own are your total responsibility to take care of. That includes the dirty job of putting them down if they are suffering. As far as I'm concerned, it also means you put them down if they are creating a problem that affects YOUR quality of life, as well as their own and/or their herdmates. I'm afraid that's not very PC, but I've been a farmer my entire life and animals are my livlihood. You very quickly realize you cannot have the luxury of crippled/non productive animals around for financial reasons, as well as the simple matter of time spent dealing with them.

I've just had a couple of cases of slipped tendons in young turkey poults. That's essentially a death sentence once it happens, because they don't recover from it. They just go down in the leg, until they are crawling on the ground getting trampled on by their brooder mates. Well, what are you going to do? Let them go until they can't get water or food anymore? Leave them until the others push their faces into the litter and they suffocate, while you wait to see if they'll have a miraculous recovery? I don't think so. Remember, the animal that you kill does not know what you are going to do to it--the only one who suffers from killing an animal is the person who does it. The animal is simply out like a light and gone. These turkey poults are a hobby for me, but it doesn't lessen the duty I have towards them to give them a good life, and an easy death if it's necessary. To do less than that would be a failure on my part, and would amount to abuse by neglect.

I don't mean this post to be disrespectful of anyone else's opinions, this is just my take on it. Everyone comes to these decisions from a different place.

Jennifer

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#1877 - 07/25/02 04:18 PM Re: Putting down hatchlings
Rob Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 783
Loc: Pennsylvania
I wasnt going to enter in this fray, but Jennifer about hit the nail on the head. Real farmers just gotta do the chores sometimes. Taking a life of anything is never what you should enjoy, but it does become a part of life in the real world. Culling is one duty of animal production . It would be irresponsible to not.

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#1878 - 07/25/02 05:35 PM Re: Putting down hatchlings
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
I wrote a long reply but deleted it. Sounded to preachy shocked We each have to do what we think is best. The fact that you give it thought says to me your a good person. I'm starting preach again wink so I'll say good-bye.

Bill

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#1879 - 07/25/02 06:07 PM Re: Putting down hatchlings
Anonymous
Unregistered


oatman, well said!!!!!!! smile
susie, I did not know there could be any less than a 100% pet. A pet is a pet, if you keep the animal for a pet then there is only 100% to give.
on the other hand if you keep the animal for profit that is your choice and i guess there is nothing we can do about that but there are some of us here becouse we realy enjoy our chickens and are very intrested in bettering our skills with them. I dont believe that people will stop coming to this post becouse of some peoples opinions. they are opinions, and we are all entitled to them, even if one does not agree with them.

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#1880 - 07/25/02 06:22 PM Re: Putting down hatchlings
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
Debbie,

I'm not saying something can be a partial percentage "pet". I'm saying that not 100% of the members of this community keep chickens strictly as pets. For me it's not about pets or profit. It's about the enjoyment I get out of keeping them, giving my birds a life better than the commercial production outfits and it's about fresh eggs and high quality meat.

I also said everyone is entitled to their opinions. That includes me. And yes, there are already people saying they are afraid to post in this thread. How many are reading it and silent? On either side of the issue?

Like it or not, this is a site all about chickens and that means butchering and it also means taking care of chickens who are sick or need to be put down. Those discussions will take place here and the people who need that information on the most humane and safe ways to handle it need to feel comfortable posting.

I don't begrudge *anybody* their opinions!

Susie

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#1881 - 07/26/02 06:37 AM Re: Putting down hatchlings
Oatman99 Offline
Bantam

Registered: 07/21/02
Posts: 49
Loc: Wisconsin
Susie, yes, I realize that not every animal can be kept, and people don't have enough time to give individuals special attention. I do know that every day, countless chickens, who rely soleley upon their owners for safety and protection are "put down" just because they are or would be too burdensome for that owner. I am not blind to what happens in this world, and anything any one of us says or does can neither stop nor change what is happening out there. I am simply voicing an opinion, one lone and quiet. After all, what does a 15 year old know about life and death? To those of you who I may have offended, I will say that I'm sorry you have not come to terms with dealing with people of differing opinions, but that still does not change mine. To those of you who are too afraid of getting "beat down" by those who do not agree with what you have to say, I'd tell you to go ahead and post your thoughts on this issue. What good is an opinion that cannot be heard? And lastly, to those of you who considered my opinion and listened to what I had to say, I say "thank you" for taking time to know where I stand, even if you don't agree. With that said, and nothing more to add, I bid you happy debating.

Oatman_99

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#1882 - 07/26/02 07:55 AM Re: Putting down hatchlings
BC Breeder Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 434
Loc: Canada
the primary concern of the poultry farmer is the health of their flock, the health of any individual bird is a secondary and less important concern. Anyone who thinks twice about this should reconsider raising a flock of poultry and stick to individual pets.

In nature, natural selection maintains a flock's health from generation to generation. When we maintain a flock in captivity, we MUST try to duplicate nature's efforts to maintain a healthy flock. This means culling any individuals lacking a minimum level of fitness. And as another has pointed out, it means culling individuals that can adversely effect the flock's overall fitness. Even when the situation is excessive roosters. Whether to cull chicks or adults really doesn't matter, a bird gets killed. Timing is nothing but a judgement call to be left up to the poultry farmer, unless such a delay can effect the flock's fitness.

Anyone who allows their birds to reproduce has an ethical responsibility to maintain the health of the flock and it's genepool. This means that anyone who allows their flock to reproduce has an ethical responsibility to cull any birds not possessing a minimum level of fitness. For those that believe nature should take it's course, I suggest they listen to their own advice, let their flocks free into the wild and TRULY allow nature to take it's course. Nature will be able to better manage your flock's genepool and preserve it's health. Yes, my attitude is cold on this subject, but such is a reality for ANYONE who feels they have a right to allow thier flocks to reproduce. Those that don't have the stomache for such reality owes it to their breeds of choice to stick to non reproducing pets.
_________________________
Omega Blue Farms
http://www3.telus.net/OmegaBlue/

Pictures related to my blue eggers can be viewed at:
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#1883 - 07/27/02 06:15 PM Re: Putting down hatchlings
Big Boy Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 845
Loc: Kansas
I have enjoyed the posts thus far. The reason for my starting this thread was because this board deals with the whole arena of life and the issues of life as much as the genetics or housing or health or any other matters pertaining to poultry. I was not thinking that anyone should necessarily change points of view or areas of interest, but rather that we can come to a better understanding of ourselves and 'listening' to one another's thoughts and opinions and examining them through another's eyes and heart can serve as a means of judging our own and and settling the issues for ourselves. At the same time the human brain and intellect are not (for most of us) set in re-inforced concrete but are capable of making changes as required. Age (young or old) doesn't have as much to do with anything as the willingness AND ability to change if change is rationally indicated. Sometimes, even if we don't agree (perhaps cannot agree) we can leave avenues of communication open that may some day be needed by both parties. May God bless you all (for those of you who are not offended by the thought).

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