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Culling - reasons for or against

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26 Culling on Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:06 am

Bob G


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Here in the Fraser Valley we have a small animal poultry sale every Saturday. When I first started breeding my culls got sold at this sale,I no longer consider this an option!! Over the years my culls started to show up at local fairs and poultry shows. It was difficult to watch new fanciers struggle with poor birds . I probably have given more birds away than I have sold. We eat most of them or grind them for pet food. I hate to see flocks producing eggs for hatching that are poor quality birds.

27 Re: Culling - reasons for or against on Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:00 am

Mel


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Bob G wrote:Here in the Fraser Valley we have a small animal poultry sale every Saturday. When I first started breeding my culls got sold at this sale,I no longer consider this an option!!  Over the years my culls started to show up at local fairs and poultry shows. It was difficult to watch new fanciers struggle with poor  birds . I probably have given more birds away than I have sold. We eat most of them or grind them for pet food. I hate to see flocks producing eggs for hatching that are poor quality birds.

Bob - that is our fear. We don't even take the chance. With over 250 exhibition and breeding bantams with the majority being OEG and a weight of 22 - 24 ounces, we cull and I mean end life. Do we like it - nope. Do we have to do it - yup. We will not breed anything that is not 'Standard' so if we happen to have anything show up that is not favorable it goes. Honestly with the price of feed, one pet bird may turn into another pet bird and how does the saying go? A bad bird eats as much as a good bird?

28 Re: Culling - reasons for or against on Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:39 pm

KathyS

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Culling is the most difficult part of being a breeder, but it also might be the most important part. My personal choice of raising only heavy breeds makes this a bit easier, since they are all useful to my family and extended family for meat. The only time I have to kill baby chicks is when they fail to thrive or have a defect such as spraddle legs, but lucky for me this is now a rare event. I think I’m now reaping the rewards of having done what needed to be done over the years to get to this point.

I think Bob, Mel and others like Blue Hill Farm have made an important point about the risks of selling culls, and I ran into something similar. I always figured it was good practice to sell culled hens for a lower price for people to use as layers. It seems like a good outcome for the hens, and a good deal for people wanting young, useful hens. But now I’ve found I have to be more careful doing this. Even though I made it clear they were NOT for breeding and pointed out the faults, some of these chickens made their way into a breeding program. And then I heard from the unlucky person who bought hatching eggs from that mating. This person was not happy with the chicks she hatched from “my line”. pale
Starting this year I am only hatching the number of chicks I have room to raise myself. I prefer not to sell chicks so that I can see for myself how they mature and then make the call on whether they will live to pass along their genes. Any chickens that I don't believe should be used for breeding I will butcher myself, or keep in my own layer pen, or let them go to someone I know who won’t be breeding them indiscriminately. Another option is to sell to urban chicken keepers who do not keep roosters.

I know we've strayed a bit from the original question of culling for deformities, but I think this is a good topic. There is no question in my mind that any chicks that hatch with deformities need to be swiftly put down. The difficult question is what do we do with the rest that are healthy, but don't quite make the grade for breeding?
scratch

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29 Re: Culling - reasons for or against on Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:24 pm

toybarons

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KathyS wrote:Culling is the most difficult part of being a breeder, but it also might be the most important part.   My personal choice of raising only heavy breeds makes this a bit easier, since they are all useful to my family and extended family for meat.   The only time I have to kill baby chicks is when they fail to thrive or have a defect such as spraddle legs, but lucky for me this is now a rare event.   I think I’m now reaping the rewards of having done what needed to be done over the years to get to this point.

I think Bob, Mel and others like Blue Hill Farm have made an important point about the risks of selling culls, and I ran into something similar.  I always figured it was good practice to sell culled hens for a lower price for people to use as layers.  It seems like a good outcome for the hens, and a good deal for people wanting young, useful hens. But now I’ve found I have to be more careful doing this.  Even though I made it clear they were NOT for breeding and pointed out the faults, some of these chickens made their way into a breeding program.  And then I heard from the unlucky person who bought hatching eggs from that mating.  This person was not happy with the chicks she hatched from “my line”.    pale
Starting this year I am only hatching the number of chicks I have room to raise myself. I prefer not to sell chicks so that I can see for myself how they mature and then make the call on whether they will live to pass along their genes. Any chickens that I don't believe should be used for breeding I will butcher myself, or keep in my own layer pen, or let them go to someone I know who won’t be breeding them indiscriminately.  Another option is to sell to urban chicken keepers who do not keep roosters.

I know we've strayed a bit from the original question of culling for deformities, but I think this is a good topic.  There is no question in my mind that any chicks that hatch with deformities need to be swiftly put down.  The difficult question is what do we do with the rest that are healthy, but don't quite make the grade for breeding?
scratch


Before I say anything further, apoligies if my post yesterday sounded cranky peeps. Just been a bit stressful lately. Feeling better now.

Funny thing was when I first started breeding a few years ago, if you check back on my posts then, I used to complain a lot as to why breeders wouldn't help out a newbie by selling their stock. Forward a few years later and...I now understand why they don't. Cause I'm now on that side of the fence. *lol* I do wrestle with those issues about whether to sell my culls. I don't mass hatch. I general keep my hatches to a set number of birds and that's it. Like KathyS, I grow out my hatches. With Houdans, you really don't get the fully effect of the bird until they are at least a year old. I've had skinny hens with fair mottling at 6 months literally blossom once they hit 1 year.

30 Re: Culling - reasons for or against on Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:45 pm

Buff

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KathyS wrote:Culling is the most difficult part of being a breeder, but it also might be the most important part.   My personal choice of raising only heavy breeds makes this a bit easier, since they are all useful to my family and extended family for meat.   The only time I have to kill baby chicks is when they fail to thrive or have a defect such as spraddle legs, but lucky for me this is now a rare event.   I think I’m now reaping the rewards of having done what needed to be done over the years to get to this point.

I think Bob, Mel and others like Blue Hill Farm have made an important point about the risks of selling culls, and I ran into something similar.  I always figured it was good practice to sell culled hens for a lower price for people to use as layers.  It seems like a good outcome for the hens, and a good deal for people wanting young, useful hens. But now I’ve found I have to be more careful doing this.  Even though I made it clear they were NOT for breeding and pointed out the faults, some of these chickens made their way into a breeding program.  And then I heard from the unlucky person who bought hatching eggs from that mating.  This person was not happy with the chicks she hatched from “my line”.    pale
Starting this year I am only hatching the number of chicks I have room to raise myself. I prefer not to sell chicks so that I can see for myself how they mature and then make the call on whether they will live to pass along their genes. Any chickens that I don't believe should be used for breeding I will butcher myself, or keep in my own layer pen, or let them go to someone I know who won’t be breeding them indiscriminately.  Another option is to sell to urban chicken keepers who do not keep roosters.

I know we've strayed a bit from the original question of culling for deformities, but I think this is a good topic.  There is no question in my mind that any chicks that hatch with deformities need to be swiftly put down.  The difficult question is what do we do with the rest that are healthy, but don't quite make the grade for breeding?
scratch
I completely agree with you Kathy it's a seller beware market out there. Come fall I believe I will be feeding my family and friends a lot of chicken. 

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