You need to decide what you will be doing as far as Culling (kill a bird) goes. if you can’t decide right now, then that’s ok, but for me not to say it will be an issue down the line, well, that would be wrong on my part. It will be an issue or at least, some sort of decision will need to be made based on what your chicken- goals are.
If you want a Pet, then chances are you will never Cull. Then again, chances are, you might if the chicken gets too old or sick.
If you are doing this for Eggs and kind of a Pet or not so much as a Pet, then you want to decide how strict an Egger you’re going to be. If a bird stops laying or slows down, will you keep feeding it until it dies naturally or will you Cull? If you Cull, what will you do with that bird? Eat it? Bury it? Again, there will be decisions to be made.
If you get baby chics and one ends up being crippled, the other birds are hen-pecking it left and right, or something is wrong with it…will you Cull?
What about an Egg Breaker? That’s a chicken who discovers that an egg is delicious. Once they figure it out, there is no stopping them. They will go in the Coop every day and bust up Eggs– slurping everything up. Most people Cull them but make sure that’s what you have. I had a chicken who accidently poked holes in Eggs but was not eating them. She just wanted to lay her Egg where the others did but before she squat down, she tried to fluff up the nest. That resulted in pecked eggs. I solved the problem by collecting Eggs a few times a day instead of just once in the evening.
Still, an Egg Breaker can be a problem, so if you can’t Cull, then decide how you will rid of the bird. Don’t try giving it away without telling the other person what the deal is. You won’t save the Chicken. Chances are they will just meet their death by the hands of someone else. And the person will be madder than a hornet that you didn’t tell them that it was an Egg Breaker, especially if it taught the other flock how to break eggs as well.
Next article: More About Coops – Designs and Such!