This is different.

I think I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that I need to cull Splash. I wanted a Splash rooster so badly when all this began, but I can no longer ignore his problems, or his distress.

He’s thirteen days old, and still can’t poop properly. His feather development is way behind, but that might just be boyness. His bum is distended and hangs lower than the other chicks. There is a semi-hard disc in the bottom of the other chicks’ bums (yes, I’ve felt for them); this appears to be normal. Splash’s is way off to the left, and seems not to be normalising.

He spends most of his time under the Brinsea, blinking and breathing heavily.

So…what happened?

Splash was the first of five chicks I helped out of the shell. Three are thriving, one died (from smothering, I suspect), and then there’s Splash. It seems to me one of the following happened:

  • he has a genetic defect
  • he has no genetic defect, but was harmed either struggling to get out of the shell or by being helped out of it
  • he was fine when he was born, and his case of severe pasty butt is to blame

I feel responsible, of course, because…have you met me?! But, what to do now? Do I:

  • continue to intervene as I have been
  • leave him be and let Nature have her way
  • cull him

I don’t want him to suffer, but I don’t want to kill a chick that might grow to be a perfectly healthy animal. But can I ever breed from him?

The last chick I culled was my first, and it was a brutal experience. But I knew it had to be done, that there was no road to recovery.

This is different.

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4 thoughts on “This is different.

  1. There is a time to be humane, I can truly relate, take him to a bird vet, it could be something that can be corrected with antibiotics, if not the vet can give him peace, gently…

    • Everyone has their line; I, personally, won’t take a chicken to the vet unless there is a chance of a communicable disease that could affect the whole flock. Or so I say now…

  2. Ugh… I don’t think there is an answer to your question here, unfortunately, unless he really takes a marked turn for the worse or the better. Having obviously NEVER been there before, it does sound like he is suffering (no feathers, breathing heavily, etc.)… I would think I would probably… no, I can’t even say because I would probably be in the same boat you are, checking him obsessively and just hoping he gets better! Lots of love to your little animals.

    • Christie, he is doing better! I am giving him a molasses/probiotic water mixture and I can’t believe it’s the same chick!

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