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.
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.