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I had a chicken that developed a bumb leg and was picked on by the group to the point that she stayed outside the coop one night. I decided to rehab her for a couple of weeks in our kitchen in a pen, and she seemed to be doing well. We tried to reintroduce her today to the flock, and it wasn't pretty. They tried to rip her apart. I had to jump in and save her. I had to put her out of her misery. One of the hardest things I've every done. It's tough to stop the suffering of a pet you cared for, and seemed to care for you.
 

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I feel your pain DPBsbees. I have chickens as well and had a somewhat similar situation happen last year. All the best.
 

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It's all part of the pecking order,Her being injured and then removed from the group for a bit moved her down on the list.
It is sad to see......Oh and mine are considered pets by my daughters.:)
 

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I feel sorry for DPB. Chicken farmers would have culled her when she first got injured. Yours are pets. Don't name your chickens, unless you name them Dinner.
 

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I feel sorry for DPB. Chicken farmers would have culled her when she first got injured. Yours are pets. Don't name your chickens, unless you name them Dinner.
I think you're correct, Mark. The next one that gets injured is going to get culled right away. No point in trying to rehab and get attached to the chicken as she appreciates your help.
 

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Most of my family were vegetarian when the kids were growing up, which is when we had chickens. Forty or more at a time some years. So I didn't butcher chickens for meat, but a lot of folks do. Raise them for eggs and then butcher for meat at a certain age, replacing them w/ new layers.

Many years ago our Amish neighbors butchered their birds and canned fried chicken. Their normal annual food production.

If your kids are going to eat chicken bought from the store, maybe a life lesson for them and maybe also for you would be butchering hens rather than them dying from old age. The chickens that is, not the children. :)

We did raise a cpl of hogs for the man who bought most of our eggs. The kids went to the slaughter house when it was time to harvest Hammy and Bacon.
 

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Sorry to hear of that, I know how you feel. Any behavior that suddenly makes a hen seem different from the rest of the flock is grounds for assault in the eyes of the flock. Usually, it is a rooster that initiates everything.

Like others have written, the difficulty comes from perspective. To me, our chickens are livestock. To my wife, they are pets that give eggs. So, I get to play the heavy when culling needs to take place. The more I do it, the easier it becomes to see when doing so is the right choice. I've found that if the question of "should I cull?" occurs to me, the answer is almost always yes. Culling is a necessary part of animal husbandry (and wildlife management), and is for the greater good.
 

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I imagine that the other hens see the injured or weak hen as a threat to the flock, whether they have the brains to figure that out or not is debatable.
 
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