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Disabled Flock Members - Page 2

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by jak2002003 View Post

Maybe feeding them bread and cat food is not a good diet for chickens?


I am sure bread and cat food are more expensive then chicken food anyway?!


I don't want to sound mean.. but if you can't afford to even buy chicken feed then perhaps you should think if you should be keeping chickens at all.. or at least stop buying more chicks?


If your pets get sick you need to be able to get them medical care... what will happen if you dog gets sick in the future.. or its get age related medical problems?


We only fed Mavis bread and cat food when we were force feeding her (it was soft and palatable) and the others only get it when we are waiting for our pay check (like today. You see, we were suppose to get a bonus check a long time ago and didn't, but that is a long story...). They also have forage and scrambled eggs, ect, so my goal is to give them all the nutrients they need while we wait.


Chickens are one of the cheapest animals to keep, and they are a great tool for learning about keeping, breeding, selling, and the genetics of animals. My family always tells me I should lower the number, which I have from 65 or so down to 50, but it is just so hard when you know each of their names and personalities to say good-bye no matter how or where they go.

We always find a way to pay for any vet care for our dogs or cats when necessary, I guess the main reason we are low on money is because we have five growing teenage boys in the house (LOL :P). Boy do they eat a lot (not to mention all the shoes, clothes, laundry, dishes, doctor visits, medication when sick, schooling, ect). Thankfully, all the kids are old enough to begin getting jobs and money should be stabilizing soon because of it.


Thank you for the advice though, I know its true that maybe I shouldn't have chickens, but we always find a way. We had gotten rid of our old flock because of money issues and that was hard. We also had to get rid of our goats. But again, we've always found a way to make ends meet (thank God) and we are just thankful for having a stable job.

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

I've been doing research on different kinds of "Special Needs" chickens and thought I would put up a list of some of the reasons chickens need a little extra help. Some things may be as small as crooked toes, others as big as missing legs.


Twisted, curled or crooked toes (as chicks this can generally be corrected with some care and patience)


Blindness (partial or complete)

Missing toes, feet, or legs (injury or genetics)

Crooked or twisted legs

Twisted, damaged, under-developed or crooked beak

Wing issues (missing, injured, ect)

Underdeveloped skull, brain damage, or other mental issues

Slipped tendon (often can be corrected)

Beaks tips clipped too short (often found in commercial layers)

Heavy birds that have grown to become lame (such as Cornish x)

Chickens with missing feathers (not just because of molt)

Chickens with Internal Laying, Water Belly, or other chronic internal diseases

Crooked neck (often can be corrected with diet)


A chicken weak from illness (needing special care)

Spraddle Leg (can be correct with time and patience)

Loss of Coordination

Partial Paralysis (whether from a disease like marek's, genetics, or injury)



I hope to post some of the ways to help these chickens in the future. I've got to do more research first. However, I'd LOVE it if you guys shared ways to help special needs and disabled chickens as well, since personal experience is always the best way to learn.

Edited by GitaBooks - 1/29/16 at 8:08am
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 

This is 'My Fav', a shipped Faverolle chick that either was hatched with a problem or was injured during the delivery. I saw the way he backed up, chirped a lot and didn't drink and held him to try to get him warm and comfortable. He grew worse and worse until he was just thrashing around on his back and had to be put down. However, I hear that many weak chicks do survive, including one of my own who I thought wouldn't make it. A little bantam sebright was shipped and showed weakness, chirped a lot, ect. After a few hours of cuddling it got all the way better though.

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

While not disabled, I did want to share a few more stories of chicks with problems that needed some extra help.


These two, Ivory and Irons, lived with their sibling (Kori) and mother (Dodie) out in their own room while they got old enough to take on the world outside. However, without enough space for all my broody hens, I decided to introduce into the room Dusty and her five chicks. They all seemed to be doing well and I opened up the doors to let them out and the other chickens in. However, one day, when I went to check on how they were doing and if they needed food or water, I found Irons sprawled out like he was dead, a gaping wound ripped into his back. He was not moving, his eyes were closed, and I was sure he was dead. I reached to pick him up and he chirped and wiggled. I scooped him into my hand and searched for the other missing chick, Ivory. I found her hiding behind a log in the room, a similar wound on her back as well as a wound on her neck down to the spine, one on the head, one on her right wing and another under her left wing. I brought them inside and held them for a little while. Then I rinsed them off, poured some hydrogen proxide on them, then some iodine, then rinsed them again, and then put some antibiotic ointment on their wounds. After holding them a while longer I set them down in a brooder I had made for them and slowly the both got stronger, willing to eat and drink on their own, and moving around. They now spend the days out with their sibling and mother while they come in at night to be watched for infection and any signs of maggots trying to get into their wounds.


This is the first time a chick that had been attacked survived for me, so it is really exciting. They are older then I usually find chicks. I lost a whole brood to an angry mother hen who attacked another hen's chicks just because she was territorial. Broody hens can be one of the biggest danger to chicks of any age.

post #15 of 16

Thanks for sharing your story! I adopted a blind chick from rural king. She is incredibly smart and sorta funny to watch. She weaves her head around like Stevie Wonder did when he played piano! She is about 6 weeks old, but I still have her in the brooder box with the baby chicks because they naturally flock to her and use her as a surrogate mother--she loves it! I will feed her treats from time to time, which is a little difficult, but when she finally learns that it's something tasty, she gets excited. I would never have thought having a blind chicken would be so rewarding. 


i named her Baba after the russian prophetess named baba vanga.





post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 

I'm so glad you're giving her a helping hand.  : )

It's incredible just how sweet chickens can be when they have a disability. They seem to understand that being nice is a nice thing to do. All my other chickens tend to be jerks.  LOL. :P

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