Originally Posted by chant
Your suggestion was the perfect solution to a bad situation; they are both better off for it. I honestly don't think the flock would have accepted her. I don't know if it's something all chickens do or if I have a motly crew, but they always make new introductions go through a hazing phase. I had 1 new hen actually try to kick me in the face (with both feet!) when I bent down to remove a short 2x4 I keep in front of their coop door at night and use it to keep the door open during the day. Good thing for her the door was closed, but the force she used knocked her backwards lol. I think she stunned herself but she's never tried that again.
Thanks for the reply and the great advice.
Coming in after the fact here, but I think you made the right choice.
It is very hard to correct spraddle legs. I had an expensive rare breed hatch fiasco, and struggled for weeks to try to rescue the situation. I had taped 2 chicks, and seemed to be doing okay with one and not so okay with the other. I ended up culling the second one fairly early as its legs were getting worse and worse. The other one looked like it was going to be okay, but as it grew the problem returned and it began to hobble around on curled toes, then caught something and died.
After struggling through a number of rescues, I have come to the personal decision to simply cull those who are not strong at hatch. It simply catches up later on as the bird is hazed or succumbs to an illness because the deformity often means repressed immune system. That means that bird can become a vector of illness to my other birds.
As to what the mother chicken would do? She would drag the chick out of the nest and let it die from exposure...each time my broodies have done that with weak, struggling, deformed chicks. I intervened and tried to save them with later regret.
So yeah, I thought it sounded awful when the old timer breeders explained that they culled anything that was ill or deformed, but now I get it.
Edited by Lady of McCamley - 3/18/16 at 10:21pm