BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures › Home amputation success story and how-to
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Home amputation success story and how-to

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I am not a vet and have no animal medicine experience whatsoever, other than caring for my own animals at home. This is what worked for us with a broken chicken wing and I am passing on the information. I do not believe that people who cannot afford outrageous vet bills or choose not to pay them should not own animals. I also believe people should have right to administer home treatment before culling the chicken, should they choose to do so. This post of for the people who can use this experience to save a chicken they either cannot afford to take to the vet or choose not to spend the money on a vet, but would like to preserve its life. I cannot make any promises that this will work for everyone due to so many variables in biology, but I can offer a logical option to those brave enough to attempt this method. If this is offensive to anyone, I respectfully request you don't use this method, but give others the freedom to use this post unmolested. Pleas understand that you are risking your chickens life by amputating it's wing at home. Thank you!!!

S1. Understanding wing anatomy!!!

It is very important to understand the wing anatomy before attempting to amputate at home! Assess where the break is. If the bones are protruding it will never heal and the bird will eventually die from infection.
My chicks wing was broke at the elbow. The radius and ulna were poking through the skin.

I knew the cutting needed to take place between the humerus and the radius & ulna. Your situation maybe very different, so use good judgement to determine where to cut. I didn't have to cut through bone and therefore I cannot advise on how to do so.

S2. Gather all materials, even if you do not anticipate to use them.
Materials I used or would reccomend:
1. Hot knife 30+ Wats
I went to Sears and bought one for $18, plus tax. I bought mine at 25 wats because it was the only one with the knife attachment and they didn't sell the attachment separately. The blade cooled very quickly and I wouldn't reccomend something so low power for an adult bird. It worked great for our chick though. This tool allowed us to cut and cauterize at the same time. I wouldn't do this procedure without this tool period! It's a soldering iron with an exacto knife attachment.
2. Cornstarch or flour to control the bleeding.
3. Iodine for cleaning
4. Needle and thread ( I didn't use it, but I had it ready.)
5. Bactracin or neosporin (best to get the kind with pain reducing)
6. Bandaging and gauze.
7. Insulin needles
8. 20% benzocaine ( I used some for oral care ) seemed reasonable that if it can be ingested it couldn't be deadly injected.
9. Q-tips
10. Dog pee pads (optional)
11. An assistant
12. Courage
13. Antibiotics!!!!
Please note, your bird my die from blood loss or infection. Success depends on your ability to control those two factors!! The hot blade was wonderful for blood control, afterwards I covered the wound in cornstarch, wrapped it in gauze and applied strong pressure for 30 min. I also administer oral antibiotics.

S3. Administer benzocaine. Inject a healthy amount around the healthy tissue just under the place you wish to cut. Take a soaked q-tip and apply to the skin. Wait ten min.

S4. Cut and cauterize.

S5. Use flour or clotting material on open wound, wrap in gauze and apply stead pressure till bleeding has completely stopped.

S6. Recover chicken in a warm environment, brooder if possible and give her food and water.

S7. Don't forget antibiotics and redress the would with neosporin or bactracin.
Edited by madileana - 5/13/16 at 4:18pm
post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 
My bird was attacked by a hawk. I let the wound go for 24 hours before I was able to come up with a plan to remove the wing. The sooner you can remove the wing from the bird, the better. I set up the station and held our chicken while my husband did the cutting. Before we started I injected my little toe with the benzocaine to test its effectiveness and then used it on the bird. I also took a q-tip and applied the benzocaine to the skin. Everything was cleaned with iodine and the actual cutting was very quick. The bird didn't cry or struggle much.
Thing wing was bleeding and my husband used the hot knife to cauterize as much as possible, the we used flour on the wound and I applied pressure for about 30 min. I held her in a towl and applied pressure. The wound was wrapped in gauze. Once the bleeding stopped I put her in the brooder.

She ate and drank water about 20 min after being in the brooder. Before I went to bed I cut the gauze with scissors. The flour and blood created a giant scab. I applied a crazy amount of neosporin and wrapped the wing. She called for her sisters, so I put her in the garage with them.
This was her in the morning:
And her in the afternoon:

She is eating in every picture and that's a darn good sign in my mind. She didn't want to be separated from the baby flock and they are not pecky, so I allowed it. She is receiving oral antibiotics and I will change her dressing before bed. I hope this post helps someone.
Edited by madileana - 5/13/16 at 6:25pm
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Removed wing.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
I just washed the wound with warm saline. All I had was Netty pot packets. I removed bits of flour and gauze. The wound is pink and doesn't have a foul smell. After cleaning I applied an ample amount of neosporin and redressed her wing. She looks great and doesn't seem to be in any pain. I will continue to supervise her recovery and wound care.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures › Home amputation success story and how-to