Prolapse? We fix those ourselves. Most are fixable if found in time. If not, you euthanize the poor hen. A vet isn't anymore equipped to deal with a minor prolapse than the chicken owner is. Fused bones? Never even heard of such, never saw it, would say it's 1 in 1,000,000,000 odds of having such a thing. Sounds like a culling ailment to me.
If I had a dog who needed super expensive surgery right now, do you know what I'd do? Opt to have her euthanized, which is why when my almost-fifteen-year-old dog is gone, we will not get another one. I do not have $$$ to care for my DH and myself, being retired military, in the U.S. system the way it operates, much less pay thousands of dollars for health care for any animal, not a dog, cat or chicken, even if a vet was available who was a whiz-bang with chickens, would lower himself to treat a chicken, and wouldn't charge me what he'd charge to treat a thoroughbred horse. If I had a $500 bill for a pet, that is 1/3 of my monthly cash to live on. Cannot do it in today's economy. Will not go into serious debt I can't pay for, either. And I'm not sure I'd take a chicken to a vet to play around with even if I could afford it, when I may know more about that bird's ailment and anatomy than he does.
To the OP: We aren't trying to be harsh here. We just want you to understand something. Nothing is the same in the U.S. as it is in the U.K., certainly not healthcare for humans or animals. We need for you to understand this. We care about our birds.
I have pets, not livestock. Each hen has a name and by golly, she knows her name, too! My roosters are the same. I would still euthanize one with a contagious respiratory illness or catastrophic injury, even if I had to do it through tears. What we cannot fix on our own, we will euthanize. Simple as that. There is no other choice here.
Edited by speckledhen - 4/22/12 at 6:03am