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Hope for future disabled chicks!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I came across Herbert in a preschool classroom.  He/she (here-forth "he") was part of an incubation project.  He came out of his egg all by himself but he could not stand up or move around.  The other chicks were pecking at him and he could not get any water or food.  I separated him and brought him home with me.  I named him Herbert.  I then proceeded to read as much as I could about chickens and about problems with chicks.  


A lot of the information I came across was from this website and many of the stories I read were very sad and made me not very hopeful.  Herbert had the exact symptoms of many of the chicks people had given up on. Herbert would try to walk and quickly fall to one side which meant I could not leave food or water in his habitat with him. I decided to take him to avian specialist and she told me, she believed he has cerebellar hypoplasia. A condition that messes with the part of the brain that controls balance.  Basically, he was perfectly healthy, but he could not stand or walk without wobbling or flipping over and ultimately landing on his side. Therefore he would need someone to do therapy with him to help him learn how to walk.  


I gave him food and water by hand and worked on his physical therapy for many weeks and he has lived a healthy life for four weeks.  He is doing very well, improves daily, and will continue to have a healthy life.  Do not cull your chick if s/he comes out of the egg all by itself and is able to eat and drink with your assistance.  Give it a chance.  Do NOT believe everything you read online or someone's opinion.  BRING YOUR CHICKEN TO THE VET.  You brought that life into your home, you need to take care of it.  Culling is not always the BEST option.  It is much more rewarding to take care of a chicken in need and to bond with it.  Just because it's not easy, doesn't make it a bad option. 







post #2 of 13

Awwwww. He's so cute!   


I have 8 chickens,  14 Coturnix Quail, 1 pigeon, 2 Fire Bellied toads, 1 Hermit crab, 2 dogs and fish.


I LOVE all animals!!!





I have 8 chickens,  14 Coturnix Quail, 1 pigeon, 2 Fire Bellied toads, 1 Hermit crab, 2 dogs and fish.


I LOVE all animals!!!



post #3 of 13
Oh he is very precious.
post #4 of 13

Thank you for giving this chick a chance and posting your story.  Please do post new photos and keep giving updates.   :love

post #5 of 13

He is very sweet.  If you need to look into this option in the future, there is a site called K-9 Carts and they make little wheel chairs for chickens (primarily dogs but they make them for other animals).  I am considering adopting another chick that is disabled (I adopted one years ago) and I found that site so I can be prepared for whatever ends up happening.  Good luck!  

post #6 of 13

Good for you for not giving up on him!  Can you share some more news and pics?  How is he doing now?

post #7 of 13

I came looking for wheel chairs to see what might be possible for a chicken. I also intentionally adopted a disabled chicken at about 6 weeks old.  I thought I would be able to do more to correct her feet and legs, but the vet and someone on here who has a chicken podiatry page said it is too late to be able to fix her legs or feet.  So now I'm wondering about other options.  She has one leg that is badly splayed and the other not so badly out of place.  Her feet also have terribly twisted toes, so even when she can get the one leg underneath her, she can't really stand up.  Here is my original post about her.  She has gotten bigger and can't get off the ground like she was in the pics, which were from about 2 weeks ago.

post #8 of 13

Have you looked into the wheel chairs?  Maybe without the weight of her body on her feet she may be able to push herself along in the chair.  I used to do physical therapy exercises on my chick moving her legs and massaging her feet and toes.  It seemed to help.

post #9 of 13

I didn't see anything on that page that looked like it was for chickens.  Do you know of something specific you could direct me to?  My husband or I might be able to make something if we have an idea in mind of what might work.  I'm having a hard time picturing what the design would look like for a chicken though, so I'm not sure where to start.

post #10 of 13
So, yesterday at the usual trip to the feed store, I saw a chick sitting by herself...I lifted her up and she has crooked leg. The guy at the feed store said,"You can have it if you want, or we will just keep it until it got trampled over by the rest (80 chicks!!!) and die naturally." OMG󾍁󾍁󾍁 I can't!!! I know I'm risking a long lecture from my hubby, but this chickie deserves a second chance to live... Afterall, she is active, alert, eating and drinking, despite all the difficulties to do all those by herself. So I took her home and she is very active and alert. She is eating and drinking, and I plan to syringe feed her for a while until she can drag her body on her own. The breed is Sicilian Buttercup, and I named her HOPE. I hope she will live. At the moment she is sleeping with teddy bear to lean on. She is supposedly an "active" breed, completely opposite than the breeds that I am raising (I love docile, calm, sweet, playful breeds). So we'll see if Hope survives. If anybody know any vet that is willing to help pro bono this little fella's leg, please let me know. I cannot afford vet bill for a little chick. So I rely on compassion and some chicken keepers' experiences from my backyard chicken community. Hope is only 4 days old. Update: she is still alert and active as of today. She pecked me hard and bit the syringe hard. That's a good sign. I hope she will make it through.
I too don't believe culling is the only way. It may be for some people but not me. I want to give this little one a chance to live.

Upon closer look, I am almost certain that this may be birth deformity. The left leg was bent outward, and the right leg all the way to the thigh is also not straight. At the very least, when I lift her up with my 2 fingers underneath, the right leg should be straight. I just compared with the oter 2 chicks, her right thigh is outward and leg normal straight. Overall, croocked. While...her left thigh is straight and her left leg is completely facing sideways (outward to left). She can't even lift herself. The teddy bear helps lift her body. I ut food and water on my contact lenses container...because i was going to be away for about 6 hours today. I syringe fed her before i left until her crop is full. When i came back, the water on my contact lenses container is much less while the little crumble is still full. Which means she drank. She is still strong and chirpy, flapping her little wings trying to lift her body. It just breaks my heart, she seems active but she is paralyzed.
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