Baby chick attacked

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SaraMerida3, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. SaraMerida3

    SaraMerida3 New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Nov 30, 2016
    Hello! I am new here, and have my first hatchlings. They were under mom and 5 of 6 hatched! So now, one was born with a broken leg (complex fracture of the knee/hock? area). I set it, splinted it and watched the baby until nighttime, when my husband put the chick under the mother hen, insisting everything would be ok. Well, it was not. I went to check on him and sure enough the mother was attacking the poor thing. I got him out, but she did a number on his foot, wing, and face area. I cleaned him up, wrapped him in a dry towel, and offered food and water (which he was taking from a spoon yesterday) and he is not taking now. I dripped some water into the side of his beak and he opens his mouth a little bit and drinks it, but thats it. He still peeps and is breathing fine. How do I care for him? Should I offer water in a dropper? Does the fact that he won't open his beak mean the beak is injured? The hen is very good with the others, they are 4 days old. Should I continue to allow them to stay with the mother? The foot looks very bad... Can a chicken survive with one foot? Should I let nature take its course? Ahhhhh...

    TIA!
     
  2. GitaBooks

    GitaBooks Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    6,596
    555
    271
    Jun 23, 2015
    USA
    I am so sorry to hear that. I've had the same thing happen so many times. An injured chick is usually a dead chick with a momma hen. Why? She tries to help and does a terrible job. She likely saw the splint and tried to tear it off the baby or else it was having trouble getting under her and she tried to stop it from cheeping. Whatever it is, I would not suggest returning the baby to her. Momma hens will kill their babies, I've had it happen more times than I want to remember.

    As for the chick, youngsters attacked by hens rarely make it. I'm very sorry to say it, but that is my experience. However, preventing shock, keeping them warm, preventing infection, and offering vitamin/electrolyte water by dipping their bills into a teaspoon measurer (that's what i use) or putting drips on the beak can help a lot. Moist scrambled eggs can be offered if the baby can eat.

    The leg may be broken, or it may be dislocated. There is lots of information on how to help with this, but for now I would be worried about the injuries from the attack. Just keep the leg braced. Chickens can survive with partial legs, or even with no leg, but they may never be able to go with the rest of the flock or be allowed out to roam, so it is best to try to save the leg if possible.

    I hope this helps. Best of luck to you and the baby!
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    20,357
    3,454
    401
    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Sounds more like splayed leg, rather than a broken leg. It sometimes occurs when the leg tendon doesn't fit into the groove of the hock joint properly. It pops out, causing the leg to turn at an unnatural angle. It most commonly occurs in my hatches, when my hens free range and aren't eating a lot of feed, leading me to think that it's caused by some sort of vitamin deficiency in the yolk when the egg is laid. I have not had any success in treating these chicks. They can't get around well and they end up dieing after a few days. I cull these chicks sooner, rather than later now. It's sad, but it's kinder than watching them die of dehydration, chilling, and starvation.
     
  4. SaraMerida3

    SaraMerida3 New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Nov 30, 2016
    OK, thank you! I am keeping him wrapped in the towel for warmth and in an attempt to immobilize the wing/leg. I added some sugar, salt and baking soda to the water I will try to get her some of that in a bit. I just lost a baby goat this week, I feel like my heart can't handle all this dying. I am new to all of this, so hoping this isn't how it is all the time...
     
  5. SaraMerida3

    SaraMerida3 New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Nov 30, 2016
    I considered that, but I can see the bone pop out when the leg is bent... How do you cull a chick? Like, the logistics... I have never done that...
     
  6. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    20,357
    3,454
    401
    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    I use engine starter fluid. It's sprayable ether. I put some paper towels in a ziplock bag, and spray them with the starter fluid, then place the chick in and seal the bag. The chick falls asleep and passes.
     
  7. SaraMerida3

    SaraMerida3 New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Nov 30, 2016
    that sounds painless... thanks for that info.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by