Broken Leg Recovery

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Melontine, May 27, 2019.

  1. Melontine

    Melontine In the Brooder

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    May 26, 2019
    Maine
    I have a five week old Buff Orpington who broke her leg last week. She got stuck somewhere she wasn't supposed to be and injured herself trying to get out, we found her Saturday evening. We separated her from the other five chicks and set her up someplace safe to recover, also made sure the other five would not suffer the same fate.
    On Monday, I brought her to a vet. He hobbled her legs together, putting them through a sponge so they would stay under her. Before she'd been laying with her leg outstretched behind her. I learned then that this was bad and meant that she might not be able to use the leg again because it stayed that way for so long. We went home with her legs kept in the hobble and some bandage tape and an elastic to use for another one. I changed the sponge hobble for the elastic one Wednesday night.
    With the elastic hobble, she started standing more. She was able to balance on both feet, though couldn't seem to control her toes. She also preferred to stand on just the good foot, and the bad one I noticed was much paler in colour.
    I took the elastic hobble off of her Saturday morning and noticed that it had left 'cuts' on her legs. The edges of the elastic had dug into her poor legs leaving some nasty looking gashes behind.
    She continues to practice walking and balancing. She's getting quite good at it.
    But I'm not sure if she'll ever have full use of the foot she'd broken and what those gashes mean for her. Will they heal? Do they hurt?
    What should I have done differently and what can I do now to help her recovery?

    Also, another question that's been weighing on my mind, how do I reintroduce her to the other five chicks and when do I know it's time?
     
    SeaHen likes this.
  2. SeaHen

    SeaHen Songster

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    Mar 14, 2009
    Springfield, OR

    I've learned through experience that chickens have amazing resilience and potential for recovery if given time. We inherited a True Blue Whiting chick last year that had fallen from her perch and was completely paralyzed. It took 2 months for her to recover use of her legs, but she did, and today she is totally normal. I think your chick will learn to compensate for whatever injuries or disabilities she might have suffered, and I doubt that reintegrating her into the group of other chicks will be a problem.
     
  3. Melontine

    Melontine In the Brooder

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    May 26, 2019
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    I think you are right about chickens being resilient. Today my chick was doing much better on her leg, walking around more freely and being quite the trooper. It's amazing how your True Blue Whiting chick recovered like that, makes me more hopeful that given time my baby will be just fine.

    We decided to move her back into the room where the rest are kept. They're in different little enclosers but they can see and hear each other, peck at the walls a bit. It's really weird, but in the week that she's been gone the other five have just shot up. She's now a lot smaller than them. I had my suspicions before, but seeing them in the same room she's maybe three quarters their size.
    She was crying wanting to be in with them, so I took her and one from the other group to see how they get along now. At first, it was adorable, she was following the now larger chick (not letting her leg slow her down at all) and just enjoying being back with a flock member. Then the larger chick flew up and swooped to land on her back?
    They're not ready to be kept together just yet, I knew that before this little experiment. I don't want them picking on her while she's still limping. I have no clue why she and the others look so different now, but I'm hoping she'll be able to catch up.
    I might get some pictures tomorrow comparing the difference between her and the others, but here's a couple from this morning of my recovering chick.

    58E5349F-7158-492B-8069-E95F455F8606.jpeg 1101B4A0-F673-46CA-AC52-D210BF154ABA.jpeg
     
    SeaHen likes this.
  4. Melontine

    Melontine In the Brooder

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    May 26, 2019
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    I let them interact a bit more today and took some pictures to compare the size difference.
    I think they’re doing alright together, but it’ll still be a while before I leave them alone together. 2DFB191E-4F10-4866-88DF-1AE331F91DFD.jpeg E5343ADD-4E81-4DF3-9271-D145D6E9789E.jpeg 906EDB8E-0738-4E6D-A3EE-3A9C6114FC01.jpeg 765167C5-4870-4F75-89C6-C084CAE7FE74.jpeg A51B1DD6-D233-4274-A000-578C56FA0528.jpeg 2FCC6C01-033A-4C7E-A345-797BD3E7F99D.jpeg B084745C-CF2D-4868-B00E-4CA35E0C1497.jpeg
     
    SeaHen likes this.
  5. SeaHen

    SeaHen Songster

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    Mar 14, 2009
    Springfield, OR
    They're so cute. How is the little one doing now?
     
    Melontine likes this.
  6. Melontine

    Melontine In the Brooder

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    May 26, 2019
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    She's doing great!
    I put her in with the others last night, she's been getting along with them and has just about taken over the group despite her smaller size. She's no longer having issues with her leg, or if she is she's adapted to more than makeup for them.
    She is still quite noticeably smaller, feathers less developed, and the marks from wear the elastic dug into her are still there, but overall she's doing great.
    I hadn't thought she'd get better when I first found her, so seeing her so energetic and lively is pretty amazing.

    I'll be getting their coop ready and move them outdoors later this week, that'll be interesting. But they've pretty much outgrown the space they're in now, I bet they'll enjoy being able to stretch their wings more.

    (I finally named them too. The small one is Peeps, the other pullets are Gummy, Skittles, Jelly-bean, and Starburst, the one we think might be a cockerel is Stewart or Stew for short.)
     

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