Chicken Defibrillator!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cyanne, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. cyanne

    cyanne Songster

    May 19, 2008
    Cedar Creek, TX
    It's been about a million years since I posted, but I had to share this story and I knew you guys would appreciate it!

    I officially now have the coolest farming story EVER. Today, I found one of the tiny OEGB roosters on his back in the coop, with his feet sticking straight up. He wasn't breathing, and his comb and wattles were pale. I tried doing CPR, pumping his chest and puffing air in his beak (yuck, I know). His wattles would turn red for a while, but as soon as I stopped they would go pale again. He wasn't breathing on his own and I could not hear a heartbeat. I figured he was a goner, and I was thinking about where I was going to bury him, etc...

    But I ran into soft-hearted hubby on my way in the house and he was, of course, all distressed about the situation and I decided to keep trying a little longer on the CPR so I could say I tried everything. By this time, it had been about 5-10 minutes since I found the little guy in the coop and the only signs of life were the occasional leg spasm.

    I took him in the house and kept doing little chest pushes and puffing air into him, but he still wouldn't breathe on his own and he was already feeling very cold. He would still twitch and move every once in a while, but that was about it. I'd get air into him and push his chest and his wattles would pink up with oxygen, then as soon as I stopped they would go pale again. I started thinking, "Man, I wish I had some tiny little chicken defibrillator panels to shock his heart into starting again..."

    I started wondering what I could improvise that would do the same thing without, of course, just cooking the poor chicken. Yes, I know I am crazy.

    So, our labrador, Werner, has a fancy Dogtra training collar. It has a remote control with a button you push to give him a shock. We use it to train him not to bark and not to chase the cats, chickens, goats, etc...It has a little dial that lets you turn it up all the way to a max of 127. For the lab, we never need to turn it higher than 50 or so.

    I figured, what the heck, the chicken is most likely dead anyway.

    I laid him on the bathroom counter, held the collar against his side so that the metal probes were on either side of his heart (as close as I could tell anyway). Turned the collar up to about level 90, and pushed the button. The chicken stiffened up and his wing stuck out a bit, kind of like the TV shows where they zap the patient in the ER. First couple times that was all that happened. He seemed pretty chilly, so I put him in a sink of warm water to warm him up a bit, then tried the collar again. This time, he spasmed, then his head popped up and he opened his eyes and blinked, looking right at me for a few seconds before closing them again. His head didn't flop over all limp, though, he actually kept his head up. And when I checked his chest, he was breathing on his own! Holy crap!

    I put him in my bathroom, under a heat lamp. Within the first 30 mins, his head was upright and he was responding to touch. His eyes were closed and he looked really tired, but at least he was alive and breathing. I figured I would just try to keep him warm and see if he makes it.

    Hubby told me that, if he survives, I should name him 'Miracle.'

    I said, "Heck no! If he lives, I'm naming him Frankenstein!"

    Within an hour, he was able to stand a little and drink water on his own. We went into town for a while and I left him in a brooder with the heat-lamp, water, and food. By the time I got home, he was walking around, totally alert and normal. He has been eating, drinking, and pooping just like nothing ever happened. Hard to believe that earlier today I held his lifeless little body and wondered where I was going to bury him!
  2. cyanne

    cyanne Songster

    May 19, 2008
    Cedar Creek, TX
    BTW, I *still* have no idea what happened to him in the first place. He had no wounds on him anywhere, so I don't think he was beat up by one of the other chickens. I thought he might have choked on a piece of food, but I didn't find any food in his mouth when I looked inside. He was REALLY thirsty after he came back to life and drank a ton of water, so maybe it was dehydration? He and his siblings were just put in the coop with the others a couple weeks ago and they still are nervous and avoid the other chickens. I thought he might have been hiding in the coop and not gone outside into the run where the waterers are because he was afraid of the bigger chickens. I guess it will remain a mystery.
  3. Qi Chicken

    Qi Chicken Songster

    Jul 3, 2009
    wow! Good for you and your quick thinking! I hope Frankenstein makes a full recovery!
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    That is too cool.

    I gotta say, he'd have been a goner at my house. I'm not doing cpr on a chicken, but good on you. I agree, best story ever [​IMG]
  5. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Wow I have that same collar, and a Lab too, level 54ish seems to be the sweet spot for him too.....anyway, they run out of battery annoyingly fast. Considering that we have a TriTronics Bark Limiter that runs on a watch battery and lasts "up to a year" on one battery, that Dogtra need charging every dang day!
    Knowing my luck, well, knowing myself, it's been over a month since I've charged the big collar and probably longer than that since we've needed to use the bark one. My chickens would be long gone while waiting for the collar to charge [​IMG]
  6. ma66ie

    ma66ie In the Brooder

    Jul 2, 2010
    That is the best story I have ever heard! Instead of 'Untold stories of the ER' it should be 'Amazing stories of the Chicken Farmer'. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  7. greathorse

    greathorse Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Northern Colorado
    I swear if you can document that story, get Frankestein to do one simple trick you are stupid pet tricks assuming letterman still does that. How many people think of a shock collar for a makeshift defibrillator.

    This has to be one in millions and millions and millions.
  8. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    [​IMG] FANTASTIC!! [​IMG] Quick thinking, innovative, and so totally cool! [​IMG]
  9. Desert Rooster

    Desert Rooster El Gallo Del Desierto

    Sep 4, 2010
    Hesperia, Ca
    wow, keep us posted on how he does
  10. tammyd57

    tammyd57 Songster

    [​IMG] The shock you gave him after dunking him in water was probably double the jolt because he was soaking wet! Would be kinda like dropping a plugged-in hair dryer into the tub with you. [​IMG]

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