Chickens cannot live on just 1 leg - My beloved hen, Beth, and I learned this the hard way.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jennymariegarci, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. jennymariegarci

    jennymariegarci New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2016
    I rescued Beth from the feed store when she was just a chick. Her leg was completely broken and sticking out in the wrong direction. I had a local vet do surgery on her leg. The joint fused and she was never able to use that leg. It was at least in a better position than it was before, but it was pretty much dead. I regret having the local vet do the surgery even though he saw birds regularly. After going to an Avian expert I learned so much more and they would have probably done a much better job. I found an Avian specialist 4 hours away and took her there this week because my local vet seemed uncaring and made me wait weeks to even get her in to see him. Another huge regret on my part, waiting around for him. I should have made the drive before. I just keep thinking that if I would have taken better care of her she would still be here with me today. She dislocated her knee on her good leg which is much worse than it sounds. Chickens do not have sockets like mammals, so basically even if they put it back into place it would not stay. Her tendons were damaged and painful. She now had 2 bad legs and was in pain and could only lay on her side. This happened because of overuse of her good leg. She came inside often and whenever they'd want to go in the front yard I would carry her, but this wasn't enough. Her hopping around the yard destroyed her other leg and we had to put her to sleep this morning. She was only a year and a half old and she was my favorite pet. I grew closer to her than my cats which is surprising because I've had my cats for many years. She was a beautiful gentle creature and I feel so terrible that I didn't do a better job taking care of her. We had a special bond that I will forever miss.

    Now I know that I could have gotten a prosthetic leg, instead of keeping her as a 1 legged chicken. It was done recently by a school in Massachusetts and I'm sure other Avian specialists or Veterinary schools would be willing to do the same. I really wish I would have known that this was an option before. My local vet did not tell me that something like this could happen. It's so tragic that I was not informed. Another option would be making a wheelchair. Chickens can get bedsores just like humans if laying in the same spot for too long so you would need to figure out the best way to make the wheelchair and I'd recommend consulting a vet. Because of this I would first recommend trying to get a prosthetic leg. The cost of surgery was $2,500. That would have probably sounded like a lot to me back then, now I'd pay anything to have her back. If I could have given her a leg that would have been the best thing in the world for her and completely life changing. Please do not make the mistake I did. Figure out a way to relieve the pressure of hopping around on one leg. Bring them inside, get chicken diapers, do whatever it takes to prevent this irreversible injury of the other leg. Also, my other hen became extremely mean to her so keep any injured or handicap chickens away from others because they will peck them in the attempt to kill them to avoid bringing predators.
     
  2. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm so sorry you lost your precious girl. You did the best you could with the information you were given and I'm sure she knew she was loved. So little is known about chickens as they are generally put down rather than people spending money on them to help them get better. At least you now know you have an Avian Vet near you who knows about chickens. My Mum took her chicken to an Avian Vet and they were completely useless, running pointless and expensive tests. They didn't have a clue about chickens.

    I've got a little bantam at the moment I am nursing along. She can't stand up for some reason, yet she still kicks and moves her legs. I'm not sure what's wrong but I've got her on Nutri Drops and am getting as much food and fluid into her as I can (which isn't a lot). She's still bright eyed so I'm not giving up yet.

    It's so hard to know what to do and we can only do our best to try and save our precious pets. I do hope you find another special chicken that will help to heal the hurt of losing one that was so precious.
     
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  3. jennymariegarci

    jennymariegarci New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2016
    Thank you for your kind words. I really do miss her and I'm so sad that she missed out on living a full happy life. I know my intentions were good, I just wish I would have educated myself better so I could have prevented this from happening. Being disabled must be so hard on these poor sensitive creatures. You're completely right about people not treating chickens. Seems like their first thought is always to put them down instead of spending money taking them to the vet. They say they're only worth $3 at the pet store. That's such a terrible way to think about a living being. It's hard to find a good Avian vet. Sorry that you don't have a good one there. I can't believe your avian vet didn't know anything about chickens. That's ridiculous...they shouldn't even be calling themselves an avian vet if they don't treat types.

    I hope your little chick pulls through. I read that lack of Vitamin B in chickens can cause leg disfunction. Hopefully, the vitamin water you have has a good amount of B vitamins. I've read about a lot of young chicks gaining function of their legs after care, so there's definitely hope.

    Thanks for the reply.
     
  4. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

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    Sadly our Calypso passed away this afternoon at 20 weeks old. She was bright yesterday and trying to use her legs but today she barely opened her eyes and I knew she wasn't going to be with us much longer. She was the sweetest and friendliest of 4 pullets we hatched. We buried her by some forget-me-nots that have sprouted wild in our backyard. Our daughter wanted to take photos of Calypso's body so we let her. I figure it's all part of the process.

    We have a very broody bantam who has been broody for 10 weeks. I've been toying with the idea of getting her some chicks (as she seems quite determined something is going to hatch)! Today sealed the deal and we'll be picking up some silkie chicks to pop under her tomorrow. It will be a good distraction for all of us as we all loved Calypso. Hopefully they will help us heal a little.

    I'd like to think Beth and Calypso are scratching around together somewhere out there, happy and free.

    Thanks for giving me somewhere to write this as it does help to share with understanding people who know the pain of losing a dearly loved pet.
     
  5. jennymariegarci

    jennymariegarci New Egg

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    I'm so sorry to hear about Calypso. I hope you are doing okay. I know you were working hard to try and nurse her back to health. I know how hard that can be when ultimately we aren't in control of the situation, as hard as we try. The sweetest ones are always the first to go. They leave a real void in your heart.

    How is it going with the new chicks? I am considering adopting 1-2 hens to keep my others company. Have you introduced full grown chickens to your flock? Do you recommend it?
     

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