Crippled Chicken - A Heartbreaking Story of Hope and Redemption

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by 2ndChanceRanch, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. 2ndChanceRanch

    2ndChanceRanch Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi everyone,

    I am fostering a crippled hen who originally was going to keep my lone Rhode Island Red company. When I introduced the new hen, the RI Red bit her and tore at her feathers.

    This visitor, who I'm calling Sweetie, was being picked on by her original flock, and she moved here with the intent that a smaller coop would help her thrive.

    She has a very crippled leg, and the other foot is deformed. Ultimately, I want her to live outside and be an egg producer, but for now she is in my office, indoors, getting some pretty royal treatment.

    A farmer friend told me today that if Sweetie does not start acting stronger and healthier in a week, I need to give up. I can't seem to load the video I took of her today, but if you've ever seen a chicken with splayed legs, it's sort of like that. One leg is splayed and the other isn't, but on that second leg, the foot is screwed on sideways.

    Do I have any hope of this chicken living a happy life (as long as the RI Red stays out of the picture)?

    Thanks!
     
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Welcome to BYC.
    Chickens instinctively know when another chicken is sick, injured, or have a defect of some sort. Healthy chickens will try to eliminate the defective chicken as not to attract predators to the flock...this would result in possible flock elimination. It is survival of the fittist.
    Additionally even with a flock of healthy chickens, there is a pecking order that they adhere to, even if there are only two birds. One will be dominant over the other. This is the way it is in the chicken world.
    You have a decision to make. You can keep her seperated from other chickens and provide care for her for the rest of her life. Or, if you decide that this problem is interfering with her quality of life, cull her.
    Good luck with whatever choice you make.
     
    2 people like this.
  3. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life Out of the Woods Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!
     
  4. 2ndChanceRanch

    2ndChanceRanch Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks so much for your reply, dawg53. I agree that I have a decision to make. In your opinion, is this hen capable of being an egg producer?
     
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    HI there, [​IMG] and welcome to BYC!

    Sorry about your hen. However if this were my bird, I wouldn't have the heart to leave her out with the others. She will ALWAYS be at the bottom of the pile and will eventually suffer the consequenses, eat less and have less vigor in life because she is on the bottom of the pile in a bad way. Could effect her mentally.

    If she were my bird, and if I could make a place for her here in the house, I would do it. Lots of people have house chickens that are handicapped. They wear diapers and live in the house. One lady even has a giant nest box for her bird that has been living in the house for a few years now. Can be done. On bird has a hernia and still lays well. The bird sleeps around the house, on the couch and enjoys the good life. LOL

    If I was unable to provide her with a space in my home here, I would probably put her down. She doesn't stand a chance with the others outside. She could eventually be killed.

    Good luck with your baby and enjoy BYC!
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. Dawg53 has given excellent advice. Good luck whatever your decision.
     
  7. 2ndChanceRanch

    2ndChanceRanch Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for your input, TwoCrows. Basically here at the ranch, we are divided down the middle: I would TOTALLY (!) keep Sweetie indoors, in diapers, until such time she can manage an outdoor lifestyle (I plan to keep her and my mean old red hen separate). But my very tolerant husband has nearly had it with my Patron Saint of Disabled Critters proceedings.

    Ultimately, I can move her to a garage home, and that may be how this all ends up. Now that I have her in my care, I don't have the heart to return her to the original flock, where she would surely be pecked to death.

    I'm outing myself here; I'm one of those fools who gets really attached to animals, and I think of them as critters of earth who deserve a fighting chance. I can give them that chance, but my poor husband might be just about as opposite as it gets in that regard. I'm lucky he keeps giving me another chance after exhausting his good nature by bringing livestock into his house!

    Thank you for all your wisdom, everyone. I am so happy I found this community.
    Heather
     
  8. 2ndChanceRanch

    2ndChanceRanch Out Of The Brooder

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    It probably goes without saying that my friends all think I'm insane.
    C'est la vie, right? (Don't answer that.)
     
  9. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    It matters not what others think. This is your journey in life and it is never a good idea to do what others think you should do. Follow your own path and heart with this one. This could be a very rewarding experience for you and her. But just remember that is at any time she is suffering you should put her down.

    Good luck with your bird! Here is a thread where people with house chickens are very active and chatting that you might want to chime in a "discuss" the situation....

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/299187/people-with-house-chickens

    Keep us posted! I am always curious about how these handicapped birds turn out. [​IMG]
     

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