cross beak chicken starved to death

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by paulette p, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. paulette p

    paulette p In the Brooder

    Jul 31, 2007
    I had to dispatch one of my chickens the other day. She was a one year old Ameracauna who was born with a cross beak. I tried very hard to ensure she had very mushy food daily but at some point, she just wasn't able to get enough calories in to sustain herself. Essentially, she starved to death. I know that I could have intervened by feeding her with a syringe every day to get her weight back up but, I didn't realize she was so thin until the very end when she started to fail. I spent the last night of her life with her wrapped up in my fleece jacket and her laying on my chest all night long. The next morning I knew I had to end her suffering, which I did but, I'm feeling so guilty about it all. I loved my girl and I miss her terribly. I need some words of wisdom from you all to help me through my grief...Thank you...
  2. superjules75

    superjules75 In the Brooder

    Oct 5, 2009
    Austin, Texas
    I'm sorry for your loss. I have a chicken who isn't eating due to trauma and partial blindness and I'm afraid I'll have the same issue. I know it's tough to put a chicken down as we had to do it last weekend. Hang in there!
  3. paulette p

    paulette p In the Brooder

    Jul 31, 2007
    Thanks, Thelma was my little buddy and it broke my heart to have to let her go...
  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    [​IMG] Awww, I'm so very sorry for this tragedy. This is a real dilemma for all us chickeneers, figuring out just how much to intervene & assist, and just when it's beyond remedy & it's kinder to cull. There's no way to know for certain in all circumstances, we just have to go with the knowledge we have & give it our best guesses.

    Your hen may have had other health issues in addition to her crossed beak that you weren't aware of. Syringe feeding may have just prolonged the inevitable a bit longer. And it still may not have given her the quality of life sufficient to keep her content and free from stress.

    It sure sounds like you gave her good care & kind treatment, especially at the end. Her short life was better than most chickens get to enjoy.

    And by the way, [​IMG]
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    No words of wisdom. [​IMG] Sorry about your little did what you had to do. And it's not like you could have hand fed her the rest of her life, which may have been what it would have taken for her to flourish. On a free range farm, she wouldn't have lasted any time. You gave her love and kindness for her lifetime.
  6. paulette p

    paulette p In the Brooder

    Jul 31, 2007
    Thank you all for your kind words...
  7. sred98

    sred98 Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    I have one that I try and feed extra, but she won't let us handle her. I got her from an individual, and they knew nothing at all about chickens, just that her beak "looked funny". I got her and I'm waiting for something like this to happen with her.

    There's really nothing you could have done. Even if you force fed her with a syringe everyday, what kind of life is that for the chicken? Most of them would get too stressed out and would probably go downhill quicker.

    I think she had a happy life acting like a "normal" chicken, and she just got tired. She probably lived a lot longer, happier life with you than a lot of other people. It was really nice of you to give her special mushy food. [​IMG] A lot of people wouldn't go to that much trouble. It was also really sweet of you to cuddle her on her last night and let her know she was loved. It probably comforted her a lot just having someone nearby and being warm.

    It is hard to do, but we have to cull them sometimes. [​IMG] I know it's hard. I've had to do it too. I dread the day when I have to cull Whopper (as in Whopperjaw) it will be really hard, but I know that with a crossbeak chicken, it will eventually happen. [​IMG]

    Sorry you had to do that. Don't blame yourself, and don't feel bad. She had a good life, she just got tired. [​IMG]

    Sorry for your loss,

  8. Luvin Life

    Luvin Life Songster

    Apr 21, 2009
    Brownsburg, Indiana
    [​IMG] we understand. Sorry for your loss. [​IMG]

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