Did i do the right thing?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Wiesshund, Apr 28, 2016.

  1. Wiesshund

    Wiesshund New Egg

    Apr 28, 2016
    My girlfriend has a mixed flock of chickens and ducks
    reds, austrolops, amerucana, little bantams seabrights and cochin, and roan and pekin ducks
    They all get along very well, and no real fights even with 5 roosters (only one full size rooster)

    We had not intended on hatching any but they hid some eggs and they hatched a couple.
    2 little chicks, one was a red, and one was the tiniest little silver grey thing, must be one of the mini's

    Long story short, the small seabright hatched the eggs, and she was being mama, keeping the chicks under her etc.
    None of the other broody hens seem to have much mothering skills nor even much hatching skills, they like to sit, but they dont turn or manage the eggs.

    The chicks were looking at a nest box next to where thier hatch mother is, and one of the large red hens, who likes to pull others out of nests picked that time to want that empty nesting area, and threw the chicks out.
    My girlfriend was picking up the chicks, and the red hen suddenly pecked the tiny grey one in the side of the head
    right about where the ear would be.

    The chick immediately flopped limp, and blood and what looked like some brain came out of its poor little skull.
    My girlfriend held it and was crying, and we thought it was dead on the spot.
    But it was still breathing.

    I put it in a little basket to keep it safe.

    I noticed that it took what i call an avian fetal position, neck s curved back, head folded back touching its back.
    I monitored the poor little thing for 24 hours.
    It would peep, and respond to touch and could move its legs, but it appeared to have no motor control at all of one wing
    Its neck remained in that backwards curve (like you find small dinosaur skeletons in) and it would roll itself onto its back even if you propped it up properly.

    I came to the determination that the poor little chick had suffered irreversible brain damage from it's injury that it would never heal from and that it would never be able to have a happy healthy chicken life, and it was just some cruel trick of fate that the injury wasnt enough to kill it outright.

    So, i put the little chick down, which was the most horrible thing to have to do, no vet to do it, and no nice meds to do it with.
    It about wrecked me to have to kill this tiny little thing, no matter how much i told myself i was ending its suffering.
    But now i keep thinking, was i right? should i have waited longer?
  2. Haylees Hens

    Haylees Hens Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 1, 2015
    Lancaster, Ohio
    This is the worst part about keeping chickens. We too have had to "put them down" so to speak as well as there are no poultry vets in my area either. You DID do the right thing as it is likely to not have recovered such a blow. I am sorry you had to do that but the little guy probably did not stand much of a chance.....
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Flock Master

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Welcome to BYC.

    I agree with @Haylees Hens
    I'm sorry for your loss.
  4. Serenity06

    Serenity06 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2015
    South Alabama
    I'm sorry you had to do that. I hate having to have a chicken put down. But you're right that it didn't have much of chance, if any. It was definitely the right thing to do, just not easy. :(
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016

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