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Did my hen's legs atrophy after weeks of healing?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickenannie, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have treated a hen for myriad issues (respiratory cold, lice, weakness, breathing issues), and she's been cured of all those things now. However, she seems unable to regain her walking ability.

    She is bright, alert, eats, drinks and is cured from the previous ailments as far as I can tell. I have now cared for her indoors for 6 weeks. She was very weak at one point and seemed to be near death, not eating, etc, and I've been pleased with her progress.

    I feed her red meat, yogurt, corn, egg yolks, bread, greens, vitamins all in addition to her regular laying feed. She seems to be fairly strong but still thin, but I am worried that her legs have atrophied after all this time. She sits all the time, just scoots/drags herself around when necessary. I try to excercise her legs but I have to go to work and can't do it more than twice a day and on weekends.

    After being very hopeful for her recovery, I am now starting to have my doubts that she will ever recover use of her legs and ability to "be a chicken again" running, scratching for food etc. She is quite the invalid without her legs and I spend a LOT of time caring for her.

    Anyone know if chickens can heal their legs once they been unused for this long?
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2009
  2. Kelpie

    Kelpie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You are a very caring chicken owner to do that!

    My goose had coccidia and got very skinny before I saw the symptoms because she is so fluffy. Eventually she was stumbing and was too weak to walk so I kept her on hay in the bathtub for about a week or two. She got meds and was healing but I was still very worried about whether she would regain her walking ability. I would exercise her twice a day just like you. I am generally gone 11 hours a day so I had to do it when I could. I'd support her keel to make her stand and I'd lower it too to exercise her knees even when she could not support her self. eventually I would take her for short outings outside and times when she'd just sit there I'd know she needed to just go in and rest. She did make a complete recovery.

    So in short, it sounds like you are doing everything right! Maybe she needs a chicken jolly-jumper?
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2009
  3. chickenman33

    chickenman33 Out Of The Brooder

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    Logansport IN
    fkeep it up [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm glad to hear your ducky made it.

    I feel so responsible for all my animals. I take care of them only to realize later that it's insane how much time I'm giving them. But I don't know what else to do. I felt like I needed to try to make her well. But lately I'm thinking maybe I'm going to have to cull her and I can hardly deal with that thought because I've taken care of her for this long. And how do you cull an animal when their spirit is strong? I don't like to give up. But she has not used her legs in 6 weeks! I cannot care for her like this over the long-term either... I had no idea it would be this long... I assumed it would be about a week.

    I tried to make a homemade sling thingy to keep her standing, but she hated it and squirmed each time until she got out of it or got tangled up in it. Her legs seem to be getting weaker now.
     
  5. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My hen's legs are not getting better. One of her legs seems to have nerve damage or something now because it doesn't work at all.

    I think I'm going to have to cull her which is what I've been dreading and really don't want to do, especially since she's so alert and bright-eyed. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2007
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    RIP, miss hen.
     

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