1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

disabled chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by virgilini, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. virgilini

    virgilini Out Of The Brooder

    35
    0
    22
    Jan 16, 2007
    Hi everyone,
    I really need some advice. I've been struggling with this for about 2 weeks. Here's the story. I have a 5 year old Black Star hen that is disabled. When I first discovered that she was having trouble walking, I removed her from the coop and started caring for her. At first she could walk around a little bit. It was more of a lumbering and she used her wings for balance but she was able to get around a bit. During the days I would put her in a secure spot away from the other chickens and she would eat grass, peck around at the ground and do whatever other chicken activities that she could manage. At night I would take her home and she would live in a dog crate in the garage. She rides around in my truck with me and my dog who likes her. I've been doing this for over a year and whatever is wrong with her has progressed to the point where she can't get around at all anymore. She can barely stand and when she does try to walk she just falls forward and pulls herself along with her beak. It's breaking my heart to see her struggle. Most of the time she seems content to just sit still. I prop her up on some towels so she's a bit elevated. Other times she seems frustrated that she can't get around. She still has a good appetite and eats chicken crumbles, yogurt, apples, scrambles eggs and whatever else she likes that I offer to her. Do I have her euthanized? I want to do the right thing but if her appetite is still good doesn't that mean she's still wants to live? Please give me some advice. I love her so much and need to know what the right thing to do is.


    Kim [​IMG]
     
  2. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Missouri
    I think I would have to put her down. We had a dog that was partially paralyzed from a brain tumor, and she still wagged her tail and wanted attention from us and everything. We picked her up when we were kids as a stray, and she'd been a childhood dog for about 10 years. Well, we nursed her for about 8 months, and pretty soon she got to the point where it was unfair to her. She wanted to run and play, she would have dreams of running and her legs would go crazy but she couldn't really do it. She couldn't jump on us to greet us, she couldn't do any normal doggy activities that make dogs what they are. She still had the will to live, she just didn't know it was okay for her to go. We realized that we were keeping her alive for us, not for her. We finally took her to get her put down, and it was the hardest day of my life. My poor Buffalo puppy (her nickname LOL!) was gone. But once she was gone I realized that it was best for her, she didn't need to suffer anymore. I don't know if this helps, but this was my experience. Good luck, and I know you'll make the right decision!!!
     
  3. purplepoen

    purplepoen Chillin' With My Peeps

    115
    0
    119
    Jul 12, 2008
    Michigan
    Maybe try treating her for spraddle leg. She's way to old for it, but I had an older chicken who was using her wings more than her legs to get around and I treated her for spraddle leg and it worked. The idea of giving their legs support is what helps I think. It might be too late for this one though. It's probly worth trying before you put her down. I hope this helps.
     
  4. chickbea

    chickbea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2007
    Vermont
    How strange - and even more so that she is still alive...generally once you realize a chicken is sick there isn't much time left.
    Is it possible for you to spend some money at the vet for this girl? It sounds like you are very attached to her, and some medical advice may help you decide what is best for her.
     
  5. virgilini

    virgilini Out Of The Brooder

    35
    0
    22
    Jan 16, 2007
    How do you treat for spraddle leg?
     
  6. virgilini

    virgilini Out Of The Brooder

    35
    0
    22
    Jan 16, 2007
    Thanks for such quick replies. Chickbea, I did take her to a vet last year when I first discovered her problem. NO ONE around her has any clue or interest in treating or even looking at a chicken. He was very nice and just said it's probably a chicken thing and just keep her comfortable. It's the most frustrating thing I've ever come up against.

    CJeanean, This is the feeling I've been having. I don't want to keep her alive just for me but I'm afraid that may be just what I'm doing. You were very brave for your dog. I want to be brave for my chicken. That's why I posted the question. I knew I would get good advice.

    K
     
  7. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Kim, I'm grabbing at straws here ~ but what is the condition of her legs? Are the legs smooth, or are they possibly scaly, cracked, or even bleeding? I have seen chickens crippled by scaly leg mites; a really bad case will make it impossible for a chicken to walk.

    Probably reaching, but I figured I'd shout this out anyway. Please keep us posted on how this develops.


    Jen in TN
     
  8. virgilini

    virgilini Out Of The Brooder

    35
    0
    22
    Jan 16, 2007
    Hi Jen,
    Her legs are fine. They're smooth with no sores or blemishes on them. She can move her legs but has no strength in them to support herself. When she's laying down on her stomach she can pull them up underneath herself but can't lift herself and the right one which is the worst is usually stuck out behind her when she's not trying to move. She wasn't hatched this way. It's something that developed when she was about 3 or 4 years old. Someone said that it may be nuerological. Except for her legs she's perfectly normal. Just a bit thin.

    K
     
  9. Solsken Farm

    Solsken Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I am going through this with a 3 month old bantam. I have tried the hobbling method twice for 2 weeks each with no luck. I am giving it one more go. It is my daughter's and we haven't wanted to give up on her. But I appreciate your dilemma. I know you will do what is best for you and her. You have taken great care of her and sounds like she has had a wonderful life so far. [​IMG]
     
  10. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    As long as she's eating and pooping, I'd keep her around...they'll let you know when they think it's their time.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by