First time chicken rescuer, noob: Hello & Sadie needs help.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by RareAvis, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. RareAvis

    RareAvis Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi,

    I've been lurking a bit and have been reading everything I can get my hands on, including the wonderfully informative posts here on this forum.

    I am not under-read, this I know. I am still confused.

    Sadie is about 12-13 weeks old, my first chicken.

    She was given to me at about 8 weeks; she was literally headed for the stew pot.

    I am now in love and invested.

    I don't know how much detail to go into... should I go straight to another forum topic... emergencies {not emergent, but I think qualifies as an ongoing medical emergency} or raising baby chicks?

    At core is Sadie's left claw/leg.

    I've been working very closely with a vet; we've had it splinted, bandaged, on and off again. Chickens here are commodities... treating her is a rare event and my vet has been wonderful but we're making it up as we go along. She could not walk at all when I first laid eyes her; somewhat improved but not nearly enough. My hope is to one day reintegrate her into a small, much loved, ten-strong flock of layers and a rooster that a neighbor keeps; partially free range during most days; I'd get to continue to be involved and visit, should she want that; I'd also have the rare opportunity to introduce her slowly; to try to beat the odds: succeed in reintegrating her simply out of sheer willpower, putting in the hours, pure devotion; just so she can be a chicken again one day, and for the remainder of her days; live with a flock; have a family; but most importantly: I want her to be happy.

    I'm committed either way: I adore her and will keep her with me if this is what she or nature chooses. She loves me and is very attached, as am I, I simply can't imagine a chicken being happy in perpetuity as an indoor pet, all alone. Yes: we spend a LOT of time outdoors. I'm trying to teach her or help her not forget how to be a chicken. We dig and worm and walk and stump and free range and scratch and sun and dustbathe. The good news: a very large property, lawn, woods, a river and meadows; most: perfect for chickens.

    Right now I'm scared for her wellbeing.

    She was attacked at about 6 weeks or so by a canid; had her in his mouth like she was a popsicle; many in her flock died. Her foot hung limply underneath her. I was worried about sepsis/nerve damage or necrosis so I whisked her to the vet. This, thank goodness, not an issue.

    She had not been vetted. Semi-wild born.


    Hybrid: frizzle/other: black with white spots: feathers look striped at individual level. Age and every detail not too reliably sourced. Still fledging out, if that's correct; looks like a mature chicken {to me} in photos. I've never met one "up close & personal."

    Vet now thinks Gout may be at root of issue. Diagnosis unconfirmed. I absolutely suspect a nutrient deficiency; have from the beginning; and I have been a mother lioness in trying to address this. I am so attentive it's nuts, I just may be doing the wrong things. I've rescued animals from kittens {conditions ranging from near-starvation to prolapsed anus to worse} to senior dogs; all have thrived. Every one. I do not charge when I rehome these {youngling} critters, I do it for love. I have never had a bird in my life, even in a peripheral way: this is a huge black hole in my understanding, though I read about and keep up-to-date on the latest research into bird cognition; particularly corvid, but others; I wrote a tiny piece about chicks being aware of amounts i.e. counting, the numberline and basic math, once; my knowledge does not extend to chickens or their health or wellbeing.


    I am afraid for her.

    Bandage off; foot not turned in/under; but she is not putting pressure on it: PT not working: she does not appear to be getting better. Would not survive in a flock or unaccompanied.


    She has a fantastic spirit. She wants to live. She wants to rock. She loves life. She hencrows, too; not every morning, most; I have theories about this, too; not central to her case...Or?

    She HATES chicken feed and always has. Every kind. Backstory to this.

    I have a background in nutrition but I'm a chef, not a practitioner. BS/culinary nutrition J&W. Strong science skills. I know NOTHING about chickens, alive, that is: I am trying to wrap my head around this and I need help.

    I am very nerdy in a lot of ways: If there is anyone who can help me analyze this down to the nitty-gritty so I can experience my moment of, "Eureka!" and understand how to help her?

    I'd be absolutely indebted.

    I'm happy to provide more detailed info/photos/answer Qs: I thought I should start here, just the most basic, relevant details.

    I've written somewhat more widely on her/our journey/my concerns on another online community; not chicken based; and in all candor the chicken group on that platform, tho high in members, is not very helpful; or, has not been to me.

    My next wonder-if-this-is-a-good-idea-route: try fermenting feed; add brewer's yeast to her diet... maybe full-spectrum B in child's droplets?


    Help, please.


    Thank you,

    A worried Mother Hen... committed like you wouldn't believe, trying new things everyday...concerned, aware that though I read a TON I do not know anything about Sadie's issues.


    I am scared for her, and for her chance to have a life, let alone a healthy one.


    Thank you again.

    I've reached a point of desperation....


    ~RA
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
  2. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

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    Hello, and welcome to Backyard chickens, but so sorry to hear about Sadie. :( I asked a moderrator to move this to the ER page. I hope they can help you, but in the meantime, keep your chin up! :hugs
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. RareAvis

    RareAvis Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! :)
     
  4. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

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    No problem, I am glad to help! It has officially been moved now, so I hope you will get some help on sweet Sadie)
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. RareAvis

    RareAvis Out Of The Brooder

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    To clarify, based on a PM I received:


    Thank you!

    I guess?

    Not sure if it's gout.

    If it was: wouldn't treatment have been effective by now?

    I've eliminated other causes like bumblefoot, scaly mite {unsure of terminology}, etc.

    I'm left with Nutrient deficiency manifesting in uncommon way;

    Or gout treatment being misapplied by me;

    or a mystery.


    THANK YOU for your time.


    She really HATES chicken feed; this is making this all very complicated.

    I don't know how long to leave the crumble and only the crumble out, before I call "uncle," and give her what she wants.


    I have tons of other questions, too.

    Diapers... work? Alternative I can make at home, not sew?


    Computer light at night: am I killing her due to lack of proper sleep?


    There has GOT to be a diet alternative to feed.

    I KNOW, I'm not an idiot, that this is NOT RECOMMENDED.

    But I'm also dealing with a chicken that doesn't want to eat it.

    And? I do have the benefit of having time, will, budget and skill to create virtually any other menu program.


    I've done it in the past, with a senior dog.

    It does take science and skill and balancing ratios and know how, etc... close monitoring... but it can be done.


    I have NO CLUE how to approach that strategy here. A) Enzymes are different B} Lots of studies on supplementing, but not on substituting that I can find.

    And more...


    I THANK YOU!!


    ~RA


     
  6. shober

    shober Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello and welcome! Try wetting the feed with water or yogurt. Mine love it wet. The crumble takes on a new form when wet, also maybe try scrambled eggs. You can try whatever she will eat at guys point I guess! I had a baby chick once who just st ate whatever we ate because we were all on a road trip together! :D
     
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  7. RareAvis

    RareAvis Out Of The Brooder

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    And if I do try Brewers yeast or B spectrum: Can too much harm her?

    Is there a dosage based on weight,

    or how much she eats?

    Ratio?


    And can anyone solidify the calcium:phosphate ratio and why, as applicable specifically to leg injuries in chickens?

    Might anyone have a breakdown of ratio of nutrients: other than the recommended feed stats: and why, for each nutrient?

    i.e. Fiber:protein

    Vitamins: too much if delivered by whole foods? If so, I'm thinking the nutrient issue isn't so much a classic deficiency, but a ratio issue.

    I need help.

    I don't think she's getting what she needs, and I'm growing increasingly concerned, paranoid, and guilty.

    Based solely on the foods she's been offered and has eaten? There is no way that she is not receiving nutrients, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, trace minerals, phytochemicals and flavonoids and pigments enough: for a mammalian, hers was a healthy diet, the three weeks +- I was feeding this to her. I also offered chicken feed, 3 types, in pellet, mash, and two crumbles, one a baby formula; one gamebird/showbird which the vet tried, said she liked, recommended as a treatment for gout.

    She does not like these.

    I don't know how much 'tough love' to go with: she WILL avoid food if offered only the recommended feed, other than foraging for crickets and worms, some sorrel; etc.

    How long do I deny her the calorie intake/mass that I think she needs, if she refuses to eat the recommended diet?


    RATIO is what I'm left with as the culprit: if it's a nutrient deficiency: not that these nutrients aren't provided.

    Or: enzymes/genetics/GI tract: unable to make bioavailable to her the nutrients in foods a mammal would.

    Arggghhhh.


    SO Confused.


    Thank you.
     
  8. RareAvis

    RareAvis Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi! Thank you.

    Yup.

    I have made yoghurt mash, water mash, and cooked with other grains mash.

    Nope.

    O, and fermented mash... but I was trepidatious. The woman who recommended it was a supposed USDA Extension Service expert... but telling a novice {she had no idea I cooked for a living, once, or went to culinary school, etc} to make a fermented mash?

    I thought that was pretty ballsy.


    Truly: Humans could die from doing a ferment wrong, let alone a chicken.


    I need more guidance to try it. I AM quite practiced in the fermenting process; I make kimchi and other fermented foods; but this is to feed a 12 week old creature.

    And the 'expert' didn't even suggest I use a cultivated bacteria source, like B. subtilis to create the mash.

    I found that highly suspect, though again, new to chickens.

    She DOES like the yoghurt; just not the mash.

    And the 'expert' balked at yoghurt, tho the lactose and other elements are predigested. I am NOT, I swear, an arrogant person. I simply felt she was out of her depth.



    Sadie hates Chicken feed. I roll grapes in it just to get her to eat it. She picks it off.


    Argghhh.
     
  9. shober

    shober Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think they need so much calcium at this early age! Protein is more important at this stage I think! Don't overthink and worry! If you have a vet on hand to help you ! I don't know about the brewers yeast as I've never used it! Calcium is needed more when they begin to lay eggs.
     
  10. RareAvis

    RareAvis Out Of The Brooder

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    It's been suggested that the protein: other ratio is too high?


    Of course, I think of protein in terms of a complete amino acid chain.



    Maybe?


    My vocabulary isn't mixing with the other's.


    I must admit:

    My vet? Went above and beyond.

    But we've hit a brick wall.


    Look: I know him, personally.

    He's suggested I look elsewhere for additional help.
     

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