How to Handle Deformed Chick?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by falloonfarm, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. falloonfarm

    falloonfarm In the Brooder

    Jan 21, 2008
    I had 7 RIR's that hatched the day after Christmas. A week later, one chick's legs was bent funny & had hardened feces stuck to it's knee. I tried to clean it off, but it keptcoming back. A second chick's leg didn't seem to work right (one stuck forward, one back). I kept watch over the 2 - the first wasn't growing as fast as the 5 normal & the second's legs didn't get better. I was trying to decide how to handle the situation when the second chick took very sick and I had my husband put it out of its misery. Last week, I separated the 5 'normal' chicks from my chick with the bad leg. She is about 1/4 her sibling's size, so I thought maybe she wasn't getting enough food. She hasn't grown much, and she walks on her 'knee'. I was hoping the situation would fix itself, but it clearly isn't. I have 50 laying hens (free range, they have an acre that is their area), 15 chicks born since Thanksgiving, another 25 on the way & I am not sure what to do with the deformed chick. If she were born to one of my hens, I'm sure she wouldn't have made it this far, but I don't know how to handle her. I think she has issues with a wing as well, but I am having an issue putting her down just because she is deformed. Plus, what is the best way to humanely put down a sick/dying chick? Thanks
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Scissors or just a knife to take off the head is the easiest and quickest way. Sometimes it is genetic, sometimes it just was the incubation process that cause deformities. Sometimes, it's both in combo with season. If it's not thriving, personally I'd put it down, but my flock is pretty utility.
  3. opihiman911

    opihiman911 Songster

    Mar 19, 2007
    I agree with just decapitating it with scissors.
    But is you are unable to do that, or want a hands off approach, I have a friend who uses different methods of euthinizing his sick or injured ducks. If it is a small baby he will put it into a paper bag and the bag into a freezer. For larger birds he put them in a trash can and run a hose from his truck exaust into the can and put the lid on. In both cases the birds just go to sleep and die in a couple minutes. Quick and painless with none of the blood and mess.
    Good luck and God bless you for caring for your sick little one. I wish more people were able to take responsibility and do the right thing for sick and suffering animals. Do your best to care & heal them, but when it is too much then put them down and end the pain and suffering. Suffering sucks whether you are a chicken, dog, cat or all hurts the same and degrades the quality of life.

  4. McEgg

    McEgg In the Brooder

    Aug 27, 2007
    Guthrie, Ok
    I took a sick ball python to the vet who said to put it down by placing it in a pillow case and then putting it in the freezer. I couldn't do it so i had the vet give it a shot and it went to sleep. Weird thing though, never did think I was "attached " to a snake, but on the way home I cried like a baby.
  5. dbjay417

    dbjay417 Songster

    Dec 14, 2007
    lucky for me my mom is more than happy to do hospice for deformed chicks. I'd hate to have to decapitate a fuzzy lil peep.

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