In or Out?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ajay, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. ajay

    ajay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 1, 2011
    I have a little chicken, 6 or 7 weeks, who hurt her leg pretty badly about 5 days ago. I don't know if it is broken or not (I can't feel or see a break), but she hobbles something awful. She hops on one foot and can't roost yet. Once she got hurt, I moved her back into the house so she could rest and *hopefully* get better. I have let her out for portions of the day to free range with the other chickens. I did it to hopefully keep integration issues to a minimum when she is ready to go back out.

    My question is, when do I let her back out with her flock? The girls are being very nice to her, letting her eat and drink as needed and rather than roosting during the day, they sit on the floor of the coop with her. They hang around her and when I bring her back inside, both my hurt hen and the other girls start squawking loudly. She hasn't been pecked, but she does get pushed/stepped over occasionally to get whatever the other hens see.

    My hurt chicken tries very hard to keep up with the other girls and I am nervous about letting her out full time because I want that leg to get better! Would you let her join the flock or keep her indoors and give her mandatory rest time?

    Thanks so much.

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  2. ParadiseFoundFarm

    ParadiseFoundFarm Goddess of Good Things

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    Jul 6, 2010
    Joliet, IL
    I don't know what to tell you for advice. I only have a similar situation I will tell you about. It's a long story but has a lesson to be learned.

    We had a little girl "Gimpy" who presented with a slipped hock like what you are describing. We had waited too long to get her to the vet. If we had gotten her there sooner, it could have been fixed non-surgically by stretching it back until the tendon went back in and physical therapy until it got stronger.

    So we waited to long and thought 'She's from good lines. She's very tame and gentle. She's already named and seems to get along with only being stepped on a little. It's OK'.

    When the rest went outside into the grow out pen she went with. I put her inside, up and off of the ground every night. Eventually she could jump with 1 foot and flap her little wings, getting up there all by herself. She was still Gimpy, by name and propensity to get herself into situations she couldn't get out of requiring a lot of supervision. Time comes when the teenagers and the adults are comingling for short times, then all day. Gimpy was out too enjoying the grass and sunshine but I had the windows closed.

    Usually I can hear Gimpy when she's in trouble but that day I had the windows closed and the fan on in the kitchen. 2 hours later I went out to check on them. I found Gimpy motionless with her little head through the fence and her body on the other side, stuck by her wings. She was still alive. I put her gently into "Gimpy's space" - the pocket of my apron where she would ride around with me while I did housework. I never found the culprits. None of the birds, adults or teens had any blood on them for I checked them all and was going to cull something in revenge!

    I went upstairs screaming for my husband. We met at the kitchen sink and inspected her. her skin was torn off the skull and her neck looked almost severed. I could see all the parts I see when I process a roo. Nothing but skin was broken but I felt, we felt it was the last straw for her. My husband helped me dispatch her quickly at the sink and we cried and cried. I'm crying now. RIP Gimpy

    Lessons:
    Take any animal with a problem to the vet immediately so it can be fixed or put down.
    Don't name a bird who already has a chance of not making it.
    Don't take your eyes or ears off of a defenseless creature who depends on you - ever.

    Denise
    Paradise Found - a home for the defenseless
    edited for spelling
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011

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