Injured Roo - Jaw? Wishbone?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MA Chickener, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. MA Chickener

    MA Chickener New Egg

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    Apr 4, 2009
    Hello,

    I had a flock of 3 Araucanas, 1 silkie, 1 tiny mixed bantam, 2 young Araucana mixes, 1 RI Red, (all hens) and 2 very large, young roosters... and then a weasel got into their pen in the middle of the day.

    Now, I have one rooster.

    I've had chickens in a 16x30x6' chain-link pen (3 coops inside, covered with chicken wire on the top) for the last 10+ years and never had a problem with weasels. When we're home and outside with them, they use our full yard. To be honest, I didn't know we had weasels or that they were really a threat. Several of my hens were 6-8+ years old and no longer laying, but were still great pets, of course.

    But the reason I am here is for my 11-month-old rooster. He survived the vicious attack, but obviously took a beating. He has a cut on the backside of his head, which appears to be healing (isn't swollen/bleeding/angry looking) and what I think is a broken/injured toe. The little stubby toe on the backside of one foot is a little swollen and doesn't seem to be at the exact angle of the other. But he still walks, runs a little, roosts, etc.

    What seems to be the worst problem is his mouth. He drinks very well from a large, deep bowl, but cannot seem to open his beak very wide. I syringe-fed him for the first 2 days, but have since turned his pellets (couldn't eat them alone, but is very interested) into mush by soaking them in warm water, and he will eat this. Also gave him applesauce, which he loves, yogurt, and broke him up tiny pieces of bread soaked in water. All of which he will manage to eat. However, I don't think that he's actually eating enough. He also has green poop, which I've heard can be a result of not getting enough food, or organ damage. It has been 5 days since this massacre took place though, and he is definitely more active than he was for the first few days. He's safely locked up in a good-sized coop in the meantime for his protection and for recovery. He was pretty unsteady after the weasel (maybe the toe? or just general shock/trauma?) and that has gotten a lot better as well.

    But can they break their jaws? And would he be able to open it at all if it was broken? Will this heal, or ever heal correctly? When I can be around during the day, I'll let him out of the coop and stay with him, and he just seems so happy.... loves the treats, gets excited about eggs (but can't manage to slurp these). Tried to eat some grass today.

    I feel bad that he is alone, but obviously will not bring any other chickens into the situation until we catch the weasel (Hav-a-Hart traps are out) or have a MUCH safer pen constructed. He's always been a great guy, and it would kill me to have to put him down, but obviously I don't want him to suffer. He doesn't have any other wounds that I can see, other than bruising in the crop area, lets me pick him up, can move his wings... if he broke his clavicle (wishbone), I would assume this could certainly make him a little unsteady as well. He also seems hesitant to use his wings, but does a little. Anyone dealt with these things before?

    I have not taken him to a vet because I really wouldn't know where to take him.... and although I love this roo, I'm a broke recent college grad still job searching and as you can imagine, funds are tight. And now I'll have to buy my own eggs, yuck!

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2009
  2. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Oh no! I'm sorry you lost your flock. [​IMG] It sounds like you're doing a great job tending to your roo. It also sounds like he's improving. Honestly, I think this will have to be a judgment call on your part. I think you will know if you have to put your roo down. Does he seem to want to get better?
    BTW, [​IMG]
     
  3. MA Chickener

    MA Chickener New Egg

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    Apr 4, 2009
    He definitely seems like he really wants to get better, which is why I've kept him alive this long. But he still stumbles sometimes, and seems almost uncoordinated if he goes to peck at anything with his beak. (Although, he had no problem wiping egg yolk onto my clean sleeve the other day!) The first few days though, he would mostly stand around, neck tucked in, or sometimes letting his head drop almost to the ground while standing in the sun and falling asleep. Now, he seems more alert, always interested in whatever goodies I have in my hands. His neck is more relaxed-looking, but he can't seem to angle it around to "groom" himself. Just goes through the motions as if he wants to, and then is satisfied if I pick at his feathers/itch for him.

    Even when I was syringe-feeding him for those first two days, he'd tilt his head and open his mouth just a crack to let the food in, I never had to force him. And he'll eat (or at least try to eat) almost anything I offer him from my hands, plus the mushy pellets, but his crop certainly isn't expanded to its pre-weasel size.

    I just hope I'm not prolonging the inevitable if he does have permanent damage!! And I'm not positive, but it's possible that the lower portion of his beak may be pushed back slightly further than it should be... never examined it very closely before!
     
  4. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    It's such a tough call. I know what you're going through... I really do. It's so hard because they give you the signs that they want to get better but you don't know if they can get better. I've always thought that as long as they show the will to live, I will help them stay alive. Once they loose that will, it's time to say good bye.
     

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