NEED ADVICE FOR INJURED HEN

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by drdoolittle, May 24, 2019.

  1. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Songster

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    So, the other morning (4:30 a.m.), as I was letting my dogs back inside before going out to do chores, I heard a HORRIBLE scream. It sounded like a seriously injured cat. I rushed out, thinking I'd find one of my barn cats near death, but instead found one of my hens (who had somehow been left out of the coop the night before) standing just outside my mini barn. I picked her up and she started SCREAMING like I've never heard an animal scream before. I calmed her down and could see something had attacked her head, but couldn't see the extent of the injury. I put her in a nest box in the coop, thinking she would pass before I returned from work that evening.

    When I got home from work I went to do chores, sure I would find her lifeless. Miraculously, she was very much alive and on the floor of the coop. I could see that she basically has no face----her beak is a mess and I think unuseable....I took her inside the house, bathed her, wrapped her in a towel and placed her in a small dog crate in my bathroom. I figured she needed rest and left her there for the night. During the night I got up to check on her and she had gotten out of the crate and gone into my shower where she was resting.

    Last night I made her a liquid food (baby rice cereal, 2 raw eggs, pumpkin, corn syrup, a soy oil, evaporated milk, nonfat dry milk, water and antibiotic). She ate 4 syringes full along with several syringes of water. She ate the same amount this morning.

    My question is, should I have her humanely euthanized as she'll never have a normal life and will need fed like this forever? I've attached 2 photos of a rooster found in Thailand in the same condition last year. Monks adopted him and I believe he is still living with them. 4AA70E2B00000578-0-image-a-8_1522296424196.jpg
     
  2. Ninjasquirrel

    Ninjasquirrel Songster

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    Its up to you what you decide to do. I feel that its no life for a chicken that needs to be fed by a syringe. If your bird is as bad as the one in the photo I would humanely put them down. You have to consider quality of life.
     
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  3. cottagecheese

    cottagecheese Songster

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    She obviously really wants to live and not be euthanized...Seems very obvious that she votes 'yes', there are so many cases when it's practically impossible to get them to eat and they have to be tube fed directly into the crop. If I understand correctly you are asking from her point of view... Also, it could be possible that she could use her beak again. Could someone please link the story of Fluffy Bum? That's a good story.:)
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
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  4. coach723

    coach723 Crowing

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    This is a hard one. Many people keep special needs birds, but it's entirely a personal decision. Since the bird would likely need tube feeding for the rest of it's life, and will be blind it's going to take a lot of time and energy on your part, and only you can decide that. If quality of life is very poor, I usually make the decision to euthanize. Your bird, your decision on whether quality of life is acceptable or not, and whether you are willing to put in that much time and effort. I wish you the best, difficult decision either way. :hugs
     
  5. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Songster

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    Thank you, everyone. This IS a very difficult decision for me. When I pick the hen up, she makes sweet clucking sounds to me. Definitely not the sounds a hen in pain or distress would make. I've had injured/sick hens before and the sounds they make when they are miserable are completely different. It just makes it harder when it seems like she really wants to live and acts as though she's content or at least accepting of her situation.
     
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  6. hispoptart

    hispoptart Crowing

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    Can you post pics of your actual hen so we can see her injuries? I'm so sorry this has happened to her.
     
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  7. cottagecheese

    cottagecheese Songster

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    Well I just noticed that I said she votes 'yes' when the question was should she be euthanized :oops:, so I'm kicking myself. Was thinking the question is "Should she live or not?" Anyway, it's easy to get my meaning , so not worried.
    She ate from syringe at the beak, right? Not tube feeding directly to the crop. In time she'll probably eat by herself, just like Fluffy Bum, if I remember correctly. What about her eyes? Are they truly lost? Plenty of blind animals doing fine. She has awesome genes, she survived without care for 12 hrs, no water, no electrolytes. Possible she'll need special attention for a while, not forever.
     
  8. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Songster

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    Thank you, everyone. This IS a very difficult decision for me. When I pick the hen up, she makes sweet clucking sounds to me. Definitely not the sounds a hen in pain or distress would make. I've had injured/sick hens before and the sounds they make when they are miserable are completely different. It just makes it harder when it seems like she really wants to live and acts as though she's content or at least accepting of her situation.
     
  9. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Songster

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    UPDATE
    So, my hen didn't seem any worse when I got home from work last night. But I was looking at her, and she couldn't even close her beak at all (the bottom beak was ripped in two pieces, one piece was way to the left). I would not want to live if I couldn't close my mouth, so that made my mind up.
    I fed and gave her water one last time, held her and petted her and said I was sorry. I placed her in the long grass out back and she was just sitting there enjoying the sun and breeze.....it almost made me back out on my decision. But I knew she would have no quality of life if I kept her alive.

    I asked my 20 year old son to put her down (I told him to shoot her in the back of the head so he would be sure to hit her brain). He didn't want to do it, but knew she was suffering and it was the kindest thing to end it. (I know some of you may not agree with this method, but it was quick and ten times less pain than what the animal did to her.)

    I stayed with her, petting and talking to her until she was finally still. It was one of the most difficult things I've ever done, but I couldn't bear the thought of her living that way for who knows how long. I've attached photos of her so you could see the extent of her condition. 20190524_175043.jpg 20190524_175037.jpg 20190524_175028.jpg
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Absolutely.....Condolences and Kudos.
     

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