Need help deciding what to do with a baby chick with skeletal issues

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pnuts, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. pnuts

    pnuts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2010
    I hatched some silkie cross chicks for the first time in an incubator about a month ago and all of them are doing fine except for one that has a very strange skeletal deformity that i have never seen before.

    his head and neck are hunched over and to the side always and he has trouble putting weight on his legs. I hand-fed him the first few days of his life and helped him hatch also because he had been in his egg for quite some time (a few days) but he had pipped and zipped.

    I'm not sure if they are in pain or not since they cant tell me themselves. they are very small compared to the rest of the group but are still eating, drinking and pooping on their own. they can sort of walk sometimes but its kind of a sideways stumble and he stays on his haunches most of the time. he gets stepped on alot by his brothers and sisters..

    so far as for treatment i have tried everything i can think of. leg braces for splayed legs of all sorts, a teacup chair (this helped him gain a little strength the first few days until he was strong enough to jump out), vitamins, egg yolks, sugar water, and idk if there was anything else.

    this is him when he was a couple of weeks old. he looks the same only his feet now point in opposite directions and he has a few feathers. he hasnt grown much in size but he has grown a tiny bit. def not as much as his siblings however.

    all his brothers and sisters should be about the same size since their moms are all pretty much the same size and no bantam eggs were in the incubator. they are all silkies crossed with Barred rock, delaware, and some kind of normal sized red hen

    [​IMG]

    him with a normal chick

    [​IMG]

    they are currently in a brooder with paper towel bedding and are soon going to be moved into a larger brooder inside my coop/barn.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Apr 15, 2009
    Since he has an obvious deformity and is starting to signs of failure to thrive I am going to ask how much time do you have to devote to a handicapped chicken? If the answer is "not enough" then I'd cull if I were you. If the answer is "plenty" then I'd get ready to have a new high-maintenance pet for a while.

    I, myself, would cull him because he is not likely to survive long-term, will likely be killed by the flock for being "different" and probably is not living a comfortable existence due to the deformities.

    Sorry for your tough choice. Good luck.
     
  3. Brindlebtch

    Brindlebtch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2009
    Texas
    cull [​IMG]
     
  4. SilkieTime

    SilkieTime Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    Joelton Tn.
    I'm not sayin' this will work but it won't hurt. Natural E 200 softgel capsules.
     
  5. pnuts

    pnuts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2010
    i have never killed anything other than a bug before so this is really hard. i have also bonded with the lil guy quite a bit and hes so darn cute...

    what is the quickest and least painful way if i have to do this?
     
  6. boykin2010

    boykin2010 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 26, 2010
    South Georgia
    just cut his head off.... i think but i have never killed any of my chickens. i think that is best if he is in pain tho
     
  7. nivtup

    nivtup Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2008
    Shelton Washington
    Agreed, cull
     
  8. pnuts

    pnuts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2010
    is there something i can use as anesthesia beforehand?
     
  9. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Apr 15, 2009
    It doesn't need it. It has no idea what is coming, so if you just do a quick cervical dislocation the chick will not know what happened until it's already over. Honestly, the person doing the culling is the one that needs the anesthesia to make a hard act a little easier. The chick can't contemplate its own demise and has not the intellectual capacity to envision it beforehand, so is not bothered by it. The chick may feel a moment of discomfort when it's neck is broken, but it is over very quickly.
     
  10. BlackBrookPoultry

    BlackBrookPoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2010
    Western Wisconsin
    Oh, I feel so bad that you have to make this choice. He is so cute! I would have someone else do it if you are attached. There's no way I could kill anything that I worked so hard to keep alive. I've heard of people putting certain animals in a bag and attaching it to their car exhaust. I know that sounds crazy, but maybe not as traumatic for you as lobbing off his little head!
     

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