Peggy the Showgirl chick's Journey. *3/8/11 vet visit update*


designated lawn flamingo
9 Years
May 27, 2010
Reno, Nevada
I had been trying to get my hands on some showgirl eggs for a while, and after a good long time of searching, i had finally found some good quality ones on E-bay. It was my first hatch and not one of thirty eggs hatched and i was devistated. I decided i really couldnt handle that kind of dissapointment ever again, so i contacted an EXTREMELY helpful and wonderful breeder in Texas who was willing to ship me some nice chicks.
I was beside myself with joy at the arrival of my chicks (who happened to come on my birthday! yay! birthday chicks!). Unfortunately, during transit, one of them had messed up its leg. Im pretty sure it is a slipped tendon, but im no expert.



well gosh. i instantly fell in love with this chick and it absolutely broke my heart to see it hobbling around in pain the way it was... I came onto byc to see if anyone could help me get its leg right, but there arent alot of success stories for chicks with slipped tendons. I read some articles on the subject and did what i could to push the tendon back into place but it wouldnt budge. The leg was EXTREMELY swollen, it was so hard to even feel anything.

At this point i have to think about this chicks quality of life. It does fall alot. It looks like it is in pain. It gets knocked around by the other chicks. And golly, when it grows up are my girls going to make its life miserable because it looks different? I certainly cant sell it. Do i *gulp* cull it?

I know alot of people on here say you shouldnt own chickens if you cant cull them. Well shush. i cannot cull an animal. I cant even shmoosh flies. But i am not beyond paying a veterinarian to do it for me.

So i had my boyfriend take the chick to the vets for me since i had to work. The lady needed a name for the chicks paperwork and he wrote "Peggy". Now, what i had originally asked him to do was see if the vet could pop the tendon back in place. If not, i needed him to talk to her about the chicks quality of life and if we should, in fact, put Peggy down.

well he shows up at my work about an hour later with Peggy still in the car. I ask him what happened.

Vet says she cannot determine what is wrong without x-rays. thats 100 bucks. once she finds out what is wrong, the operation to fix the chicks leg is going to be $1000. HOLY CRAP. I called her to see if she thought putting the chick down would be best and all she could tell me was that it may or may not be fine. great. im just as much in the dark as i was before i gave her 50 bucks to look at my chick.

so i made a little boot for the fella so it at least wouldnt be walking on the top of its foot.



I had to leave that night for a weekend trip. When i was out i got a message from a friend whos brother works at a vet and said he may be able to help me. Got my hopes up for a little while until i actually called him and told him what the leg looked like. Then he just told me there was probobly nothing that could be done.




The whole trip was mildly tainted by my worrying about Peggy and how she/he/it was getting along. I was actually surprised that the person i had watching the house hadnt told me the chick had died yet. On the way home, My DBF and i had a talk about the chick. I have been saving up about a grand to get some tattoo work on my arms, and i told him that i think im just going to bite the bullet and get the chick the operation. There is no way i could live with myself knowing i have the money, but decided any living things life was not valuable enough to do what i can to save it. I mean, who am i to do that anyhow? I spent two grand fixing my dog's leg a couple years back, why should this be any different? I know why it is different...I just honestly dont think i can stop feeling guilty about Peggy unless i fix her and make her right. afterall, this wouldnt have happened if i hadnt had her shipped across the country. i guess i owe her.

I know i am going to get alot of crap for this descision, and im probobly going to be kicking myself in the pants later on as i look upon all my un-tattooed body parts, but its what is going to help me sleep at night, and right now thats all that matters.

Anywhoo. we came home tonight and the first thing i did was check on her. The swelling has gone down alot, and its making it pretty obvious that the knee is broken. God that must hurt so bad. Im going to call the vet tomorrow and see about getting her in this week. If anything we can at least get the leg amputated. That will probobly be faster healing time and less stress.


*update for peggy* 3/7/2011

Today i called another vet on the other side of town. she will be looking at Peggy's leg this weekend. I wish i could bring her in sooner, but i have the worst job ever. you know, the kind where the boss does not find chicken emergencies important enough to miss work for. sheeesh.
I left a message for the first vet as well, asking what she would charge for an amputation. Peggy is now just hopping around on her good leg anyways. I took off her boot so that the foot could breathe for a day or so. Swelling has gone way down and yes, you can see the bone trying to poke through the skin. How did this happen Peggy? Anywhoo, the vet never called me back about that. if she doesnt by morning i will try calling her again.

I am seeing now that the brooder is way too full. any time a chick trips over peggys rogue leg, she appears to be in pain and hops away. I am going to try to sell at least three of the seven chicks tomorrow. I hope somebody in reno is interested in purchasing a trio of aliens...

peggy tonight.

***update for peggy*** 3/8/2011

I called the first vet today to see how much an amputation would cost. She was extremely scheptical that peggy would be able to live a normal life with only one leg, even though peggys not using that leg anyway. She also told me that in her honest opinion it was a break that happened during or right after hatch and that i should call the breeder and get my money back
This info kind of made me feel better because at least i know that peggy's not in pain, she just looks weird, but it hurt that the breeder would do that, and i seriously do not believe that she did. I still wanted a second opinion.

so after work i called the second vet to push up the appointment to tonight. She was super helpful and agreed to do it. I gave in and let her do the x-rays so we could know 100% what happened to Peggy. I am very glad we did.
what we found from the x-rays was that peggys "knee" (ankle actually, but we would see it as a knee) dislocated and set itself sideways. She believes this injury is about a week old which is exactly how long ive had the chicks. It made me feel soooo much better knowing that the breeder is not at fault, But then i had to figure out if the chick is in alot of pain because of this injury. If so, Peggy woulda been put down then and there..

However the vet said that chicks heal AMAZINGLY quick. She said a fracture that would take a puppy 10 weeks to heal from would take a baby chick 10 DAYS to heal from. She said she think this was probobly a painful injury, but that peggys joint is very close to healing and freezing that way. She does not think peggy needs to be put down, and she feels operating on the leg would cause more harm than help. She says peggy will learn to live like this and will be fine. (also she said she did not want to amputate, as peggy will learn to use the rogue leg as a "crutch")

So she gave me some pain meds to give Peggster for the next week, and showed me some excersises to do with her to help the joint from freezing up. Even said the foot will probably just callus as she walks on it.


this pleases me greatly
I was really hoping there would be some kind of quick fix for her, but it makes me feel better knowing she is in no pain. thats all that matters. Im glad i tok the time to take her to the vets and figure all this out instead of just culling her. she has earned a special place in my heart and home...even if she turns out to be a he.
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Wow, lots of kudos to you for taking in a chick with such an injury, and doing your best to give this chick a happy life. I will be watching this tread and hoping s/he recovers, or, at least, improves in condition!

Sorry, but it looks like a boy--
lol yeah they all look like that. I think it is impossible to tell this early on their genders. They look to have huge combs because they are soo bald...
I read your post twice and I really like the way you think! You're doing a great thing and I'll be pulling for your little baby. PLEASE keep us posted!

You deserve a hug
I'm glad you made the decision you did. I also couldn't ever cull a chick, although I know it's necessary in some situations. I look forward to hearing how it turns out!
Good luck with Peggy! You can always get the tats later if this chick means so much to you, right? It YOUR business and yours alone how you decide whats best for the chick and how you spend your money.
(shes really cute!!!)
Keeping my fingers crossed for you and Peggy. I would do the same thing. I had a chick that I thought we would have to cull. He wasnt walking the last to hatch. He would flop around the brooder with his legs straight out in front of him. After 3 days I tiold DH if he isnt better by tomorrow put him down(I cant do that) the next morning God interveined. I woke up to find him running around the brooder. He was named miarcle til we found out he was a he now he is Forrest Gump ( DD named him). May you have Gods mercy with Peggy and the vets help to make her whole again.
I hope she is a she too!!! I have my fingers eyes and ties crossed on that one! Talked to another vet today. I have heard of people amputating chicken legs before, I think that's the route i want to take. I never dreamed it would be this hard to accomplish that...

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