Please help- the bird we are looking after was attacked by dogs...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by NicolaAB, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. NicolaAB

    NicolaAB New Egg

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    Hi everyone! Yesterday my sister and I were walking in the woods and a pheasant ran out with her chicks. A few moments later a couple of dogs ran over and chased them! Unfortunately, one of the chicks was caught in the dogs mouth, and although we managed to pry it out, it seems to have lost the use of its legs! After many attemps of trying the get the mother to take the injured chick away with her, we thought it would be best if we took it home.

    Other than it's legs it seems perfectly fine. We've tried feeding it grains, grapes and some soft food but to be honest, we aren't really sure what to do! Right now it's sleeping in a box which is balanced on top of a hot water bottle...

    I would estimate the chick to be no more than a week old. It's very lively. As mentioned before, it's not a chicken- it's a pheasant. I apologies for this being off-topic but we are really worried about it (particularly it's legs) and have been searching for information on the interent for ages without any success!

    I would really appreciate it if you could lend some advice. What does it eat and what do you think is wrong with it's legs?

    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2011
  2. chickenbaguette

    chickenbaguette Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh no! Poor thing D:
    Have you checked its spine? Has it got any feeling in its legs? - try pinching them and see if it reacts. If not, it's paralysed and there's not much you can do. It doesn't seem to be in any pain? Is it lying down on its side or on its front, does it try to stand up at all? Have you seen its legs or toes move?

    Be aware that pheasants are one of the harder birds to raise, and even if hand raised will never be overly friendly. They haven't been domesticated for long, and it will show.

    You should make sure it doesn't get cold, especially at night, and it will, easily. It's used to sleeping under its mothers wings, and should at least have some soft warm blankets in its box, and make sure there are no draughts. Never use sand or woodshavings as a bedding - your chick will eat it and die. Make sure it always has water, never let it run out - lots of chicks also die from cold or dehydration, so that's the most important thing.

    I would suggest that maybe your chick is quite a lot older than you thought, if it was already following its mother around. A week-old chick should still be staying in the nest. Is it still completely fluffy, or is it getting any proper feathers?

    Feed: You shouldn't feed it grapes and the food you eat. Chicks are fed by their mothers, regurgitating food our just stuffing insects into their mouths. I think what you should do with your chick is feed it mushed up grains and seeds mixed with a bit of water - wheat, maybe a few oats (for protein), sunflower seeds, and if it seems to be getting weaker, a little bit of cooked egg yolk which will give it all the nutrients it needs. Give it some alfalfa to play with and add some greens to its diet, too, and it might eat a few small insects such as greenfly and aphids. Make sure you mush everything up well, and you might consider getting some 'pheasant crumbles'.

    Grit: You will need to get some baby chick grit - birds don't have teeth so they grind up their food in their gizzards. Sprinkle it on its food, as if it was salt, but don't put too much or the chick could just eat it instead. Add finely crushed (cooked) eggshell to the grit if you think the chick needs more calcium, but something similar should already be included. Make sure you get CHICK grit not normal grit - that would be making it swallow pebbles.

    Also - PHEASANTS CAN SOMETIMES FLY AT 2 WEEKS. This shouldn't be a problem if your chick can't use its legs, but be warned.

    4 weeks old: Add a grit hopper or a dish and fill it with normal sized grit - make sure the one you get includes shells of some kind, usually oyster, for calcium again. You should also give it a bigger box or cage. A cage would be better, as you also need to provide a roost - a pole around two inches above the ground for the chick to perch on at night. Make sure it is made of something soft like wood, with no splinters or sharp edges, which could cause foot injuries and things like bumblefoot.
    Open the windows for some time during the day.
    If it's warm and sunny, take your chick outside for some fresh air.

    6 weeks old: Change your chick's feed to a 20% protein feed such as Amprolium.

    Check your chick regularly. Since it's alone, it will get lonely and try to escape. Chicks are used to lots of brothers and sisters and a mother who visits them all the time. But remember to wash your hands well before and after tending to it.

    This website may also help: http://www.strombergschickens.com/chick_care

    Good
    luck with your little chicklet!
     
  3. chickenbaguette

    chickenbaguette Chillin' With My Peeps

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    On second thoughts, if your chick was running around with its mother when you found it, it must have flown down from its nest. So it can already fly. xD
     
  4. NicolaAB

    NicolaAB New Egg

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    Thank you for your reply!

    As far as we can tell the chick doesn't react to having it's toes or legs pinched/touched. It was chirping quite a bit but I don't think it was in pain (I expect it was calling for it mother). As for lying down, it is upright and usually sits on it legs. We've noticed that it often flaps its wings to tries and move forward- so perhaps it can fly afterall!

    Also, it's coved down feathers (apart from its legs)

    Thank you for the advice! It was very useful! I will have to get down to the pet shops ASAP [​IMG]
     
  5. chickenbaguette

    chickenbaguette Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You are very welcome!

    Did you see the chick before it was attacked? Was it running normally?

    And have you checked it for any other injuries, and if its legs are straight and not bent oddly - broken?
    If it scrunches its eyes up or narrows them, or wheezes when you move its legs it's in pain.

    Is it eating? You'll need to make sure that it drinks some water and has some egg yolk at least, until you get the right food.

    It could be about 2 weeks old, then, or maybe a little less.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2011

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