Rat Trap, probable broken neck. Update with (cautious) good news!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cicene mete, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. cicene mete

    cicene mete Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 19, 2008
    Earlier today, we were celebrating our first eggs. Now, we're very sad (my wife won't stop sobbing). When she opened the door to the coop to give them more water, a few of them escaped out into the barn. two of them hung out by the hay, but Dolly, our young cockerel, wandered off into the opposite corner of the barn where we have a rat trap. In just a split second, he ran over and set it off. It didn't trap him, I guess his reactions were too fast, but we're pretty sure the force of it broke his neck. He's indoors now, and he has some movement of his head, some labored breathing, and a tiny bit of movement and his feet, but his neck is definitely crooked (it was bent all the way back at first). Is there anything we should be doing? If you can miraculously recover, we want to do everything we can to give them that possibility. If these are his last hours, we want to make him as comfortable as possible.

    Of course we both feel incredibly guilty. My wife feels terrible because she lost sight of him for just a second, although I doubt she would've been able to catch him in time. I feel awful because I'm the one that put the trap there. I was trying to protect them, and instead it ended up probably killing my only baby boy chicken. He's had a great 22 1/2 weeks, from the time we discovered he was "a little different" and that we might have a boy our hands, all the way to now, it's been a joy, a comedian, and sometimes a royal pain in the you know what. Thanks for listening and for any advice.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2008
  2. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    He probably got hit in the head by the metal bar- he will recover or not. If he has a chicken concussion, he may get better in the next 24 hrs as long as you keep him warm and quiet (warm and dark place). If you have access to a vet they can give him fluids (do not give him anything by mouth if he cannot swallow or you will drown him), and can also give him anti-inflammatories, or even an x-ray to check his neck and skull for fractures. If you cannot take him to the vet your options are cull or warm/dark box. If you have experience with crop feeding parrots or baby wild birds- you can tube feed water/electrolytes or mash into his crop- but again, do not give anything by mouth if he appears unconscious/paralysed. If he has had a skull fracture he may die from the swelling soon or recover if he is lucky. If his neck is actually broken and just not bruised and swollen- he will likely not recover. I am sorry.

    I have a chicken who got slapped in the head by a rat trap- she was out of it for a few hours, and acted odd for a few days- but could walk- she is recovered fully now. I thought I had the traps well protected by screen, but a chicken that sees cheese and knows what it is- is a very persistent bird. I have also had a dog nose injury due to a rat trap. We all try very carefully to control rats, and not injure the pets- but it happens occasionally, and we always feel terrible, and try harder next time.
     
  3. danischi24

    danischi24 Loves naked pets

    Aug 17, 2008
    Australia
    These things happen. Don't beat yourselves up about it. Live & learn. Just keep him warm, dark, quiet & give him time. If he seems improved after several hours, see if you can get him to drink without causing him stress. He should drink before 2 days are up or he will become too dehydrated. He must eat a few days after that or he will starve. If you can get him to do these things & give him lots of time, he may recover.
     
  4. cicene mete

    cicene mete Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 19, 2008
    Thank you for the very kind responses. My wife is going to drive him to the animal hospital at Tufts (about an hour east of us; we're in Western Massachusetts). It's very hard to know what's wrong with him. He can go to the bathroom, which is a good sign, and he did stand up, if only for a few seconds, but he's holding himself in a very weird angle. In any case, they should be able to know more at the veterinary hospital.

    In the meantime, no matter what happens, we will learn from this, and like you said, try to do better next time.

    I'm very attached to them; they are our only pets, but my wife just adores them. When she comes home from work, she unwinds by playing with them. When one was sick, she curled up with it on the couch and I watch animal planet together [​IMG] . The thing about chickens is that they don't live very long and that there are a lot of things out there that can cut their life short. I guess these are the kinds of things you deal with when you decide to get pet chickens and not pet tortoises.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008
  5. danischi24

    danischi24 Loves naked pets

    Aug 17, 2008
    Australia
    I'm glad-the vet should be able to help though beware that many normal vets know NOTHING about chickens & are of no help (I say this with an aunt who is a respected vet & asks me what to do with birds).
    Chickens are awesome pets & deserve to be treated the way you guys treat them. They are also great for de-stressing after a rough day.
    You are mistaken about their ages...a well cared for chicken can live 10-15 years. Isn't that wonderful?
    Good luck & keep us updated whatever the outcome.
     
  6. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    I hope he just got a smack on the head...some folks can live with broken necks, look at Christopher Reeve, just sayin.

    Did you guys out in the west get hammered by the ice too?
     
  7. chick4chicks

    chick4chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2008
    N.E. Pa.
    [​IMG] I am sorry this happened. You are doing all you can for the boy. Hoping he recovers and enjoys a long happy life.
     
  8. cicene mete

    cicene mete Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 19, 2008
    Such lovely responses. Thanks so much for all the kind words.

    Our chicken is resting now and the little pet carrier. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

    No, we didn't get hit with the ice storm. Actually, people east, north, and west of us all got hit. We're in a little pocket that somehow managed to miss the whole thing. We were lucky. Where we live, when the power goes out, it stays out for a while.
     
  9. lurky

    lurky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    Quote:You must be close to us....... I feel like we are the only ones in MA to not get hit bad. I hope your rooster recovers from this. When are you taking him to be looked at? Too bad the vet hospital in Deerfield does not see different types of critter [​IMG] Good luck [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008
  10. M@M@2four

    [email protected]@2four Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2008
    USA
    Awwww...SO sorry to hear this! Tell your wife not to beat herself up! Things like this happen--we're not perfect and can't predict these kind of things! He very well could just have injured his neck or bumped his head. It's great you separated him and allowing him time to rest. I have had MANy chickens that have been on death's door and with just a little TLC and rest, completely beat all the odds! Please keep us posted on the vet results. [​IMG] God bless!!!
     

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