Rehabilitation for abused chickens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Isisranch, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. Isisranch

    Isisranch Out Of The Brooder

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    May 27, 2008
    Strasburg, Colorado
    Last night I took part in a rescue of a private home where chickens were being horribly abused. Many were dead in their pens. I managed to save and bring home 23 hens and 12 roosters. Here are a couple questions I need help with:

    1. Most are Bantams and their feet are completely stuck together with mud and poo. One of the roosters has a toenail that is growing over the top of it's foot on one side and is missing all the toes on the other. What is the best way to clean their feet and give them the use of their toes?

    2. I have never had more than one rooster. Currently just for the night I seperated them by putting them in xxl dog kennels. I will be building a new coop or many today, what do I need to take into consideration with all of these roosters? Should I break the coops up into family groups?

    3. I hate antibiotics but do you think it would be prudent in this case to dose all of them? Especially since I have 40 birds of my own. Currently the new birds are quarantined.

    Here is a link to some before and after pictures. Caution, their conditions are very disturbing in their prior living arrangement.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

    Thank you
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Quote:1. Personally, I would just take them up one a time and soak them in a warm bath with just a little mild soap in the water (Dr. Bronner's would be ideal but nothing wrong with Dawn either.) A soft brush might help clean the feet.

    2. The family groups sounds like a great idea. Roos vary so much in how well they get along. If you just watch them, the best arrangement for them will come to you.

    3. I would definitely NOT do this. You need to improve the normal flora in their gut, not kill them off.
     
  3. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

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    If you think that there is infection in their feet, you could soak them in warm water with epsom salt. Thanks for saving them. If I lived closer, I'd come over and help.
     
  4. BlackBart

    BlackBart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    Sorry to say I have seen chickens living in worse enviornments [​IMG]

    I would gently wash their feet and keep them warm until they were fully dry.
    Family groups is a good idea.

    I rescued a Rooster last Spring. He was very thin, paper thin.
    First thing I did was dust him for mites. I covered his feet and comb/wattles with baby oil, for leg mites. He has feathered legs but he wasn't too dirty.
    I kept him separate from my chickens and fed him for a few days before I dewormed him.
    I also put a vitamin in his drinking water.
    He is fine now and after his last molt he is looking pretty handsome.
     
  5. Isisranch

    Isisranch Out Of The Brooder

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    May 27, 2008
    Strasburg, Colorado
    Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.

    Their feet look like they are crusted together? Does that make sense? Almost like giant clogs of proud flesh.
     
  6. WalkingWolf

    WalkingWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That sound like leg mites, deworm them and it should kill the mites. After washing put petroleum jelly to help suffocate the mites.
     
  7. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

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    If it's a bad case of scaley leg mites, they may lose some toes.
     
  8. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Tempe, Arizona
    Quote:That sound like leg mites, deworm them and it should kill the mites. After washing put petroleum jelly to help suffocate the mites.

    Deworming will not kill the scaley leg mites unless you use ivermectin. If they are in htat bad a condition, you might want to worm with piperazine first, wait a week and then use ivermectin.

    Soak the feet in warm soapy water. Adding epsoms salts is a good idea. Scrape as much gunk off as you can after they have been soaking awhile and it has softened. Once you get as much off as you can liberally oil them with bath oil or mineral oil or even olive oil. You'll need to repeat every couple of days (which seems to work better than daily).

    You need to spray them thoroughly with a flea/tick spray (I far prefer that over dusting). A bath in flea and tick shampoo would be best, but with the number of birds and needing to keep them warm until thoroughly dry that doesn't seem practical.
     
  9. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could they have bumblefoot? Are the feet swollen up?

    Thanks for taking the time and energy to save these guys!
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2009
  10. ArizonaNessa

    ArizonaNessa Joyfully Addicted

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    Everyone has given really great advice. The only thing I thought of to add is that after you get their feet clean, gently see if you can't trim the toenails just a bit. Little bits at a time. Those toenails curled like that make it difficult and painful for them to walk and could cause the feet to swell due to malformation. Pain = stress = death or slow healing. On the feather footed ones I would try to trim away as many feathers as I possibly could so I could fully see the extent of the damage that has been done to the legs and feet.

    Bless you for having the heart to save them and the intestinal fortitude not to slay the previous owner. [​IMG]
     

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