Scalped chick

Jul 21, 2018
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115
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Long story short, discovered some accidental chicks today. Two are totally fine, one was dead, one had both feet in the grave and was barely breathing (I didn’t know what the right thing to do was so I put it in the freezer hoping it was the most humane thing I could do). The two ok ones are now locked in the coop with their momma. I think my other chickens were the perpetrators.

So, the third bad shape chick has literally been scalped and I can’t tell if the eyes are gone or what, they can’t open them. I am trying to take care of it. It is drinking but I have to dip it’s beak in the water. I am going to try and feed it here in a minute.

I guess I’m trying to decide if it’s worth it for the chick. I can’t bring myself to kill the poor little thing because it can stand and walk and aside from being blind and scalp less. Do I nurse it for as long as I can and hope for the best or would it be better to end it now? I’m not in a great place mentally and I guess I’m just looking for some kind of support?
 

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cherrynberry

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Aug 2, 2020
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Long story short, discovered some accidental chicks today. Two are totally fine, one was dead, one had both feet in the grave and was barely breathing (I didn’t know what the right thing to do was so I put it in the freezer hoping it was the most humane thing I could do). The two ok ones are now locked in the coop with their momma. I think my other chickens were the perpetrators.

So, the third bad shape chick has literally been scalped and I can’t tell if the eyes are gone or what, they can’t open them. I am trying to take care of it. It is drinking but I have to dip it’s beak in the water. I am going to try and feed it here in a minute.

I guess I’m trying to decide if it’s worth it for the chick. I can’t bring myself to kill the poor little thing because it can stand and walk and aside from being blind and scalp less. Do I nurse it for as long as I can and hope for the best or would it be better to end it now? I’m not in a great place mentally and I guess I’m just looking for some kind of support?
Do you have Vetericyn or pain killer FREE neosporin?
 

Xouie

Crowing
Jun 11, 2020
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SF Bay Area
I’m so sorry. :hugs But if you’ve got the time, this chick may yet surprise you. I’ve had chicks survive various nasty wounds (including scalping) with little or no visible long-term effect.

I’m no injury expert. With mine I clean the wound very gently first, then apply neosporin-type ointment (no pain relief style). If I’ve got a buddy who won’t peck it, they come into the house together in a brooder bin. Very gentle, frequent wound inspection with occasional reapplication of neosporin. There are others with more vet care expertise— all I can say is there’s hope if you want to try.

If it’s just too much for you after the pain of losing the others, then euthanasia is understandable. You also can get help here with the best options for that. Bottom line is you do what is best for the chick and you. Folks will support you in any way possible. Just hang in there and keep us updated.

Note: this little dinosaur, Cocoa Puff, was nearly pecked to death by her own mother (large, deep back injury).
1A22BC9D-57E0-486D-8F2F-34AC2499DC72.jpeg


edit: it didn’t save my last sentence. Cocoa fine now except for some scarring covered by feathers.
 
Jul 21, 2018
48
115
119
I’m so sorry. :hugs But if you’ve got the time, this chick may yet surprise you. I’ve had chicks survive various nasty wounds (including scalping) with little or no visible long-term effect.

I’m no injury expert. With mine I clean the wound very gently first, then apply neosporin-type ointment (no pain relief style). If I’ve got a buddy who won’t peck it, they come into the house together in a brooder bin. Very gentle, frequent wound inspection with occasional reapplication of neosporin. There are others with more vet care expertise— all I can say is there’s hope if you want to try.

If it’s just too much for you after the pain of losing the others, then euthanasia is understandable. You also can get help here with the best options for that. Bottom line is you do what is best for the chick and you. Folks will support you in any way possible. Just hang in there and keep us updated.

Note: this little dinosaur, Cocoa Puff, was nearly pecked to death by her own mother (large, deep back injury).
View attachment 2795687

edit: it didn’t save my last sentence. Cocoa fine now except for some scarring covered by feathers.
I am going to do my best. It’s my fault they hatched. I just fed them though I’m not sure how well we did. I’ll keep it up unless they start declining, then I’ll probably let it go.

Thank you for the encouragement. My biggest worry is that they are completely blind. It seems like that would be a big problem for them since they don’t really go by smell. Or am I wrong on that?
 

RosemaryDuck

Crowing
Dec 15, 2020
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Just wanted to add, if you do euthanize any more chicks, please don't use the freezer method. It takes a long time for them to pass and is not humane. Unfortunately it used to be touted as the best way to kill animals but it only prolongs their suffering.

So sorry for you & your chicks. Hope this little one makes it. 😞
 

Wyorp Rock

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Sep 20, 2015
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Long story short, discovered some accidental chicks today. Two are totally fine, one was dead, one had both feet in the grave and was barely breathing (I didn’t know what the right thing to do was so I put it in the freezer hoping it was the most humane thing I could do). The two ok ones are now locked in the coop with their momma. I think my other chickens were the perpetrators.

So, the third bad shape chick has literally been scalped and I can’t tell if the eyes are gone or what, they can’t open them. I am trying to take care of it. It is drinking but I have to dip it’s beak in the water. I am going to try and feed it here in a minute.

I guess I’m trying to decide if it’s worth it for the chick. I can’t bring myself to kill the poor little thing because it can stand and walk and aside from being blind and scalp less. Do I nurse it for as long as I can and hope for the best or would it be better to end it now? I’m not in a great place mentally and I guess I’m just looking for some kind of support?
I'm sorry about your loss and this little one here.

Good suggestions from everyone.
If you want to try helping her, then triple antibiotic ointment would be good to use, it helps keep the tissue moist and you can put it on, in and around the eyes as well.
You may need to apply a warm compress to the eyes to help work them open to see if the eyes are intact. If they are, that's a good thing. They just may be sort of "stuck" closed or often injured birds will keep their eyes tightly shut as well. I have used triple antibiotic ointment in birds eyes with good results.

Work on hydration - I think you are doing that. A little sugar water is good too. If you happen to have some electrolytes or poultry nutri-drench, then give a few drops of those too.
Wet soupy feed can be syringed slowly or if you can get her to eat on her own give bits of egg.

It must be all overwhelming and heartbreaking to deal with this. If you find that this little one need to be put down, then I do agree, putting the chick in the freezer is not the best method of euthanasia.
Unfortunately, no matter what method we use, it can hurt the heart, but putting a chick(en) down whether due to injury or even if butchering for meat should be as quick, painless and efficient for the bird and not necessarily for the keeper.
For chicks, the method shown in the article linked is what I use. It may seem intimidating but it's the quickest I have found.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...-for-squeamish-people-slightly-graphic.74734/
 
Jul 21, 2018
48
115
119
Just wanted to add, if you do euthanize any more chicks, please don't use the freezer method. It takes a long time for them to pass and is not humane. Unfortunately it used to be touted as the best way to kill animals but it only prolongs their suffering.

So sorry for you & your chicks. Hope this little one makes it. 😞
Yeah, I had no idea what to do there. It was barely breathing.
 

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