Silkie with a crooked leg- a bit of a vent

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chands, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. Chands

    Chands Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2017
    Michigan
    So I was at our local TSC yesterday, and they had just gotten a bunch of silkies. That was my first mistake, right? I don't need any more chicks. But, I've always wanted a Silkie... Anyway. One of the little ones had a twisted leg and was hobbling along behind the others. I've done rescue work for years, and immediately wanted to rescue the poor thing. I know they have a 6 chick minimum, but I thought maybe if I explained the situation to them and that I'd already bought chicks a couple days ago, we could work something out since no one would want that one, right?

    Wrong. They were adamant that I purchase five additional chicks if I wanted to rescue the little one with the twisted leg. I tried to talk to a manager, but he was too busy and the employee at the chickens pen kept saying it wouldn't matter what I said, the rules are the rules.

    Now before I come off as a spoiled brat who thinks the rules don't apply to me, hear me out. The person before me who bought chicks, also bought a duck, and he didn't make her purchase two of them, even though that's the rule. So if he was willing to bend the rules for her, why wouldn't he do the same for this poor baby chicken? I even explained that I had chicks already, it's not like he/she would be alone. I could even show them pictures, but it was to no avail.

    People keep telling me, oh, don't worry about it, it'll be fine, but all I can see in my head is that little baby silke, hobbling around the bin.

    I want to go back in there, but I'm afraid if I raise too much of a stink, I'll get kicked out, and they're the only feed store in town.

    I wish I had gotten a pic, but I couldn't get close enough. Any suggestions, either for how to help this little one or what to do with it once I do?
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    The best thing to do imho, is call the store and ask to speak with the manager. Be polite and explain that you saw a chick that had a leg/foot deformity/injury and would like to try to help. Don't accuse or get into what happened on your previous visit - employees will do what they do, so what you're wanting to do is defuse the situation and not put them on the defensive. If they say "sorry we can't do that", graciously accept it and move on or abide by their policy.

    That said, Silkies are a bit "different" from your "standard breeds" a lone chick would have a hard time being integrated in with say, large fowl layers (RIR, Orpingtons, BR, etc.). Sometimes Silkies can be picked on even when mature and may need separate housing, it really depends on your flock dynamics and setup. It may actually be best to have several Silkies for this little to grow up with, so if the store sticks with their minimum, then you need to consider if you want to take home 6 instead of just the one.

    I understand that you are trying to help and that's a good thing. Take a step back and look at your situation - can you brood one chick separately, do you have time to try to help this little one heal and move along, are you willing to cull/put her down if the leg becomes worse, or if she is not able to have a good quality of life, do you have space to house her separately when she matures if your flock does not accept her?

    A twisted leg could be a genetic/development disorder, slipped tendon or other injury, there's no way to know the cause and if it can be fixed, but you can try.

    Here's some good information on some common leg issues:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/leg-foot-and-toe-issues-in-poultry-of-all-ages
    https://sites.google.com/a/poultrypedia.com/poultrypedia/poultry-podiatry
     
  3. Chands

    Chands Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2017
    Michigan
    Thanks for the insight and additional perspective! It's a lot to think about and I don't want to rush into anything if it's not the best thing for the bird. I'll take a look at those links and discuss it further with my husband.
     

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