Slipped Tendon in Chick

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LyrebirdJacki, Aug 28, 2014.

  1. LyrebirdJacki

    LyrebirdJacki Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2012
    Darwin Australia
    I hatched my first lot of welsummers ending up with only 5 chicks, all hens. One of them however on the second day I noticed an injury so I isolated her indoors. Each day the leg got worse not matter how I tried to fix it (I assumed splayed legs) so I did a bit more research. Turns out its a slipped tendon, to which its far too late to fix by just rolling around the ankle to pop it back into place.

    However, normally I would cull such a chick (if it was one I bred myself I would, but I payed good money for these fertile eggs) but she seems to be getting around really well. She hobs along on the ankle with no issue or sign of pain. I was wondering, considering that she is 100% certain to be a hen due to the auto sexing of the breed, if I got her leg amputated at the hock, would she be fine later on in life? I would not pair her up with a rooster definatly as I could totally see her being singled out and mated with the most because of her disability, but as a layer to live out her life as a free range hen. I've had the crab claw legged chickens (incubator problem) before so I do know that if there is a leg issue, that they can still live a complete and happy life minus a few things like perching and foraging. And considering that it is not at the drumstick, she could still use the stump to balance.

    And how much would it cost to get it amputated at a vet? I would rather it done humanely than at home where I can put her through a lot of pain. No silly or rude answers please.
  2. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    Interesting thought.

    My first thought is, do you think it would give her more or less pain, as things are now verses having her without the foot?

    I would be tempted to see if she will make due with everything the way things are (more because i shudder at vet bills for my chickens than anything else).

    I see nothing wrong with keeping a defective chicken as long as she isn't in pain.

    If it looks like she is in pain, and you think that she would not be in pain if that one foot were amputated, and are happy spending the money, I do not see any reason why you shouldn't try it.
  3. Ciqala

    Ciqala Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2013
    New Hampshire
    I have a pullet living with a slipped tendon, she's about 5 months old now - the slipped tendon happened when she was around 3 weeks old. When I noticed it I had two different vets, both who handle chickens, look at it and try to pop it back in. They couldn't, it was too late. She always seemed to hobble along fine, so I decided to give her a chance. I chose two of the most mellow brood mates to be her flock and have the three of them in a separate coop/run, their run fence is right up against the main flock's. For me with this pullet, Cleopatra, quality of life is first and foremost and to be honest the biggest concern has been will she continue to do okay as she grows to mature size.

    Only up until about the last month I'd wrap her leg in a figure 8 with vet wrap about every other day. Not that it would fix it, but for the little bit of extra support in getting around a bit easier. Lately she's been doing better without it. She does have her bad days, luckily they are far and few between for the most part. I have given her a 1/4 aspirin a couple of times when she'd over done it, but it's only been three times that I can think of.

    She dust bathes, scratches in the dirt in her own way, hobble runs with her wings flapping and can get up and down on things on her own, does lay down and rest more than the others. The only high spot they have access to is their roosting spot, which is about 8" off the floor of the coop and is wide, about a foot and a half by a foot and a half. The step out of their coop is about 4" and does still have a small ramp. Their coop/run is like fort knox 'cuz I know she'd never stand a chance against any predator.

    It was about 2 weeks ago that she had a rough stretch and I had given her the aspirin, it was then I started thinking about amputation too. The more I looked into it I saw most agreed it could cause more problems than fix. Cleopatra does use her twisted up leg sort of like a crutch and for scratching itches, so I decided to leave well enough alone. So my advice regarding amputation would be wait and see how she does as she ages. If things get really rough for mine, I would try amputation as a last resort before culling so the thought isn't completely out of my head. I find the biggest problem she has in life is scratching itches on the side of her that her good leg is on, I've seen her use the cinder block in their run a couple of times to do it.

    Here's a post I started about her, I haven't updated it in a long time though.
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  4. LyrebirdJacki

    LyrebirdJacki Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2012
    Darwin Australia
    Thank you both for your replies.

    Ciqala, mine has her leg at an almost 90 degree angle, she's a little worse than yours but I'll try wrap it like that, might give her a bit of a break from her ankle being leaned on all the time. It's nice to see however that she is functioning quite fine with life though, Hopscotch (is what I've decided to call her) is quite happy and healthy, so I didn't want to just kill her off when she can have a chance at enjoy her life as I am more than willing to put in the time for her as I do with all my chickens anyway. As a fellow chicken hoarder, my chickens are quite spoiled :D

    I'll pop a picture up of her soon anyway, just so you can get an idea of how buggered her leg is. If I had a video camera I would put up a video though of how happy she is.

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