Slow-feathering, now stargazing, speckled sussex- need advice on care, not treatment!

Sarahh_Janeyy

Songster
Dec 12, 2019
159
137
106
This is a follow up to this thread: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/feathering-in-speckled-sussex.1368639/

Chipmunk was healing up nicely after 2-3 weeks and had almost all her feathers finally grown in. The first night back in the coop (with bullies in isolation instead of her) seemed to be going well, she was up on the roost with all the others. Last I checked on her was 9pm Sunday night. Monday morning, 8am, I went out to check on her and she was no where to be found. I found her wedged up against the inside wall of the coop between the wall and the waterer. Stargazing,

Of course Monday was Memorial day so everything was closed. We did call an emergency exotic vet but she said due to the pandemic and holiday it was just her there, and they wouldn't be able to do any diagnostics. So we decided to do what we could to stabilize her and get a vet appointment for the next morning.

In the meantime we did all the scouring of the internet (and this forum) for treatment. We did what we could - I ground up my own B-complex vitamin and mixed it with water and food, we got polyvisol, vitamin E, and selenium and mixed that up and tried that too.

We went to the vet yesterday morning, he did bloodwork, fecal, and gave her liquids, vitamin supplements and probiotics. It seems her bacterial gutload was very very low- so it could be a vitamin deficiency. We just heard back from the vet, her white blood cell count and immunoglobulins were very low and he suggested that she may be immuno-compromised- it may be genetic or it could even be an adverse reaction to the Marek's vaccine she was given as a chick.. He said to give her at least a week before deciding what humane thing to do.. He did say that this could be why she wasn't feathering well- she could have some viral infection and a nutrition problem.

So, all of this isn't even my question- we are having a HARD time putting her down- on the ground, in a box, in our arms- if her feet touch ANYTHING she flips out and starts flapping her wings. She definitely can't stand, she just keeps kicking her legs backwards, while flailing around. We've been trying to keep her calm and everything, but my partner is staying up with her all night, and obviously that's not gonna work while trying to take care of her for any amount of time.

We tried a chicken sling - I searched it here, someone had made a little chair with leg cut outs. I tried this and she just kicked until she flips over and ends up in the box below.

Any tips? Advice? This is so sad and disheartening and my partner is devastated and trying to do everything we can to help her.
 

Daisycar

Songster
Apr 11, 2020
212
730
151
Italy
I don't know how to help you, I'm new to chickens too, I red Chipmunk sad story and I'm very sorry. I can easily understand how do you feel.
 

coach723

Free Ranging
6 Years
Feb 12, 2015
6,551
10,948
611
North Florida
A sling more like below may work better for you.
sling.jpg
 

Sarahh_Janeyy

Songster
Dec 12, 2019
159
137
106
Do you know what that's made of by any chance? We tried a few things but yeah hanging her from something, assuming she can't reach with her feet and kick out of it, would be ideal.
 

Trisseh

Duck-duck-chicken!
Jun 21, 2019
1,387
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NW Ontario, Canada
Depending on how big she is (sorry I didn’t read your original thread), A large sock, stockinette, a sleeve or pant leg, even a towel with holes cut for her legs and some way to secure it around her would probably work, since you need something to place her in and then suspend her. :)
 

Sarahh_Janeyy

Songster
Dec 12, 2019
159
137
106
Yeah she's 15 weeks old now, she's a lot bigger than sock size. I keep trying to find things to cut up.. I'll keep trying! Thank you!

20200527_125425.jpg
20200527_125716.jpg


This was her yesterday, the first/second day we were able to get her into a box and get her feet under her. Now they need to be straight out otherwise she starts flapping. Worried it's getting worse but she's still very alert and eating and drinking and pooping. Worried she's not eating enough because she's trying to sleep much of the day and only wants to eat the good foods.. Egg yolk, strawberries, live black soldier fly larvae... I have been trying to mix her crumble with water to make a mush but it's just not as enticing. She'll eat a little of it... Worried about lack of food intake and nutrition of that food.. But then again, if she doesn't have long left, we'd rather give her the good stuff. 😭 She's been so good.. This sucks.

A few people on Instagram mentioned new castle but I'd think more like Mareks than Newcastle especially since her air sacs are clear and there's no sign of any infection. Vet did say she could have a virus, but it could be any number of things.. And looking up Mareks, there's a ton of stuff that mimics those symptoms. Vet said she was very alert and that was encouraging.
 

mandymcg05

Songster
Apr 26, 2020
482
712
166
Kentucky
Try a cardboard box with a t shirt stretched over it and then cut holes for her feet and place her floating in the box. I saw it from someone on here who had stitches in their chicks feet!!

I hope your baby can make a full recovery!!
 

Trisseh

Duck-duck-chicken!
Jun 21, 2019
1,387
4,273
316
NW Ontario, Canada
If you’re looking at palliative care, keep doing what you’re doing - let her eat what she wants, sit how she wants, and deal with problems as they arise. And hey, sometimes palliative care turns into supportive care, working towards recovery. You just never know. :)
perhaps a tshirt sling with an additional support to help keep her legs outstretched so she doesn’t panic when she’s sat up in it? Would she sit in it with her hocks tucked up inside? The world is off kilter to her so she probably feels like she’s falling on her face when she isn’t really. If her feet are hyper aesthetic, keeping her legs in the position she prefers with her feet elevated would be what I would *try* to do. It’s going to be hard because neuro cases flip all over the place. :( just remember, you’re doing a wonderful job with her, and sometimes things just don’t go the way we want them to. You’re doing all you can to keep her comfortable. :)
 

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