Thinking of adopting "crippled" chicken - looking for advice

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickiebird, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. chickiebird

    chickiebird In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2007
    Annapolis Valley
    I know that there are no definate answers here because noone can see this chicken and I haven't been able to examine it closely, but just tossing this out and hoping for opinions/advice.

    Our feed store has a park out back with a playground, some goats, ducks and chickens. The animals are kept really well - clean, spacious pens, well fed, very friendly, glossy, etc. I was told that at the end of the summer they adopt out the chickens. I am in love with a beautiful Banty rooster - he's so friendly, and speckled with a thousand different colors - but the trouble is, he is in a pen with his little Banty hen, who cannot stand up at all. She has one leg out straight to the side, and gets around by shufflng and using her wings for balance. She doesn't even look comfortable when she's sitting still. The people in the store say that when they got to the park, they were put in with the geese, and then her leg went like that, so they assume a goose grabbed her. My coop is raised off the ground with a ramp for the chickens to get in, and this hen could never get up it. I wouldn't want to take the rooster and leave the poor hen. So, my questions:

    I'm assuming that her problem is a) a goose injury, b) untreated splay leg, or c) a nutritional problem. I am new to chickens, so I don't even know if my assumptions make sense (which is why I'm asking you folks to seem to know everything!!!)
    Are any of these feasible, and if so, is it possible that any of them are treatable? (realizing, of course, that noone can give me a definate answer)
    I have two silkie hens, and lost my poor roo to a raccoon. I'd love to add this little Banty guy, but how could I abandon this poor little hen? Any thoughts?
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana you have a place you might be able to keep them in the house...say a dog kennel?? You might try putting her in there for a while, treat with vitamins, and a splint. At least through the 30 day quarantine period. She might just pull through, with proper care, and a little attention. Whatever you decide...good luck, and if you get them, we want pics!! LOL
  3. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    You could still try to fix her splayed legs if that's what it it...this BYC might have a better search function than the other one...[​IMG]
    I'd try and take both especially since they might be a bonded pair.
  4. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    sounds as though it may be a slipped tendon... you could try the splayed leg treatment (though all the info I have on it all agree that the longer you wait to treat the more intractable it becomes to responding to the treatment)> if it is a slipped tendon the splayed leg treatment will have no effect (a handy vet familiar with this simple procedure can stitch the tendon in place and "loosen" any surrounding atrophied musculature which may impede walking)... good luck!
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2007
  5. chickiebird

    chickiebird In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2007
    Annapolis Valley
    Thanks so much for your thoughts. Yes, I've read up on splay leg, and everyothing I can find is just about baby chicks, so I assumed it probably wouldn't work fo rher, if that's what it is. But the store folk say that she was normal in the spring until she was in with the geese, so it probably is more likely an injury. We do have a good avian vet here, so maybe she is treatable!
    I would definately take the pair, not just the roo. It would break my heart to leave the hen there. And, if she's not treatable, at lesat she could live in peace at my place - if I can figure out some shelter for her that she can get into. DH is not exactly fond of my chicken habit, so it's hard work getting things built! But, he is a softie, so I'll try to work the poor, suffering animal route.
    Thanks again for your thoughts, and please, any more are welcome and appreciated!
  6. pawtraitart

    pawtraitart Songster

    May 30, 2007
    I have a 13wk old pullet who got injured as a chick and can't walk. She can hop around a bit on one foot, but the other leg is out to the side. It's amazing how she can get around. She has no trouble getting to the food or water and socializes with the other chickens just fine including taking part in the morning dust bath routine. We were going to cull her but she's so sweet I just can't do it. I've decided to keep our special girl and give her the best life possible.
  7. virgilini

    virgilini In the Brooder

    Jan 16, 2007
    I have a crippled hen as well. I'm not sure what's wrong with her but she was getting picked on in the coop so I adopted her. ( Much to my husbands dismay). I work on a horse farm and I take her with me to the farm in the morning and put her under a couple of pine trees where she hangs out all day eating grass and clover. She also has a bowl of crumbles and treats from me during the day. She can move around a little bit but doesn't get too far. In the evening we go home and she lives in a big dog crate in the garage with lots of towels to snuggle into for the night. She's sweet and has a great appetite. They are very tough little critters. I would definitely take the hen. You'll work it out.[​IMG]

  8. Carole AM

    Carole AM Songster

    Jan 12, 2007
    Goshen, Indiana
    Kudos to you for trying to save this hen. [​IMG] I've had several birds with broken, mangled, missing legs, and they all lived for a while. Most were raccoon attacks! Now I have a chick with a broken leg, and it seems to be doing good. (Better than some others) They will adapt, and at least your hen will have a good home. [​IMG]
  9. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    I think as long as the little girl isn't in any pain, it's certainly worth a try.
    It must be a sweet little rooster if that's his only hen and he isn't hurting her also. I'd worry about your two existing hens, though. She'll be not only new to them but also weak, and they may go after her...hopefully not...
    Virgilini - Your story was adorable!
  10. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    Oh my gosh...I have to find the info on ...what was the name...I think verlin or something like that. He adopted a crippled chicken and built a special run for him so he could learn to walk upright.... I'll go look for it.

    It took extra time and patience...and as I recall, he never regretted it.


    Ok.. i did some searching and did not find "the whole story" I'm hoping chickchair, will remember for me. IN the meantime...I did find a post by verlin on the "EZboard BYC" that has some pics.

    Last edited: Aug 20, 2007

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