Tiny Tim - my disabled chick - is improving

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by gryeyes, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    This little BR chick was pretty shrink-wrapped in the egg; I intervened because I have done so before without ill effects. It's a cockerel. Pretty much another extra rooster, and I have a slew of 'em already. No BR roosters, though, just one laying pullet (currently recovering from a pretty nasty molt).

    Three little BRs hatched, two cockerels and one pullet, each a day after the other. Tiny Tim was the last, late hatchling. I even kept him in the incubator another day and a half after hatching (total of 2.5 days), because he had an enlarged abdomen, was pretty clearly not "done" yet. After he fluffed up and moved around some, I realized one of his legs wasn't working, and I knew he would have trouble in the brooder with the other, weeks older chicks with which his siblings were already merged.

    I gave him sugar water via hypo. He ate, and drank. He couldn't move around much without flopping. I didn't expect him to survive and I didn't have the guts to cull him. In past hatchings, a couple of other sickly chicks have expired before I needed to cull them.

    He was pretty darned spunky, though. He developed a method of "swimming" through the shavings in the brooder, using his one good leg and both wings. I wanted to build him a little set of crutches!

    Snuggling with the other chicks, including TJ chicks 3 weeks older, was his favorite past-time. He got bowled over a lot, as new hatchlings are wont to do, when older chicks suddenly stand up and dash off across the brooder. NOBODY pecked him. Sometimes somebody would stand on his bent leg, or one of his wings, and he'd cheep indignantly about it until they moved. He flapped his way to the feeder, where the others had scratched some out, and was able to eat quite well.

    I continued to give him sugar water by hypo. Yesterday, he started to refuse it, instead of gulping at the droplets. Oh crud, I thought, he's giving up.

    Not to worry - this evening I saw him scoot over to the raised waterer, hike himself up onto his good leg, lean against the raised waterer base, and tuck his head over the edge to drink. A couple of times he has powered himself up onto BOTH legs and wobble there for a few seconds. Then he topples over and rests.

    But he can get from one side of the brooder - the long way - within seconds.

    I put two brand new BO hatchlings into the brooder and watched. The older chicks were curious, but put up with the newest babies pecking at THEIR eyes. No pecking back. Actually, a little - just to remove shavings from their feathers! Tiny Tim and the two babies all snuggle up under a three week old Trader Joe's chick (probably a white leghorn, a pullet) and nap together. The BOs get around faster than he does, and I am imagining he is trying harder due to their presence. Whatever.

    In any case, even though he's just another cockerel chick, and a disabled one at that, Tiny Tim is a real little trooper. I am incredibly pleased at his progress. It may yet turn out to be a disaster, later, but for the time being, he's safe from being culled.

    I will have to get photos of him without the red brooder light making 'em look strange.
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    such a great story, what a little trooper. At first I thought he was Tiny Tim for obvious reasons but now I fully understand. Would have made a great Xmas chicken tale. Can't wait for a picture so I can love on him personally, he's captured my heart already. Sending healthy vibes his way.
  3. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Awww [​IMG]
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
  5. sunbury chick

    sunbury chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    Fingers crossed that Tiny Tim survives.For the time being,sounds like he is loved and being well cared for.You are an angel to watch over the little guy.We had a little guy that had a crossed beak.He was our favorite,we named him Freaky,Beaky.We all adored him.We really babied him until he passed on to the Great chicken coop in the sky...we still remember him well. Good Luck, Sandy
  6. Serama Mama 4

    Serama Mama 4 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 27, 2010
    i have a silkie roo with a scissor beak and hes fine. hes 2 now and lives out with everyone else! i think disabled birds turn out sweeter. good luck tiny tim![​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  7. ChickadeeMom

    ChickadeeMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2011
    West Virginia
    ever thought of making a little bitty splint for him?

    i read on here last night about using bandaids to make hobbles.. i wish i had the link to the thread. but i dont see why you couldnt make a splint from them and a piece of gauze pad?

    i considered it with my americana pullet but she was fine this morning when i got up

    good luck!!
  8. chickens rule123

    chickens rule123 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 7, 2010
    i've heard of using bandaids too and hope tiny tim makes it [​IMG] [​IMG]
  9. AnimalFriend<3

    AnimalFriend<3 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 21, 2011
    This is so inspirational and heart touching! He is lucky he has you! [​IMG]
  10. Cacciatore

    Cacciatore Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2011
    San Pablo, CA
    Great story. I'm pulling for him!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by