TL;DR: Yesterday was not a good day. (things are handled, but just wanted to share)

JustSarahThanks

Songster
Jun 24, 2020
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527
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Portland, Oregon
Here we have birds roosting eight or nine feet up on the rafters, some four feet up on roosts, and some three feet up in another section of the coop on roosts.
I think that more choices and more roost space is best always, and won't block off the rafters, thinking them 'too high'.
We don't have giant SQ Jersey Giants, who probably wouldn't do well there, and that's one reason we don't have them. The hatchery JGs we've had were smaller, okay with us.
Once we had a bantam break her neck overnight, probably flying into a wall. We also haven't had outbreaks of bumble foot, or broken bones.
I do think your bird was just unlucky, young, and flew into something in the coop, just one of those things.
Some individuals are just accident prone, and she's very lucky to have you!
Mary
Aw, thank you for that. I really appreciate that as of course when this all happened I had a lot of those "I must be a horrible chicken-mom," sort of emotional death spirals.

That's interesting re: the rafters. I assumed when this all started that we must have unknowingly violated some cardinal rule of chicken coop safety design. I'm sure the other birds would really appreciate having the rafters returned to them as roost spots (although with the top of the adjacent shelf now converted into roosts them flying down off the rafters would be more of a precision exercise. If I've taken anything away from this experience is that chickens aren't exactly precision artists in this regard).

I guess I'm curious, since you mention part of it being that Goga is young. In your own experience have you observed birds learning their limits more as they age and developing more of a chicken-common sense of sorts? I guess I'm wondering just how much dummy-proofing we need to worry about. I will say (and I'm not sure how this'll translate to Goga moving back into the main coop full time with a presumably permanently gimpy wing) yesterday when I had her in the coop for some supervised hangin' with the flock time, at one point the other three all worked their way up the shelving to peck around up there and little Goga was eying them up there and looking interested but then settled down on the floor like, "Eh, it's fine down here..." I wonder if she's figuring out her limitations (that would be nice!).

Also, I'm curious--what kind of bedding do you use in your coop? We were advised by the vet to switch to pine shavings since the likelihood of Goga not regaining full wing function means she'll be at higher risk for bumblefoot, with not being able to cushion her landings as well. Right now we are using a mix of Flock Fresh straw mixed with some hand me down wood chips we got from our next door neighbor who had a very large tree removed and wound up with waaaaaay more chips than she had any idea what to do with.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
Sep 13, 2011
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Our coop and run combination have an old concrete floor, and part is covered with rubber stall mats, and part is concrete. We use bagged shavings, mostly, some 'regular' and some 'fine', and then a bit of hay or whatever in addition.
We've never used wood chips, rather spread that on the garden and around the trees, where the chickens rearrange it all too well.
She's going to have to learn her limitations, and may be able to fly a bit, or not. That wing isn't yet healed, and then will need to redevelop muscling, as we all must do after a fracture.
As long as she's not bullied, and can reach everything necessary, good for her!
Some of my birds, especially the young and dumb, and very nervous individuals, do crash land, or fly into things (like me!) sometimes. Usually there's no harm done. Having a big enough coop and run, with room to fly up and down to use available roosts, makes a difference.
Mary
 

JustSarahThanks

Songster
Jun 24, 2020
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Portland, Oregon
(I'm kind of in that place where I'm not sure if writing these updates/thoughts are useful and adding anything or if I'm just spamming the emergency thread now, but anyway...)

Again, thank you for the input! As a total novice I'm in that learning phase and trying to figure out how much is directly my fault and caused by choices we made in designing our coop layout vs. how much is the fact that chickens are silly and foolish and WILL provide you with "feedback" on any design flaws you've come up with. It's encouraging to hear parallels in other people's coop design.

Just a quick update on little Goga - I feel like she's doing generally better, our next (and hopefully last!) recheck at the avian vet is for Sunday so we'll know more definitively then, of course. I've been allowing her hour-long visits in the coop to facilitate reintegration and to hopefully help her get a little exercise, etc. I'm in there with them sitting in a folding camp chair as a sort of chaperone to make sure if there is any bullying I can swoop in and whisk her away to safety, but so far nothing major in that regard. The first day that I did one of these longer visits she spent about 45 of those minutes continuously dust bathing in the bedding. That seemed to kind of alarm the other chickens some and all of them gave her a back of the head peck to reassert their dominance at some point in that 45 minute period, but nothing more than that. A couple times she's fluffed up her feathers and done a big flapping leap (which isn't the most graceful thing I've ever seen a chicken do), and in today's visit she actually got airborne by about two and a half feet and whirled around in an arc before landing, preening, and scratching around in the bedding. It happened fast enough that it caught me completely off guard and I'm hoping it's not bad for her healing (hopefully will just assist with redeveloping muscle tone, but again... next vet visit is on Sunday and we'll know more).

She doesn't seem overtly uncomfortable at all at this point, but we've continued giving her pain meds as prescribed until otherwise advised by the vet.

(attaching photos from one of the times I was walking her around the yard bundled in a towel for a little stimulation outside her crate, allowing her to sample all the delicious things. Just because I think it's an extremely cute set of pictures)
 

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Jammy Dodger

Chirping
Jul 30, 2017
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(I'm kind of in that place where I'm not sure if writing these updates/thoughts are useful and adding anything or if I'm just spamming the emergency thread now, but anyway...)

Again, thank you for the input! As a total novice I'm in that learning phase and trying to figure out how much is directly my fault and caused by choices we made in designing our coop layout vs. how much is the fact that chickens are silly and foolish and WILL provide you with "feedback" on any design flaws you've come up with. It's encouraging to hear parallels in other people's coop design.

Just a quick update on little Goga - I feel like she's doing generally better, our next (and hopefully last!) recheck at the avian vet is for Sunday so we'll know more definitively then, of course. I've been allowing her hour-long visits in the coop to facilitate reintegration and to hopefully help her get a little exercise, etc. I'm in there with them sitting in a folding camp chair as a sort of chaperone to make sure if there is any bullying I can swoop in and whisk her away to safety, but so far nothing major in that regard. The first day that I did one of these longer visits she spent about 45 of those minutes continuously dust bathing in the bedding. That seemed to kind of alarm the other chickens some and all of them gave her a back of the head peck to reassert their dominance at some point in that 45 minute period, but nothing more than that. A couple times she's fluffed up her feathers and done a big flapping leap (which isn't the most graceful thing I've ever seen a chicken do), and in today's visit she actually got airborne by about two and a half feet and whirled around in an arc before landing, preening, and scratching around in the bedding. It happened fast enough that it caught me completely off guard and I'm hoping it's not bad for her healing (hopefully will just assist with redeveloping muscle tone, but again... next vet visit is on Sunday and we'll know more).

She doesn't seem overtly uncomfortable at all at this point, but we've continued giving her pain meds as prescribed until otherwise advised by the vet.

(attaching photos from one of the times I was walking her around the yard bundled in a towel for a little stimulation outside her crate, allowing her to sample all the delicious things. Just because I think it's an extremely cute set of pictures)
Thanks for the update . You are with out a doubt admirable stewards of your flock .
 

JustSarahThanks

Songster
Jun 24, 2020
188
527
146
Portland, Oregon
Ok! Little Goga had her follow up exam with the avian DVM and according to him the fracture has healed, hooray! He gave us some PT exercises to do with her, wing extensions and such to help her develop musculature and regain range of motion as even with the healed break she’s only got about 75% wing function at this point. We will see if she regains her ability to fly properly, DVM seemed optimistic but of course not necessarily guaranteed one way or the other.

We’ve been instructed to discontinue the pain meds at this point and see how she does without. I’d brought up that she’s been having some watery stools since we started her on the meds, not bloody and no one else in my flock is having that so my guess is it’s the meloxicam since that has that side effect in humans and dogs, at least. DVM didn’t seem too concerned and just wanted us to monitor now that we are discontinuing the meds, he didn’t think running a fecal float was necessary unless symptoms persist.

Currently the adventure is reintegration and here’s where I would absolutely love input from folks who’ve done this before. We’ve done supervised flock time for the past couple weeks, Goga’s hospital crate has remained in full view of the other chickens this whole time. When we have had the flock together our top hen Queenie does chase Goga down and peck at her. Not necessarily continuously but I don’t have a sense of how much is too much. Unsure if it’s better to swoop in and whisk Goga away to safety when this happens or to pick up Queenie and lavish her with affection to redirect her attention away (and remind her that yes, everyone knows she’s the boss), etc. We talked to the DVM somewhat and he suggested more or less what we’ve been doing of the supervised visits, we asked if it might make sense to move the crate into the coop itself rather than outside but visible from it, he seemed to like that idea. We asked about whether we should put Queenie in the crate to give Goga plenty of time in the coop and he suggested doing that at night when they all go to roost.

Any thoughts/opinions/anecdotes?
 

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