To cull or not to cull.....

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lutherpug, Nov 20, 2016.

  1. lutherpug

    lutherpug Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Long story short, this is my first flock and my poor Australorp had a pretty serious crop impaction a few weeks ago. I didn't catch it early enough and by the time I realized what was happening she had lost a significant amount of weight. I ended up taking her to an avian vet who performed minor surgery to remove the contents of her crop which included a significant amount of sand, which I was using in the coop. I reintroduced her into a sand free coop about 3-4 days after her procedure-the vet thought this was fine due to lack of visibility of her very small incision and her crop emptying normally after eating and drinking.

    Unfortunately, the timing on all of this was completely terrible as I was leaving the country for 10 days right after all of this happened. Before leaving I added several additional feeders and an additional water source to alleviate any food bullying, which I suspect may have been the root cause as she is at the bottom of the pecking order.

    So, we are back from our trip and it has been almost 2 weeks since I first took her to the vet to have her crop cleaned out-

    -She has not gained any weight-she is still emaciated.
    -She cannot roost with the other 2 hens-either because she cannot physically fly up to the lowest perch or because the other 2 will not allow her to sleep with them. She is sleeping on the coop floor.
    -She is eating and drinking without any obvious problems.
    -She seems to be in and out of the coop on a steep ramp without issues.
    -She is alert and interested when I come in the coop.
    -I've corrected my own errors in terms of having multiple feeders, grit available, etc.

    I'm torn. I don't want to cull a bird with a shot at recovery but I also do not want her to suffer unnecessarily. One thing I have not done but need to do first thing tomorrow is see if her crop is emptying overnight as she doesn't have access to food after dark. I plan to get a gut check on this tomorrow morning and the next morning as well.

    How long should do we wait and see? Our animals are our pets so letting go is hard but I am not comfortable with extended suffering for her.

    Advice?
     
  2. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Overrun With Chickens

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    If she is eating, drinking and alert I'd leave her. It can take a while for chickens to totally heal, so if she is still fighting let her live. Some chickens prefer sleeping on the floor, especially if there are bullies on the roost.

    It doesn't really sound like she is suffering much from what you said, but to get her back to a healthy weight I'd feed her extra treats away from the others. A little scrambled egg might be good for her.
     
  3. lutherpug

    lutherpug Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for your advice. I just went down to the coop to check on something and noticed she was roosting with the other two so hopefully she is on the mend and will gain some weight.

    Thanks again, I was hoping I wouldn't have to cull her. Knowing it can take some time to get better is exactly what I needed to know.

    Happy Thanksgiving!
     
  4. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Agree with @TheKindaFarmGal .I would only cull if she was not eating or drinking. Happy Thanksgiving [​IMG]
     
  5. lutherpug

    lutherpug Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you and I hope your Thanksgiving is great as well! I'll be taking Beatrix some Thanksgiving leftovers tomorrow-hopefully she'll gobble them up [​IMG]
     

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