Trying to decide whether to cull

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by NaomiSarah, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. NaomiSarah

    NaomiSarah Chillin' With My Peeps

    247
    1
    99
    Jul 4, 2010
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=376304

    See above for history, here's the brief:

    My chick hatched last week with a severely mal-positioned head. I did very little to assist the hatch, but I did have to help it out a bit. I call the chick Stevie Wonder.

    It still sways around like a drunk, and it's what, five days old now? And it only opens it's eyes for a moment or two at a time. It also seems to choke on it's food and water quite regularly - it was gasping for breath by the water dish this morning and it's done that several times now. I corrected the splay-legs at two days old, and the bandages came off last night - the splay legs aren't fully corrected but better.

    So... five days old, almost, and it's still not using it's eyes, the tea-cup trick isn't correcting it's equilibrium. I was considering pulling a broody from the flock to try and take care of it, but the thing is so fragile. Kind of cries when you touch it's neck. I don't know exactly what the problem is, but I'm torn! I don't mind having special needs birds in my flock, as long as they can survive ok... if it's trying to kill itself in it's food and water (ok I'm joking but that's effectively what it's doing!!!), and still can barely walk or see, am I doing the poor little bird a disservice by still trying?

    I'm still so new to these kind of complications. Really glad for the experience, but I just can't seem to make the decision on my own here. Axe is my method of choice if when I do cull. Anyonw had a chick in this bad of shape who actually made it through well?

    Making it worse is that it's alone, so it's pretty sad when I can't just sit with it, which believe me, I've been doing plenty of! Any thoughts appreciated!
     
  2. leahthor

    leahthor Chillin' With My Peeps

    268
    0
    99
    Jun 24, 2010
    Northwestern Alberta
    For me, I always try to assess the quality of life. Is it in pain? Can that pain be managed or eventually cured? Does the condition limit the animal's ability to care for itself adequately (with or without supervision)? Will the condition eventually correct itself enough to lead to a happy life or will it only worsen and lead to continual health problems and pain for the animal?

    I can't tell you what to do but I hope MY personal guidelines may help you one way or another. Please don't take my statement as being opposed to special needs--I have great respect for the animals that can enjoy life and triumph over adversity. If you think that there is a chance of the bird being able to have a pain-free and happy life then try to help. If it will only continue to suffer with no hope then the kindest thing is to end its suffering.

    Either way, I wish you the best.
     
  3. shepherd

    shepherd Out Of The Brooder

    59
    0
    39
    Jun 19, 2010
    Ive had chicks in some bad shape myself before.
    One was crippled and couldnt walk right it just hopped around on one leg and drug the other. It wasnt bad at first but when he got a couple months old the other chickens started to peck and open wounds on the chickens head and neck. The little guy had no way to defend itself so we ended up dispatching him. That was just my situation, But your chicken might make it.
     
  4. NaomiSarah

    NaomiSarah Chillin' With My Peeps

    247
    1
    99
    Jul 4, 2010
    Culled the chicken this evening. It inhaled more food and I think it's lung collapsed, it was gasping and gasping and shaking so I had my husband do it in. Normally, I'd do it myself but this little chick was all alone and I played the mommy part, so I couldn't do it on my own. [​IMG]
     
  5. leahthor

    leahthor Chillin' With My Peeps

    268
    0
    99
    Jun 24, 2010
    Northwestern Alberta
    I'm so sorry to hear that. We always hope for the best but sometimes you have to make the hard desisions for the good of the animal.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by