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What Would You Do - cull chick or continue to rehab?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tiadragon, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. tiadragon

    tiadragon Hatching

    May 21, 2008
    We have a Gold Sex Link who was found lying on her side, a bit pasted up, when she was almost a week old. Figuring she was dehydrated/weak from the pasting, we cleaned her up, helped her drink and eat (she was voracious!), warmed her under the lamp and set her back down in the broder. She immediately toppled to the side.

    We ended up setting her up in a small box by herself, with easy access to food and water. We used leg hobbles (thinking spraddle leg) and a donut, with some physical therapy (holding her up, helping her walk, etc). It has now been 5 days and, while she eats, drinks and poops like a champ and is feathering out, she still tends to favor one side, her toes curl rather than spread 80% of the time, she can stand on her own but doesn't for long and never takes an actual step, and she still uses her wings and body weight to kinda bump along.

    She's incredibly sweet (I call her Princess) but I am 6 months preggo and both hubby and I also work outside the home. I worry that she needs more than we can give.

    Should I try to farm her out to someone as a pet-with-special-needs? Or is she likely never going to gain strength and mobility in her legs so it is kinder to cull?

    Thanks for all advice!

  2. PinkHairGirl

    PinkHairGirl In the Brooder

    Sep 5, 2011
    South Africa
    sorry no advice I don't have much experience with chicks but I have always been amazed at chickens ability to survive. I always go with the philosophy that as long as they are not suffering I give them the benefit of the doubt and see what happens
  3. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hello, that sort of sounds like she may have had a stroke. I have a friend that nursed a hen back to health from a stroke (well, we assume it was a stroke because she was weak on one side.) This hen was very similar in description to your chick.

    Decisions like this are hard because you truly don't know if they'll fully recover or not. If you think the chick has gone as far as it could in it's recovery, then it's probably best to cull. That's just my humble opinion.

    Nothing wrong in waiting a bit longer if you think the chick will get it's mobility back though.....

    Do what's right for you....It is a very personal choice.
  4. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010

    I do that too a lot. I figure if it's not suffering then you're not exactly "putting it out of it's misery."
  5. lincolnsilkies

    lincolnsilkies Songster

    Aug 27, 2011
    Lincoln Nebraska
  6. marlene

    marlene Songster

    Aug 17, 2011
    I had a chick like yours. She only ever moved slightly to get food and water, when she did move she walked like a penguin and carried her wings to the groung.
    I thought that as she was managing i would leave her be.
    All her hatch mates out grew her and left for the outside brooder, she never really feathered out so she stayed in side and even mothered 2 new chicks, they also out grew her and went to the out side brooder.
    When she was 5 months old she gave up and quickly went down hill, the last few days she couldn't even move to get food and water.
    She finally lost the battle at 5 months old, she was no bigger than a 4 week old chick and never lost her chick feathers.
    On many occassions i wished i had culled her at a week old when i realised something was wrong with her. Her life was comfortable for those 5 months but it was not a great one.
  7. Suzie

    Suzie Crowing

    Jul 9, 2009
    These decisions are so hard to make - nothing is right and nothing is wrong .. you will have to make the decision, only you know your own chicken and whatever advice or support you get on this site - You will have to determine what is best for all concerned... I wish you well and commend you for your efforts so far!


  8. Suzie

    Suzie Crowing

    Jul 9, 2009

    My heart goes out to you ! A very sad outcome to your commendable efforts! Take comfort in the fact that you did more than most -

  9. hennyandpenny

    hennyandpenny Chirping

    Mar 14, 2012
    Dayton, Ohio
    i have a chick with a tilted head at first she was falling over all the time and sometimes needed help getting up. as long as she doesnt seem to be in pain you should let her learn to cope with it like i let my chick do but if she seems to be in incredible pain let her go. i had two chickens that where attacked by a large bird of prey and one broke its jaw and the other one had a highly infected wing that was broken. at the time we didnt know what to do other than put them down because there was too much infection. i hope she learns to live with her disability or get back to health.

    good luck!
  10. marlene

    marlene Songster

    Aug 17, 2011
    Thank you Suzie for the kind words.
    It was hard watching that poor dear every day, struggling to move for food and water. But because she kept battling, i felt i owed her to battle along with her.
    Mostly she sat quietly in a corner and only moved when she had to.

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