Friday morning after I let the chickens out, and after walking up to the road to see if it was icy for slushy, a dog got into our chicken pen. By the time I got out there the dog had gotten Floppy Comb by the leg, given her a pretty violent shake and when the dog dropped her I knew it wasn’t going to be good. It wasn’t.
Even though I didn’t see any blood or organs, it looked like her leg had gotten popped out of socket, up at the thigh. She wasn’t able to stand on it and it jutted out to the side unable to hold her weight. After crying and getting her in a basket and sharpening a knife, I thought I needed to try and save her.
I felt like MacGyver trying to pull together a sling that would hold her up off the leg, rigged a water and food container by her head so she could eat and drink. She seemed like she was in shock and not make noised, which is unusual for her, she is a chatty bird. I called my chicken experts at Bramble Hollow Farms to see what they thought.
(that’s pedialite in the cup)
Anna said they have had some luck with splinting. She said if she is eating and drinking that’s a good sign. We talked a bit about the humane thing to do, how it’s a judgement call. She had seen birds bounce back from injury worse than that. I had to go to work which I thought was a good thing, cause I would have obsessed about her all day.
When I left for work she was eating, I felt positive that she would be okay, at least for the day and Boomer could take a look at her see what he thought. I called him on the way into work, told him what happened. Asked him to feed her, check on her when he got home.
A couple hours later, he texted me said she was eating, seemed a little perkier. At one point she got a little feisty and tried to get out of the contraption I made. He decided to take her back out to the coop, she drank some water, lots of water, pecked around a bit but was having trouble getting around. She made her way into the coop, got into the nest box and I will assume spent the night there.
We talked about what best case scenario would be, I said either all better or if she had died. It would be best case for us, since then we wouldn’t have to do the dirty work. Sadly when I let the hens out she wasn’t running out to get food. I had to coax her out with a stick. She went under the food shelter and was all crouched down.
As we watched her, trying to decide if she just needed a little more time to bounce back, she was breathing weird, he butt was moving in a weird way, she just wasn’t looking or acting like Floppy Comb. I asked Boomer to move the shelter so I could try and run her off, see if she had the ability to get away from something, even if it was just my boot nudging her. She moved, not well, and only a short distance. The combo of all that we decided it would be best to take care of it as quickly and humanely as we could.
The deed was done. Floppy isn’t suffering and I don’t have to worry about her being the slow bird in the yard. When Boomer and I were talking last night he told me that his first thought when I told him a dog got one of the birds was “I hope it’s not Floppy.”
So we made the decision last night to get 6 more chicks, to cover our bases in the fall. So expect much happier posts in the days to come of cute new little chicks.
Floppy Comb 2013-2014