Sunday, April 21, 2013

...and this little chickie has leg problems


Here is a harsh reality about bringing so many animals into your life - statistics alone dictate that some are going to have problems. No venture is ever perfect, and while much is in your power to control (or at least try to control), some things simply are not. And some decisions are the hardest to make in the worst possible way, where you nearly will that the choice be made for you. Because making a difficult choice tends to lead to existential crises, particularly when death is involved. Is this animal suffering? I'm not a chicken, so how can I presume what suffering is for them? Am I culling out of convenience because spending so much of my time and energy each day on rehabilitation that I'm skeptical will work is draining my own reserves? Is it that I can't stand to watch perceived suffering, and it is actually my own emotional pain that I'm seeking to alleviate? These are my unanswered questions.

I'm quite indecisive by nature, but I have to say that farming has made me more confident in my decisions. Oftentimes, issues need to be dealt with right now, leaving little room for much except action based on instinct or common sense. But this isn't one of those moments either, so while I try various things, practice watchful waiting and observation, and ponder exactly what to do with this chickie, here are some resources I've found helpful of late:

-Splinting to correct spraddle leg and curly toe

-Curly toe and riboflavin deficiency (although I've read elsewhere that the problem may be a genetic inability to bind, and therefore absorb, riboflavin - in which case no amount of therapy is going to work).

Fingers and chickie toes crossed for a happy outcome. 

9 comments:

  1. We are looking forward to starting our own chicken coop soon. But such scenarios as your sweet little chicken do make me nervous. But everything in life does carry some risk and I'm sure the happier outcomes outweigh the tragedy.I can imagine it would be very difficult to make that call sometimes. Fingers crossed your loving care will make a difference.

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    1. Yes, you are so right - the joy of raising the animals definitely outweighs the difficult and intense times. Good luck with starting your own flock. I bet you'll soon wonder how you ever lived without them :)

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  2. We have had one chick with toe issues and they never got better. Poor thing couldn't get in or out of the coop and we wound up culling her out of fear she would roast in the coop one hot summer day :-( I hope your chick has a better outcome :-)

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    1. It's looking pretty grim...but it's comforting to know others have walked this path before. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Sadly, we had 2 chicks that we needed to cull last year. I was hand feeding them and coddling them along in a "chick hospital" with hopes that they would make a miraculous recovery. The day came when it was obvious that that outcome was not to be. As women, I think that we have a primal need to nurture tiny beings...

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  4. What a tough decision to have to make, nobody said caring for animals was easy. I'm sure you will do what is best for the little chick AND for you.

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  5. A thoughtful post Jamie and something that is keeping me from extending to some livestock here. I do hope your little chickie makes it...how wonderful of you to do the research and try the splinting...I've never seen anything like that!x

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  6. awww. poor chickie. :( and poor you! i do not envy you that decision one bit. <<>>

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  7. Lessons learned all over in life, right? What a kind soul you are! Good luck little chickie!

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