To consider not taking my lame pet to the vets?(225 Posts)
Before you all tear me apart let me explain....
This is a 2 week old chick. We have 3 of them and this is the youngest. I paid around £3 each for them and they are being cared for by one of my hens.
Yesterday I noticed this little fella was limping but was still getting around. I checked its foot, couldn't find anything stuck in it so let it go back assuming it would get better by itself.
Today it cannot put any weight on the foot. I have taken it indoors and examined it and it's not any of the usual foot diseases I've so far googled. I can't feel any broken bones so could just be a sprain, but obviously I don't know for sure.
The chick is a Pekin bantam so its tiny still and difficult to treat I would imagine. I've not put it back with it's mum or the others but have brought it in as it was not coming out of the hutch for food or water, at least this way I can make sure its eating.
I've just phoned the vets and they charge £10 consultation fee plus whatever else for treatment/medication.
Now when all is said and done, it is just a chick and doesn't appear to be in constant pain, it just can't walk around as it refuses to put the bad leg down. I am tempted to just pop it back under mother hen tonight, then take it out again tomorrow and do what I'm doing today, which is to keep it in an egg box with food and water and hope that the leg gets better with plenty of rest so it can eventually join the other two and mother hen.
Would this be totally unreasonable?
I know nothing about chicks but I would have thought if it was broken it would need splinting. Did you tell the vet about what the problem is and ask what they might be able to do?
Why is the fact that you paid £3 for it relevant ? Does it make the chick more dispensable? "It's just a chick ". Lovely.
If it's in pain and you can't treat it yourself, it needs a vet. Not putting the leg down indicates pain, to me.
I doubt very much it can be splinted - it's fecking tiny! I did tell vet what the problem was but they replied as many vets do, that they would need to examine it before they made any guesses as to treatment, etc.
If it does need a splint, that would cost a fortune and I have to remember that it's a £3 chick not a pet dog. I conciously don't have 'pets' as such because of this issue and always said that if one of the hens got ill, I wouldn't let it suffer but neither would I spend a lot of money on vet treatment.
Is that so bad?
Its an animal who is suffering, doesn't matter whether it cost you £3 or £300
You do have animals, you have to care for them and if you are not willing to do that then perhaps you shouldn't have them
Vets never seem to be able to do much for chickens.
vatican, sorry but it IS just a chick. My husband was a farmer before I met him, animals are part of their livelihood. They would never be cruel but neither would they waste money treating an animal that was not a pet.
This is not a cat or a dog, it's a functioning animal that we hope to make a profit from by selling it. Therefore we don't want to spend more money on it than we would eventually get for it.
That's kinda the farming mentality I'm afraid. At the same time, I obviously want to give this one a fighting chance if I can.
If you can't be arsed spending the money then you shouldn't have got the animal
It is wrong to leave that chick in pain. Many animals dont show pain because that alerts predators to the fact they are easy prey.so appearances can be deceptive. Chances are there isn't alot that can be done but at very least the poor thing can be put to sleep.
If it's in a lot of pain I can come round and deal with it for you, I know you're not far from me. Not the most fun job but my mother taught me to do it if necessary.
I think some people are confusing animals for pets.
The chick and hens are not pets. They serve a purpose.
Dame - yes I must admit I think I might spend £10 just for the vet to tell me that there is nothing she can do.
Just put it back under the hen.
Why did you call it a pet in the thread title then?
Dame - thanks. It's ok, I know how to do it myself. The chick is not in constant pain and is feeding itself well, it just won't walk about so I have to put the food nearby.
I don't suppose it can survive with just one leg can it? If it's broken then I may have to put it down myself. Shame.
I'm from the country, so used to seeing animals as 'useful' rather than as 'pets' but frankly I think if you are in any doubt that this creature is in pain I would take to the vet.
It may be some prefer it to be treated regardless of cost, but even if you do not want to pay out lots in vet fees you are responsible for this creature.
Have it treated/put down/rehomed - all viable and more responsible options than ignoring it.
And then I take up Dame's offer if it doesn't improve.
xposted, MrRhubarb will be able to do it just as well as I can.
I think this thread isn't going to end well...
Hercy - because I knew I'd get responses and I needed other opinions. So shoot me.
Expat - I would but then it won't come out to eat or drink, just sits in the corner of the hutch. The other two are out and about in then pen pecking away and feeding as they should.
X post so guessing you know what to do
I happen to agree with you OP, but you are going to get slaughtered once the 'my pets are more important than mt children' brigade spot this...
Get your flame proof trousers on, you'll be bbq'd
If its sitting in a corner refusing to move then its in some pain, you can either take it to the vets and maybe they can get it sorted easily or you put it out of its misery.
SacreBlue - I have brought it in, it is under a heat lamp, I am feeding it and I am asking for opinions. How is that ignoring it?
I am loathe to give the vet practice more than a tenner of my money if there is nothing they can do. I might as well just go out to the bin and throw a tenner in it now.
There's caring for an animal and there's being overly sentimental and wasting money.
animal or pet- it is in pain. if you were on a farm and chose to leave a limping cow in the barn instead of calling the vet that would also be unreasonable is it is still an animal, still in pain and still your responsibility.
£3 or £3000, pet or 'just an animal', as the person who has chosen to 'own' that animal you have taken on it's healthcare needs as your responsibility and so you must treat it when necessary. he doesn't know he was only £3 or that he isn't a pet- all he knows is that he cant fucking walk for the pain in his leg!
Put it out of its misery if it doesn't perk up. Chances are, the vet will charge more than a tenner, too. People on here can't believe there are some people who don't have that money right now.
Binky, it's in pain when it squeaks. At the moment it's happily snoozing and waking every 20 minutes to feed before snoozing again. When it stands it cheeps for its mum, it doesn't squeak in pain but it won't put any weight on that one foot.
Bring on the pet brigade, I don't care so long as I've had some useful advice which I'm getting. I can ignore the rest. It's just the internet. Some chicken forums have RIP sections for chickens, others calmly screw a hen's neck once she's past her egg laying best. That's the way it goes. I assume the sentimenalists are veggies? My hens get a way better life than any farmed hens, free range or otherwise.
So just because this chick isn't a pet it should be allowed to suffer?
Wtaf? You cruel bastard.
I didn't say you were just that choosing an option was better than not.
You seem to have a bit of an attitude.
Fwiw, I know the difference between farm/working animals and pets and how they would be treated differently. And my advice would have been to keep doing what you're doing and if there's no improvement, then put it put of its misery.
It's just the use of pet in the thread title, then "some people don't understand the difference between animals and pets" rant that annoyed me.
The fact that it's not a pet is irrelevant. You are responsible for it and that includes getting it the appropriate treatment. If that treatment isn't cost effective, put it down. But don't leave it in pain because the vet is too expensive, that's vile.
Stephen, it has a brain the size of a withered pea. It is not a cow. Hens work largely on instinct and hormones.
expat - exactly. I have already spent quite a lot of money on materials for a pen for the new chicks, on chick feed, on buying them when my £10 clutch of eggs turned out to be infertile etc.
And yes, I doubt the vet will just leave it at a tenner either. Does anyone have any experience of a chick being successfully treated by a vet?
Hercy, do I have an attitude? I really must get that sorted. Yes perhaps I should not have used pets in the title but I have had threads ignored before now because the title was deemed to be boring. I wanted advice from people who have had experience perhaps with vets and/or chickens so I could make the right decision. Apparently though, that still means that I am some cruel sadist who leaves animals suffering. I should wake the little fella up just to remind him that he's meant to be in pain.
Bird legs are complicated, it could be a break, it could be a strain. Splintering a leg that small is very difficult. Have you felt all the way up to the hip joint?
Nope, definitely no attitude there.
See, i tend to agree with you rhubarb, watch and wait - so long as you are willing to pull its neck over the weekend if it is apparently suffering as weekend consults will be £££s. However, you KNEW you would get flamed, so im a bit confused as to why you started the thread when you knew how it would end.
I would watch and wait although i would be a bit jumpy because its the weekend. Like you say, its not a pet, it is however a sentient animal and should not be allowed to suffer so do keep an eye and be willing to either pts or take to the vet over the weekend if it worsens. If it is an infection in the foot then it will suffer.
Honestly, I think if you took it to the vets they would probably just suggest you dispatch it. I agree with you that a trip to the vets is most likely an exercise in futility (we have kept chickens for a number of years, although we have not had anything younger than point-of-lays).
If it is not in pain, then I would suggest making a go of it and see how it gets on. If you think it IS in pain constantly though, then I would suggest putting it down.
whether it's brain is the size of the barn or the size of a grain of sand- that brain is, right now, sending pain signals to it's leg. either treat it or put it down. it is UR to let an animal in your care suffer (I grew up on a farm fwiw- I know the difference between 'for cuddles' and 'for cash'
I reckon out of the three this one is the only hen as well which is just bloody typical.
I don't suppose I should even begin to tell anyone what generally happens to cockerels?
If it's not able to put weight on a leg then it's in pain, it's not doing it for fun.
Withholding medical treatment is an offence under the animal welfare act btw.
As I said, I would need to wake the chick up and remind it that it's in pain.
You see, if you read my responses you might see my dilemma. The chick is NOT in constant pain. It will not put any weight on that leg but other than that the chick is eating and behaving normally, no squeaks of pain (which are quite distinguishable from cheeping).
So I wanted to know if I was better off doing what I am doing, which is to isolate it during the day to see if things improved, or to spend a tenner on a vet just so I knew what the problem actually was, assuming they can tell me?
£10 is a lot to spend if you leave without getting an answer isn't it?
If it does not improve then obviously I would not leave it lame, I would put it down.
OP you do realise you asked if you were being UR don't you? why are you getting snippy at people telling you that yes you are being UR?
Report me tabu
Should I break its neck now then do you think? As you seem so convinced that it is in pain?
Agree with Expat... it needs putting out of its misery. Guess your dh could do that.
I would take it to a vet, see what they say. If it will cost too much, or you wont make money off it the you'll have to have it PTS
I agree a hen is not a dog or a cat, but it could possibly be an animal in pain, that needs addressing from a pigeon to an elephant they all need treating with respect.
Honestly I would euthanise it as humanely as possible if you aren't going to have it treated. I live on a farm and I'm used to seeing animals as stock but there isn't a farmer I know who wouldn't either have the vet see the animal or euthanise it. There isn't really the option of just carrying on to see if it sorts itself.
Maybe you could pay the tenner for consultation and then make a decision based on what the vet says? If it needs more than you're willing to pay then it's only fair to end it quickly.
OR... If you happen to be in Aberdeenshire bring him to Flank's weird and wonderful Ark to be nursed <outs self as mad woman>
I was charged £12 to have a chicken put down. They would have charged £90 (!!!!!!!!!) to do it if I had let them come out to us and take the body away afterwards. I have pets and I have chickens who are not pets. I think you sound like you are doing the right thing by the chick OP. If it doesn't get better then i would have it put down, or do it yourself if you can do it kindly and quickly.
If it's a hen, then it will pay for its treatment in eggs, if it survives (ex-chicken keeper here). If it's a cockerel, well, there's nothing quite like home-reared coq au vin - and a free range 'coq', apart from being nearly impossible to find in the shops, would probably cost more than £10 anyway. Personally, I'd take it to the vet.
Not snippy Stephen, I am patiently answering as many posters as I can. I am willing to listen to reasoned arguments but not accusatory or hysterical ones accusing me of animal cruelty
What does the leg look like when its standing on it? does it look right?
It could be a splayed leg
Your attitude is appalling actually.
A responsible farmer would not leave an animal in pain, pet or stock. If you can see it's suffering or can't put weight on a limb then you either end its life as quickly and painlessly as possible or you visit a vet. It is that simple. You don't weigh up the costs and profit loss of taking it to the vets.
Even farmers have strict welfare standards to adhere to, regardless of whether an animal is destined to the slaughter house or not.
Look, we know what happens to cockerels. We even - shock, horror - know that chickens get turned into nuggets and pies. No-one is being sentimental. We are simply saying it is immoral to leave an animal in pain. If the vet is too expensive, pull its neck. But withholding treatment on cost grounds and leaving it in pain is disgusting.
Flank thank you that was a very reasoned post. I do take your point and yes, it would be nice to know what was wrong with the leg so I could see if it stood a chance of getting better or not.
Obv I will not allow the vet to put it down and charge me £90 for the priviledge!
And are posters assuming that I need a man to put a chick down? Where are the animal loving feminists when you need them?
you are being snippy OP. the doesn't fool anyone. we can all see your posts.
I would try splinting the legs with a hobble for a few days. I'm sure you know how that's done, but if not, sites like backyardchickens and omlet give instructions.
YABVVVU. Just because it is a smaller pet doesn't make it any less of a life. It is under your care and it is your responsibility to get it treatment REGARDLESS of how much you paid for it. Refusing to get your injured animal treatment from a vet is illegal. And for good reason.
Where have I said that I would leave the animal in pain?
I have asked the question as to whether I am better off nursing it as I am doing to see if there is an improvement - who in their right mind can read that as me leaving it in pain?
I think people are reading what they want to.
Yes I knew this thread would implode but I also knew I'd get a few bloody useful responses out of it, Flank's being one of them.
Binky - it could be but from what I gather, they are born with splayed legs? This chick is 2 weeks old and only started limping yesterday so unlikely to be splayed I would have thought. Thanks though.
I stopped reading when you complained that people were confusing animals with pets OP. I refer you back to your title.
If this chick is just a farm animal and just cost you £3 then put it out of it's misery.
I wanted advice from people who have had experience perhaps with vets and/or chickens
Well maybe using the words vets and/or chickens in the title might have helped?
You can't seem to make up your mind whether it's a pet or a farm animal. You post on AIBU and then get all stroppy with people's opinions and say you only want practical advice re chickens.
Ask the wrong question....
It is animal cruelty to leave it untreated, either take it to the vet or put it down.
Chickens do not understand that they can rest dodgy legs, they don't have fake limps - if it's too sore to put weight on then it is in pain, just because it's not severe enough while not actually using the leg to stop it eating or sleeping it doesn't change the fact that it's painful.
Not sure if this is relevant, or helpful, but here goes! DP likes to keep gerbils and a few years ago had one that somehow (I forget the details) injured it's leg. There was no blood etc, but DP suspected the leg was broken and decided that taking it to the vet would be a bit pointless as it was so small and the likely outcome was euthenasia anyway. Gerbil wasn't terribly happy for about 24 hours and didn't put weight on the affected leg, but continued to hop about on the other 3 and feed. After a few days the bone must have started to mend and despite a slightly wonky leg went on to live a full normal gerbil lifespan.
Stephen - whatevs mate. Like I said, I can ignore the hysterical posts and take the good advice from the others.
If there is no improvement then the chick will be put down either by myself or dh. Putting the leg in a splint doesn't ease the pain by the way - how do you give painkillers to animals? So for those calling on me to ease the suffering, I wonder just how I am meant to do that? I doubt the vet will have chick sized painkillers either.
Right now it's asleep, has had a feed, not in any pain that I can see. Sitting down happily. Would be fine so long as he didn't have to stand up!
This isn't an issue for country people, treat it or kill it, with the possible alternative to offer it to someone else. Otherwise what advice do you want?
Why are you even bothering to ask on here?? It sounds like you've already decided the chick isn't worth any medical expense over the £3 you spent on it. I think that's pretty callous personally and yabu but you clearly don't agree!
The Rhubarb my info comes from working with Raptors, so not the same as chickens, I don't think people on here would want to know what I do to chicks (dead ones), so may not be accurate.
Splayed leg I believe can also come from how they nest, wrong position on soft bones, causing it to splay. also slipping on flooring. I've had a quick google and found poultrypedia, don't know if you know about it or if it's any help
You give painkillers to animals by injection, obviously. If that's inappropriate because the chick would then be unfit for human consumption or whatever, and the vet deems the leg is not going to get better quickly, then it needs to be put down.
If you only wanted opinions from chicken-keepers, there's a forum for that.
there is a chickenkeepers section on MN is there not? surely that would have been the place to post for advice from experienced hen owners?
Beamur, that is what I was wondering. I know that bones will heal by themselves so as the chick is so young, am I best just leaving it and hoping for the best? Keep nursing it for a day or two?
As for pet in the title, well yes I will give you that one and I've already said as much however as with Beamur's post, sometimes those who don't have chickens can give good advice too. I didn't want to limit the thread to those with hens. Small animals are just as relevant.
But no, the chick is not a pet so scrub the word pet and put animal there instead. I can't change the title now though I'm afraid so you'll just have to imagine it's been done.
What Vatican said. YABVU and cruel. You don't deserve to keep animals, pets or otherwise if you do nothing and allow the chick's suffering to continue.
You asked AIBU, the majority have said yes and since you don't like it you get snippy. Don't ask if you don't want to know.
I think you are doing your best for the chick. If it is eating alright it may come round. If it looks as though it is suffering it will need putting out of it's misery.
I grew up on a farm. We never took a chicken to the vets. Sometimes they get better with tlc, sometimes they keel over or need to be dispatched.
Why ask on Mumsnet OP?
There must be loads of specialist forums where you can get advice on this.
There's also an option to hide this thread if it offends you too much.
Binky - thanks, I didn't know that. If it is splayed leg then my understanding is that this can be treated?
Hmm, I might be better seeking the advice of the vets just to get a diagnosis although I'm not sure how good they are with domestic fowl?
'sometimes those who don't have chickens can give good advice too'
Quote of the week surely?
Worra, why not? I did look on the forums and none where much help. I have posted on those forums before and waited a day for a reply. Mumsnet is more instant and I've had bloody good advice from people who don't even keep chickens so there's your answer.
As I said, if you no likey then hidey.
the thread doesn't offend me. I just wonder if you intentionally posted in AIBU to ruffle a few feathers (pun intended ) when you know you would have had the answers you say you wanted from the chicken keepers section.
I know a good avian vet if you're near knutsford.
Yes I think splayed leg can be treated, I haven't seen a case of it as the place where I buy my birds he's very careful to make sure his birds don't get it.
Op, you've canvassed opinion on this so don't be surprised that not everybody agrees with you. It's easy to dismiss others as cranks when it doesn't suit you.
If your DH is an ex farmer why come here and ask for advice from complete randoms when it seems you are already the experts?
Vegetarian (long duration, so that makes me judgey, yes?)
Put the chicken out of it's pain ASAP, humanely.
If you/DH can do it, fine.
This reminds me of a time when I was working on reception in the vets, somebody bought in a teeeny tiny chick that they had found on the street. It was clearly not going to survive, it was just too wee, i said, "thankyou i will take it for the vet to see, but i doubt we can do more than put it out of its misery" The woman went ballistic at me, called me heartless and callous and said we probably wouldn't even try Then about ten minutes later her friend came in and started having a go at me, wanting to know what we had done with the bird, it actually died while the vet was examining it. The woman had a problem because i didn't start snivelling and appeared to not care - err, no, but you know what, i have to deal with animals suffering day in day out and it would be bloody unprofessional of me to start snivelling over every injured bird that someone brings in!
Rhubarb, i really think you are doing the right thing - you have a good idea whether it is in pain, like you say it is eating. I can imagine that the only outcome that would come fromtaking it to the vets is them telling you to watch and wait (which is what you are doing), giving you some prophylactic
uneccesary antibiotics just in case it has an infection, or having to do extensive work on it if its broken its leg, which really isn't viable and it will be put to sleep anyway.
My mum has a "pet" seagull with a gammy leg, it doesn't weight bear at all, and it looks all scrunched up and deformed, that bird has been visiting
scrounging for the past 3 years or so and seems healthy enough to see off the cat to steal its food
Thanks trice, I think I might go with the consultancy and if she can tell me what's wrong with it then all well and good. If not, well I will have wasted a tenner and may end up putting chick down anyway.
Would be good to know if the leg is worth treating or not. Shame there are no local chicken keepers I can go to so they can have a look really. I mean, I know some people who keep chickens but they are like me, not really expert breeders who come across these problems every day.
Blimey, some of the posts on this thread are a bit much! Calling the OP a cruel bastard is a bit much.
Rhubarb, I don't think it's worth going to the vets for, they won't be able to do anything. Your plan seems to be a good idea - if the chick is eating/sleeping well, and not squeaking in pain, then keep doing what you're doing and see how it progresses. You can certainly tell with animals when they are ill or in pain, and you sound like you know what you're doing.
What a shame that some posters take things completely out of proportion.
TBH I can't advise re chickens - at least with the gerbil it was still able to move about easily on 3 legs.
I think I'd give it 24 hours to see how it goes but if there is a possibility it's a treatable condition I'd ask for a vets opinion. I'd imagine that vets dealing with livestock are used to making common sense decisions that reflect the cost of the treatment against the value of the animal whilst still being humane and ethical to the animal.
Poor little thing
I know what Dh would do, he is from a farming back ground x
oooh LEM now I'm wondering again! Is that all they would tell me to do?
mmm, might just give it another day and see what happens.
If you don't want to find out from the vet then I would put it to sleep asap rather than keep it alive as you can't really know. It can't really flourish with one leg can it? You have done your best but it hasn't improved.
JaneFonda, hopefully those posters will do the right thing and hide the thread. They seem to think that I'm just watching it writhing in pain. If they bothered to read what I posted they will realise that's not the case and I'm actually asking advice because whilst considering the financial side of things I do also want to make the right decision concerning its welfare.
my bet is option 2! If you are going to take it, take it today because if you leave it til the weekend you are looking at out of hours and that is £££! Disclaimer: I am an ex vets assistant so not qualified to say one way or tuther, just going on experience.
I am basing this on my cat who has all the symptoms of v painful teeth (vet today at 3.30) yet is still eating which is instintcual even though he is dropping it everywhere he is still enjoying it as he is purring!
noddy - I should have isolated it yesterday really. I only did that today so I think I need to keep it isolated (putting it back under mum at night) to see if that makes a difference.
Yesterday it was still hopping about albeit limping and if I had acted quickly I probably could have prevented it from getting worse.
oh and if its broken, its potentially fixable, but not without spending £££ and I certainly woulnd't judge you if you went for the PTS option. This is why i don't have chickens - too much hassle!
Unfortunately we vets are psychic it would help if we were. Possibilities are nudges place fracture, osteomyelitis, neurological problem to start with three. The first two I have successfully treated. There are a wealth of drugs licence to treat chickens it hour making them unfit for human consumption. There is pain relief that it is possible to use without making the chicken unfit for human consumption.
look OP you don't know what the vet will tell you, if you did then you wouldn't need the vet because you would obviously have the same knowledge as they do. no-one here knows what the vet will say because they cant see the chick either so it's all just guesswork. you have given the chick a day and it has gotten worse in that time, you need to either put it out of it's pain or get veterinary advice at the very least.
It's not suffering and you are ensuring it eats and drinks. Personally I think yanbu. Give it a few days to heal on its own and put it down if no improvement. Take it to the vet if you think at any time they could help, ie if there are other symptoms which come up.
noddy, I guess every animal is different. I usually watch for them being lethargic, going off their food and squealing to determine if they are in pain. Chickens do squeal when in pain - when their mum accidently knocks them flying they certainly squeal then! This one just cheeps for his mum (when he's not asleep) and rests the sore leg. I guess that's best for now.
Still not sure about vets. Will have to pick up kids soon.
lonecat - it's not neurological. It holds the leg up like it has hurt it, which is why I don't think it's splayed either. It could just be a sprain, I have felt all up the leg and couldn't feel any breaks but then I'm neither nurse nor vet.
I honestly don't think it needs painkillers and if that is all the vet will give it (at a cost) then I might as well just treat it here as I am doing as it seems quite happy. I will assess the situation again tomorrow.
Thanks for advice everyone, some of it was very helpful and far more informative than on the chicken forums.
Will let you know how the chick gets on. Be assured, if it gets worse or starts to squeak in pain/goes off its food then we'll sort it.
Sorry for pets in the title again, if I could edit it I would.
I've taken Bantams and Bantam chicks to the vets several times. They've always been really helpful: far more so than just providing painkillers. We've also had a few free treatments for the chicks.
I'd call around a few vets and find one with experience with Bantams if you are worried. There is things that can be done for chicks, though, and it doesn't have to be expensive. I've never paid much.
Country girl here, if your not going to treat it, it's "just" a future egg layer but it's damaged then wring its neck. A farmer would. Your way is cruel, you keep it alive unable to weight bear, so it clearly has an underlying injury.
My dog rarely yelps out or whimpers when in pain with her arthritis, but I can see from the way she holds here self if it hurts. Pray animal rarely vocally express pain as it would draw the attention of predators.
Either treat it or put it out of its suffering.
It was £3 and not a loved member of the family. Not worth a vets bill (unless it is some super rare breed that needs every bird possible). Just snap its neck and buy another one.
To all those saying the OP is cruel and inhumane if you are not vegan you are being utterly hypocritical.
(I am vegan BTW)
Just carry on doing what you are. It is fed, watered and warm.
The hens at the stables are dispatched if anything is wrong with them.
I am astounded that everyone on here who has a pet would rush it to the vet at the first sign of a limp.
A few weeks ago on holiday my dog developed a limp, day one slight limp, day two big limp, day three very slight limp, day four zooming around like a nutter, no vet involvement just a cautious watch and wait.
Last week, rat (who already has no use of his back legs, so no limp there) had a swollen foot, day one, slight swelling, day two more swelling, day three obviously uncomfortable, straight to vet and treated.
I will always take my pets to the vet if needed, however if I took them at the slightest sign of anything I would be there weekly if not more.
Personally I would do exactly as you are and keep an eye on it, it may well sort itself out, it may well start to look distressed (ie not eating or drinking, withdrawn and miserable) in which case you know what to do.
Of course you should take it to the vet. Poor little thing.
I think if you have bought a chick and it is ill regardless of the price take it to the vet the wee thing might be in pain,and it obviously can't walk properly, if you take on pets be it chickens dogs horses or whatever you need to take care of them properly imo, if it was an adult hen would you take it ? oh and on page one you said something about veggies I am not vegatarian I just think you need to take the chick to the vet.
I'm not gonna read the thread. YABU.
Nothing should be left without vet treatment when it is needed, no matter what they pet. 10 pounds is a cheap vet.
Are you treating them for coccidiosis? Are the toes straight? If the toes are curled, I'd make it a shoe and stick it on with a plaster. You can find step by step instructions via google. Was the hatch ok? I lost a serama chick at a few weeks old. It had curled toes on one foot, which I fixed via a splint, but it failed the thrive. Had to despatch it as there was clearly more going on there. In my experience, your average vet is utterly clueless about poultry and will generally prod them a bit and offer baytril. Birds get stressed very easily, and a vets trip will stress it out. If it's hunched, tail low and sleeping a lot I'd be inclined to put it to sleep. Pekin chicks are tiny, and very, very hard to treat. Just check it hasn't pasted, because sometimes that can put them off their legs.
Yes, I have just seen this further up the thread. I have seen it all now. You sound so annoying OP, I am quite literally cringing reading some of your chippy little posts
Hopefully when you will be unable to use your leg/s your family will decide to bring you to the doctor and get you treated. It would be sad to see you go with your neck twisted or just be left there and looked at because your brain is the size of a pea
I don't think the OP is being cruel by not taking the chick to the vet but I do think she should put it out of its misery. Many animals do not show signs of pain but they are indeed very much in agony.
If you can't afford to properly care for an animal, don't buy them.
OP, it is illegal to allow the animal to suffer as you are doing under the Animal Welfare Act (2006). The chick is subject to the act because it is a non-human vertebrate that is not living in a wild state. Under the act, you can be prosecuted if your faliure to act causes an animal to be in distress and this is something you could have reasonably predicted.
I'm not saying that you're likely to be prosecuted, but you really should take the animal to a vet. How much the animal costs, how young it is, or if you regard it as a pet does not matter in the eyes of the law. Farmers have welfare responsibilities to their animals too.
The only reason you could justify not going to the vet is if you think taking it to the vet would cause more suffering due to the shock.
If you are unwilling to do this, I would give it another 24 hours, then put it out of its misery if you are confident doing so.
Most vets don't know how to treat chickens, so unless you have an avian vet locally, it would be pointless to take it to the vet.
Many problems that animals get, just like in humans, are self limiting.
To be honest, if you took the chick to the vet, they will probably hmm and haa and give it a vitamin injection (that won't help) or they will put it down. The chick will have endured a distressing trip, examination under harsh lights, for pretty much nothing.
Rhubarb, you are doing exactly the right thing. See how the chick gets on, if it's not getting better, dispatch it at home rather than dragging the poor little thing to the vets.
I do wonder why you posted this in AIBU though. As a long standing poster, you must have known the replies you would get. Are you fixing for a fight today?
If its not in pain (it's usually quite easy to tell with animals as they'll stop eating and moving) then give it a few days and see what happens. No point rushing straight to a vet if they seem ok. Maybe it pulled a leg muscle and is just resting it a bit.
Then if it stays and if affecting the chicks quality of life you could either take it to the vet or deal with it yourself. I'd tend to always go down the vet route to be honest and I think looking at it purely in terms of cost is a bit mean- kittens can be adopted for free, that doesn't make them worthless. But if nothing can be done and the chick is suffering its an easy judgement call.
A lot of crap on this thread! Op I think you are doing exactly the right thing. You are been far from cruel! Well done for not been a wet lettuce and rushing to the vets!
Ah, forgot to mention and lesserspotted seems to know her stuff anyway but was going to suggest googling for any problems it might be and ways to treat it at home. Good luck!
Edendance I disagree that it's easy to tell when animals are in pain. I have been told countless times by various vets that many animals do not express pain as it's a sign of weakness that would get them killed in the wild e.g. eating their own vomit. My dog has a knee dislocating condition and I know he's when pain because I know him but to the outsider, he would appear a happy chappy.
Fair enough, vets will know more about it than me but they will often stop eating as much or at all- and this is a good indicator. I have often spotted that on animals I've owned as a sign they're not well.
THERhubarb, clearly you're getting defensive now, but why the comment:
I assume the sentimentalists are veggies.
This thread seems controversial enough without you dragging in vegetarians for a bashing for which there is no evidence they deserve.
You should either take it to the vet, or end it's life humanely.
You should probably do some more research on chickens before you decide to start keeping them for profit.
And find better places to research than mumsnet.
So what is the verdict OP? Its been 2 days since the limp. Is he any better, worse, the same?
I'm interested to know too. Has the limp healed itself or have you dispatched the chick?
"THERhubarb, clearly you're getting defensive now, but why the comment:
I assume the sentimentalists are veggies.
This thread seems controversial enough without you dragging in vegetarians for a bashing for which there is no evidence they deserve."
I interpreted this differently.I thought the OP was saying it was massively hypocritical to be sentimental if you weren't veggie....
I don't get why we're being hypocritical if we're not veggie (or vegan as another poster suggested).
I eat meat. I only buy high-welfare meat. I accept animals being killed so that I can eat them but that doesn't mean I accept them being in pain whilst they're alive.
Vatican Genuine question - do you not think killing the animal causes them pain, even if is momentary pain?
I am an ex farmer. The animals we looked after were definitely not pets, and even though they were my livelihood- they existed to ensure I had money essentially- I couldn't bear one of them to be suffering pain if I knew there was a chance for it to be stopped. However, it sounds like it will be too young and small for the poor mite to be treated and the vet trip will almost certainly be distressing for her. Weighing it up, I think the vet trip would be worse, give it a few more days, and then make the decision- if it hasn't improved much, killing it would probably be better than the vet- which can be incredibly frightening and 'painful' (from the lights and disorientation) for a small animal which probably can't be treated.
It is amazing and sadly amusing how much concern there is here for this chick. Imagine if each poster contributed ten pence, the chick's vet bill would be paid for by now. Enough for a trip to the vet and The Maldives. I reckon Mrs. Rhubarb will need a holiday for her nerves after reading some of the self-righteous posts on here. Of course she is concerned for the chick. If she weren't, it would be in the bin by now and you never would have known about it. During the course of this discussion, hundreds of innocent children and adults have died anonymously of hunger, war, and untreated disease. How privileged we are to have the time and technology to ponder this issue.
Candy, if stunned properly as they should be, no, I don't. I have seen it done and whilst it's not pleasant to watch, that is because of the blood involved and the fact that we as humans know what is happening. The animal doesn't. It's much, much more humane than deaths wild animals experience (whether by being killed by other animals, dying slowly of disease or starvation etc). I cannot condone the miserable lives battery chickens live, so I don't buy that meat. But a free range chicken from my local farm shop, which lived a good life and had a humane death at the small local abbatoir - I see no cruelty in that at all.
Beef cows, incidentally, live a much more natural, pleasant life than do dairy cows, and both types of cow meet the same death in the end (and are eaten). I know a lot of people who don't eat beef on "welfare grounds" though, who will happily drink milk and eat cheese. That's illogical to me.
Just a chick? It's a creature in pain! If you decide to keep animals you should bloody well pay for their care. Do them all a favour and rehome.
newcastle disease. Horrible! I don't know what it is, but it seems to destroy the nerves. Pick the chick up, handle the foot and see if there are any reflexes. if the foot and toes are completely floppy/no resistance/ paralysed,
A little side note for MN to think about:
do you know what has harmed animal welfare more than anything? The RIDICULOUS European laws that have taken medication out of the hands of anyone other than vets. In days past, agricultural stores had fridges with vaccines and other medication. Now you have to register to buy dewormer for your dog! People experienced in animal husbandry are now not allowed to administer antibiotics to their animals.
As the call out fee for country vets is astronomical (around our parts, £110 just to get in the car), this has meant a lot of suffering for animals who now get no attention.
I, Rhubarb, Mr Rhubarb and other country folk can take one look at a sheep or other animal and see it has mastitis post lambing, for instance. Or, if it was dull we would check the temperature (hot ears) and know that an infection was starting Before, we would give it a shot of tetracycline and all would be well.
Now? THEY DIE.
Another thing [Wobbly building up a head of steam]. Do you remember all those righteous demonstrators stopping the calf exports???
Oh, what a caring bunch. They demonstrated all day, then took themselves home, and poured themselves a nice cup of tea. What needs to be born, for milk to be made?
If you care about calves, EAT BRITISH VEAL. Do you know what happens to those economically unviable bull calves now? At a few hours old, THEY GET SHOT.
I have been shouted at for ringing my lamb's tails, by people who have never seen a sheep's tail been eaten from the inside by maggots, because they have caught these rather heavy deadhanging things on a thorn and the blowflies lay theirs eggs in the wound. We don't chase lambs in a malicious desire to waste hours of our time getting a kick out of cruelty!
Ignorance and sentimentality really does make things worse.
wow the vets I work at have a callout charge of £22+ vat for farms within a 25 mile radius!
your other may be a farmer, but would he let an animal suffer. get it sorted one way or another
tiny chick , house brick.job sorted
wellwobbly one point your most patronisingly smug post incorrectly stated. Rhubarb cannot tell by looking at her chick what is wrong with it. That is the whole point of her post.
Another one saying you are doing the right thing. Watch and wait and don't go near a vet!
Pair of snips and some calpol will solve your problem.
One of the silkies I hatched in my incubator this year had a troublesome leg. I splinted it with vet bandage and after 3 days it was fine.
I know an awful lot of farmers (both sides of the family for a start). I don't know one who would let an animal suffer just because it wasn't expensive.
I'm a veggie, btw.
If one of my animals had a bit of a limp I wouldn't be rushing to the vets!
I watch and wait.
Animals sprain things. They get better.
I am not taking them to the vet for a Vit shot and an anti inflammatory and a £100 bill.
If they don't get better they go to the vets and I suck it up.
I haven't a scooby about chicks though.
Have you considered the fact that by knowing the chick is unwell and doing nothing you're breaking the law?
As you're unwilling to spend money on having him checked out and treated you would do better to contact a sanctuary or ask your vet to refer you to someone experienced in this sort of thing who will take the chick on and care for it as a pet.
Tbh, young little chicks which I've reared, if they break something, they don't tend to heal well Some do, though, if they weren't in clear pain, then a few days to see if they were a lucky one would be in order, but I would kill it myself (snapped neck probably) if it spared it ongoing pain.
Sorry, didn't mean to sound cold. But a vet can be ferrying and actually painful for a young chick and if after a few days nothing has improved by itself, then it probably won't heal as too small for a splint, and would cause long term pain, compared to death.
Wellwobbly, I agree with you totally that we should be eating British rose veal. A lot of people think all veal is cruel, which isn't true.
I have to say though that I think being shot at birth is more humane than being taken on a live export journey to live in a European veal crate.
She isn't breaking the law if she is treating the chick herself.
If you have an animal with a suspected injury and you contain it and rest it whilst observing you are not being cruel or neglectful.
If you have an animal in obvious pain, with an obvious illness or wound and you do nothing you are being cruel.
But it is perfectly reasonable to treat your own animals for minor things.
I can't see anything wrong with what you're doing op. I don't have any animals at present but I grew up with many. If it only started limping yesterday and isn't in constant pain then it could be something that will heal on it's own reasonbly quick. Vets probably won't do much. If it doesn't improve after a day or two put the poor thing down.
Op yanbu. An animal in significant pain doesn't generally eat and drink, if I had the vet out every time my horse was lame I'd be
even more bankrupt. What I generally do is give it over night to see if anything obvious develops like a swollen joint or a burst access, if there's nothing obviously falling off I give it a couple of days rest, if its worse in the mean time I get the vet, if its no better after a couple of days I get the vet. 9/10 times it sorts itself without treatment.
I dont understand why you posted what you must have known would be an inflammatory thread about animal husbandry the most notoriously argumentative board of a parenting forum. Unless, of course, you fancied a bit of a ruck, which is what you got.
If i had lame chicks ii wouldnt be wasting my time on MN. Id be on a chicken-keeping forum
It's not disgusting to treat the chick at home
How do you think most farmers get by? They certainly don't ring the vet as soon as there's an issue, they treat the animals themselves. Most animal farmers have greater skill treating their animals for common problems than the vet - they know how to handle them sympathetically, how to inject them, help them give birth etc.
The op, whilst being very inflammatory, is doing the right thing.
OhDearNigel, on the chicken keeping forums I've been on, a question like this could go unanswered for days.
I asked a similar question a few years ago, and was advised to kill it straightaway. It seemed heartless at the time, but in the end, that was exactly the best thing to do.
Taking a chick to the vets would be far more distressing than treating it or dispatching it at home.
"wellwobbly one point your most patronisingly smug post incorrectly stated. Rhubarb cannot tell by looking at her chick what is wrong with it. "
But that ISN'T what I said, is it, incredibly smug Stephen Fry? Don't extrapolate my point into something that is convenient for you.
You can either 1. accept the point (with empirical examples GIVEN) that I was making, otherwise 2. you can pretend, by vilifying me, that the point I was making is therefore not relevant and doesn't exist.
ChoOse. Whatever makes you happy. Just know that 1 however much you scream and shot, the world is run through economic realities and 2. you touch animals through cling wrap in your supermarket, and we handle them.
So you should show a little bit of respect, for experience YOU DON'T HAVE. You cannot intimidate me, Stephen Fry whosis, so don't bother trying.
wow. just wow!
as I stated upthread- I grew up on a farm so that line about the experience you have that I don't? bollocks.
you said rhubarb (as well as you and her dh) could tell, by looking, what was wrong with the chick. she cant. which is why she posted asking if she should take it to the vet.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Why is it any of those things megs
and before you call me a hypocrite I am a vegetarian.
Which is just one of the reasons I would stress a small animal unnecessarily with a pointless trip to a vet.
People rush their animals to the vet for silly things and of course no vet will turn them away and only the very bravest would send them out of the consulting room without some sort of treatment. Even if it is just a shot of Vits.
Hoiking small animals and birds about the place to satisfy some anthropomorphic sentiment is not always going to be the best thing for the animal
Even if it gives the human a warm glow.
All the people with farm and animal handling experience on this thread have said that they would not rush the animal to the vet but would not leave it to suffer either. Hopefully, the chick is now either getting better or has been put out of its misery.
Not would stress
necessary - Im amazed, or maybe im just too used to the speed of responses on here ! i do go on an allotment forum sometimes and am always surprised how long it takes for a thread to be answered, here it would be argued over, fight over and 10 pages long in 3 hours !
lots of small animals are more stressed by receiving vet treatment than they would be otherwise. i have to agree with mrsdevere. and can you all imagine the cost of your food if farmers had to call out a vet to every chicken with a limp ?
OP I think you're very sensible. As the chick is clearly not suffering I would see how it goes. If it was suffering I would humanely despatch it. It's very silly of people to say it should receive vet treatment whatever the cost. Treatment would probably cause it pain and suffering and most factory farmed chickens are killed at about 12 weeks old anyway!
megsmouse: vegetarian so hypocritical. Educate you self about the cruelty in the dairy and egg industries
I agree MrsDeVere - the bright lights, the noise, the handling from a stranger- and often unnecessary treatment for the owner's sake more than anything is incredibly harmful. The lights and noise can cause physical pain to small, young and disorientated animals.
What happened, OP? Did it need to be put out of it's misery, or had it improved at all?
Oh I seriously cannot be arsed reading some of the posts calling me cruel and I stopped completely when one ludicrous poster compared the chick to a human with a broken leg.
Animals get put to sleep for afflictions that humans would always be treated for - always. Can you imagine an animal being kept alive in a coma? Or being treated for a broken spine and paralysis?
Sorry, but there is a difference between animals and humans. Some people don't think so but I happen to think there is.
Also, if I didn't give a shit about the chick and was happy to watch it suffering then I would not have posted on Mumsnet asking for advice would I? I do wish some people would stop and think before the post their judgemental and patronising bollocks.
In any case, do you think I am going to take any points on board from anyone who is being personally offensive and overly patronising? Of course I'm not!
For those interested, the chick is still with us but she's not out of the woods yet. I managed to acquire some painkillers and antibiotics for her which she has in the tinest amounts in her food. Most other hen owners told me they would have euthanised her over the weekend but as she was eating and drinking well I decided to give her a chance. She still cannot walk on that leg as yet but she is now putting it down on the floor and can just about stand on it. The toes are now uncurling (they were curled up before) and look a little more normal.
I know it is not splayed foot or anything she was born with because she was hatched just fine and walking around perfectly well before she developed a limp. Also on closer examination I could see that the leg was bruised from the thigh down, so she had definitely damaged it.
That bruising has now gone so I am going to give her until Wednesday when the course of antibiotics will have ended. If she is no better then we'll have to make a decision as a hen which cannot forage for food may not have a good quality of life. It all boils down to whether or not she is able to move around on that leg.
FWIW most farmers would just kill any hen which is injured. They are not like cows or sheep as they are considered more "dispensable". I have a barren hen which would have been killed a long time ago but which I have kept anyway as I thought it was a little unkind to kill a perfectly healthy animal. And also fwiw whilst dh may be from farming stock, I am a townie, not that it makes any difference whatsoever. If I see an animal suffering then I will try to allievate that suffering, if an animal has lost any quality of life then it's no good keeping it alive as that would be purely selfish. As for vets, all well and good for large animals that are hard to treat yourself or perhaps pets, but as other posters have confirmed, there is little a vet can do to treat a tiny chick that weighs less than 25 grams. Common sense tells you that.
I posted on Mumsnet because I knew I would get some immediate replies from people who have experience with all kinds of small animals and I knew that some of that advice would be invaluable. I needed to make a decision and reading some of the experiences and opinions helped me to make that decision.
As for the rest, well luckily as it's a forum I can just ignore it. I knew I would get some outraged responses so that's fine. They haven't affected my decision in the slightest and I wouldn't take any notice of an outraged post anyway. A reasonable one I would listen to.
Glad to hear that chick is feeling better.
I've uploaded some photos on my profile so you can see the problems we had with it being so tiny. The leg in question is the one stuck out in the first photo but as you can see in the second, the chick is able to put the leg down now and stand although it's still using its wings to balance. Other than that, it's not in any pain and is eating very well. It's very alert and chippy.
I wonder how many of the people insisting the animal see a vet have a clue how most livestock they consume were treated.
Doesn't sound miserable, I would have left it and see how it goes. More likely to end up as casserole than something you can sell, though.
IIjkk, if it recovers we'll probably keep it as I have a feeling it's a hen. The other two are most likely to be boys and we will attempt to sell those. They are pure Pekins so we are hopeful someone will want them to breed.
And yes, farmed chickens as a general rule are not treated well. Even free range chickens often fight and are left with terrible injuries. Those chickens which are too injured to be sold whole will end up as chicken nuggets. Some chickens have their beaks cut so they cannot peck at each other. My mother in law recently got a load of ex-battery hens and they were in a terrible state with hardly any feathers due to being constantly pecked at and stress and they had never seen grass or daylight before. They were very traumatised and would drop eggs anywhere in the garden.
My hens have the run of my garden, they are not caged up at all. They can perch, have dust baths, forage for food, etc. I mainly keep them for the eggs but have recently decided to try and get a few chicks because pure breeds can be sold for up to £45 each, although cockerels either go for a nominal fiver or for free.
Bantam cockerels won't make a very substantial meal but there's always someone who will take them for that very purpose. Killing it yourself is much more humane than allowing an abbatoir to do it as they are hung upside down for a while before their throats are cut as it's the best way to bleed them. You can then buy them at Tesco for around £3.
I like how you're pulling the moral superiority card. Fwiw I didn't think you were acting like a cruel, heartess bitch, just an idiot.
I lived on a farm for awhile. They raised turkeys and found an unexpected hen (rest all boys). Shortly strung up by feet, neck snapped by stepping on it, immediate plucking while still very warm. I swear she did that just to test me. One time DH rescued a cute baby rabbit from the farm cat; took it to the farmer who promptly smashed its head in. No sentimental-ness whatsoever.
That's me, all idiot!
Love how it's not long before the personal insults start once again from so called animal lovers.
I am tempted to say putting it in AIBU thread and putting pet in the title was asking for trouble !
It is not cost effective to pay for vetinary treatment (for you) and you did what you could to give it a chance. It is doubtful the vet would have been able to do much (but would probably happily have taken your money). You new that before you posted
If you don't want to engage with the every life is sacred type of posts just ignore them - no point in argueing - the pragmatic approach is not going to wash with the rose tinted specticals.
FWIW - my approach is generally if it is not screaming in pain then leave it somewhere quiet and warm and see if it can mend itself. I would only pay for vet treatment if a) likely to be effective, and b) cost is in line with value of animal (and what is in my wallet). I have friends who spent £50 on treatment for a hamster - it worked - hamster has lived for at least another year - but I would not have done that - couldn't have justified the cost. Personal choice.
It's nothing to do with all life being sacred, or sentimentality.
It's about the fact that it's not using it's leg because it is in pain and that doing nothing is in fact the cruelest option.
It's had painkillers so that's not not treating it, but when the options are do nothing, take it to a vet or kill it...doing nothing is not the choice that anyone should be making.
So you think I should just kill it then tabulahrasa, in spite of my recent posts? Oh ok then.
throken yes I know that about AIBU and I have explained my reasons behind that. I needed to make a quick decision on that Friday afternoon and where else would I get fast responses? I regret the use of the term 'pet' in the title and have apologised for that, but again I was trying to get responses to help me make a decision.
I'm not bemoaning the fact that the thread has attracted some rather colourful responses though, I brought that on myself so that's fine. It was worth it for the good responses I did get which helped me to make what I believe was the right decision.
Ah Rhubarb, just shrug it off my love - I said on pg 1 you were going to get bbq'd and was right, eh! Still, at least it was you, not the chicken... Is that too much bad taste?!
"So you think I should just kill it then tabulahrasa, in spite of my recent posts?"
I did say, it's had painkillers so that's not not treating it...
Did you not read the rest of my post where I said that there appeared to be an improvement? It is now able to put its leg to the floor and stand, albeit awkwardly, on both legs. So in spite of that and the fact that it is eating well and is generally very curious, alert and chippy, you think I should kill it? Because by reading my posts you have come to the conclusion that it is in pain and not likely to get any better?
Regardless of what OP eventually decided to do, the bit I didn't like was the refusal to pay £10 to have the chick checked over. If you can afford to pay for a coop / chicken feed / presumably a reasonably big garden to keep them in, you can afford to spend a tenner as a one off to find out whether to end the chick's life or not, surely.
I am glad it's starting to look a little better though.
Ah I see, my brain only read one 'not' instead of two.
I don't think even my earlier posts stated that I was not treating it.
Treatment at the very early stages included isolating it from the mother hen and its two siblings. Keeping it warm and fed and ensuring that it was resting the leg and not putting any weight on it.
I don't really class that as ignoring it. But I am resigned to the fact that many posters would happily see me charged with animal cruelty. Hey ho
Tiff, money is a consideration in these things. Not that it should concern you but we have a garden because our house is an ex council house and was a repossession so we got it on a mortgage of around £50k. The hen coop was given to us by a friend and chicken feed costs around a fiver for a bag that so far has lasted 3 months.
The reason I did not want to pay £10 for a consultation fee is because I was wary of any treatment fees and I also questioned as to whether or not a vet could actually tell me anything of any use - which is why I posted on Mumsnet you see? To see if it was worth paying £10 to take it to the vets or whether this would be a complete waste of my money and time. It was confirmed to me by a few people, including a vet's assistant, that yes it would.
Does that help with your presumptions?
Again, photos up if anyone wants to see it.
Just about to get it up out of its intensive care cage and encourage it to stand on its leg a bit more to feed.
Its not just about the money Tiffany
Small animals find being moved about very stressful. If you took a tiny chick to the vet you might leave with a well one with a limp and arrive with a dead one.
I have seen birds cark it the moment they are picked up.
I have friends and family who rush to the vet with a pet in circumstances in which they would never take a child to the doctors.
I saw an outraged post on a forum once re giving dogs painkillers 'Well you wouldn't just give painkillers to a child would you!!!!'
Ummm yeah, you would.
As much as I respect Vets and have yet to meet one who doesn't genuinely put the welfare of the animal first, it is a business.
One of the reasons I have moved to my present vet is because you can visit and leave without spending on any extras and sometimes you don't get charged at all.
Not because I am a skinflint, because that tells me I am not being messed about.
My last vet waited till my dog was under a GA for spaying and called me up and started telling me about all the 'little' things I could get done whilst he was under 'just in case'.
Just because you didn't take it to the vet doesn't mean you aren't treating it. I've had a fair few small animals over the years and I've seen a fair few vets who were frankly fucking useless regarding small animals and one who was downright cruel (picked up my rabbit by the scruff causing it to shriek in pain and fear, I doubt he will make that mistake twice) I've been well aware on a number of occasions that my own knowledge of rabbit and guinea pig health and behaviour far exceeded the vets, but have been forced to suck it up and pay in order to get the medication required.
You are exactly right in what you are doing and its what I would expect anyone with a decent knowledge of animal husbandry to do.
"Ah I see, my brain only read one 'not' instead of two."
The two nots wasn't exactly my best use of language, lol.
"I have friends and family who rush to the vet with a pet in circumstances in which they would never take a child to the doctors."
Unfortunately though, there are no over the counter painkillers available for animals, so you do end up having to use a vet for fairly minor things. Some human medication is easily available and useful for minor things in pets - but painkillers you have to get on prescription.
The chick is v cute btw, and as you say looks pretty chipper and bright in the second photo. Not distressed, or depressed as you would expect to see an animal in a lot of pain/suffering.
There are over the counter painkillers for small animals - I just got some.
I know vets can splint chicks' feet -- since a nice vet splinted my tiny budgie's broken foot about forty five years ago. Budgie got better.
Pet or not, worth it or not, I wouldn't dare to say, but don't assume a vet can't help your chick.
Just seen the piccies. You are hardly neglecting it.
unobtanium - if the leg was definitely broken then I would consider it but without an expensive x-ray it may be difficult to tell. How much did it cost you to get your budgie's leg splint, if you don't mind my asking?
Leg doesn't seem to be bent in any way other than the way it should go so if it is broken, I am hoping the bones will fuse back together. I could try making some kind of splint to help it walk. Trouble with this breed is that they have feathery legs so sticky tape may well be a liability! Still, it's something to consider, if only to help it walk.
A lot of veterinary drugs are available on line now.
I wouldn't recommend a total novice buying them but I think it is reasonable for experienced pet owners to have a first aid box containing drugs from a reliable source.
I would know how to deal with a minor wound, I could clean it and dress it and know what to look out for re: signs of infection.
I reckon I still do a pretty mean temp cast on a broken leg too (not that I would, unless it was an emergency).
Perhaps this reliance on vets is because more and more people who have very little experience of animals are now getting them?
That is not a criticism, more an observation.
Years ago if you had a dog (for example) you had probably grown up around them.
I don't think I am qualified to treat anything but the most minor things btw. I would always take my pets to the vets for anything else.
My DM took a 12 year old dog for a scan. It cost her a fortune. It was pointless and I think the vet was irresponsible for offering it to her. Once it was mentioned she felt she had to do it.
That sort of thing pisses me off a bit.
This is what I used for splinting my chick's leg. I cut it down obviously. This stuff is so good I even use it for myself.
I'd use the stick of a cotton bud cut down with a little cotton wool for padding and either vetwrap or Elastoplast to secure to the leg if you want to do a splint.
Cheers y'all. Not sure how it's going to go really. She's still not walking, just sort of dragging herself along with her wings and her one good leg which isn't brilliant. Not sure if a splint would help? The cotton bud idea sounds good, might use two, one at either side to see if this will help her get out and about but if she needs a permanent splint in order to walk then it doesn't bode well tbh. I have to take her quality of life into consideration and right now she's unable to be a proper chicken. I will give her until Friday when it will have been a whole week and if I don't think she is going to be able to walk unaided then it might be best to euthanise her.
YABU, it's a little animal and is suffering, you should pay whatever and take it to a vet. Animals do cost and are a responsibility and you should have known that when you got it. Poor thing
It's a chick. I think the OP is doing more than enough.
Some if you need to go spend some time on a farm.
That's a shame rhubarb :0( could be that there's some nerve damage, or possibly a break high up near where the leg joins the pelvis and the chicks body is making it impossible to feel. As long as its bright and chirpy and eating/drinking I think you can give it a few more days, if there's no improvement then I think a quick end at home is the kindest option. I certainly wouldn't subject a tiny chick to the stress of a car journey and vets if I was just going to have it put to sleep if I could do the job at home as effectively and painlessly as a vet.
poor little chick
he is getting the best care, his own little room, fresh food and care
i would not take him to the vets, yes he is just a chick but what can they do that you are not. And if it is the worse outcome at home would be the best place
I had PET chicken once, had it for 6 years, it went lame and I did as you are doing for about a week but the chicken didn't get better. I took 'chic chic' as she was called, to the vet where I was told she was old and wouldn't live much longer anyway(she was one of those big fat white hens that are only bred for meat) and it would be expensive to repair so we had her put to sleep.
Chickens you eat make excellent pets
If the OP took it too a vet it would be PTS.
I cannot imagine what else she would be offered.
Have you read the rest of the thread mybaby?
As an animal lover would you prefer the chick to be stressed and then killed or in the situation the OP describes?
I know what I think is crueler.
Jury is still out over the chick's recovery. Trouble is that we are away a week tomorrow and neighbs are looking after the chickens until Sat when the in-laws come to stay for a few days to housesit for us. There is no way we can ask the neighbs to care for the chick in the way we are doing. Besides, they have foster children; an 18 month old baby and a 4yo who is far from gentle. So if the chick cannot be returned to its mum in a week then I'm afraid that decides it.
It is able to stand on that leg now but whenever it tries to move it just topples over and ends up using its wings as leverage. It can get around a little but when I've put it back in with the others, it just sits in the corner cheeping and making no effort to move.
So whilst there has been an improvement, it's just not enough yet. This chick needs to be up and about pronto.
rhubarb, I haven't read whole thread so sorry if i am repeating others. Its admirable that you are trying to help this chick but I think the best thing would be to cull it. I am a chicken keeper, and so that i don't have to keep going to the vets with chickens that need to be pts I have learnt to dispatch them myself (properly/humanely). It may be worth getting someone who is experienced to show you how to dispatch properly if you are going to keep chickens.
Farmstay - I know how to do it thank you. There has been a presumption on this thread that either I don't know how to euthanise chickens or that I need my dh to do it for me. I don't believe I've led people to think this by what I've written. We always knew that we may have to do this as there is no way you'd take a chicken to the vets to be put to sleep with the prices they charge and the stress of getting the hen there in the first place.
These two other chicks look like they might be male and if we don't get any takers for them when they are older then we'll have to euthanise them too as we can't keep cockerels.
For now though, I think I'm in the best position to decide if the chick is suffering or not. I can assure you that it is not. However if it is unable to forage or move around then obviously we will euthanise. As it appears to be making slow progress, I am prepared to give it a chance. If it was a cockerel chick I might have euthanised by now, the fact that it's probably a hen is massively standing in its favour.
I took my gerbil to the vets once. They thought I was pretty weird and assumed it must be for the sake of my (non-existent) kids. I guess they normally only see cats & dogs and the odd rabbit.
Oh and we don't use the broken neck method as I prefer to know that the animal is brain dead. Apparently they can still be conscious for a short while after you have either broken their neck or chopped their heads off. (There was a famous chicken which lived for ages without its head.) We therefore use a brick on the head. Not the cleanest of jobs but it's very quick and we can guarantee that the chicken dies instantly.
I should have done that with the gerbil, I think I just dragged out it's suffering unnecessarily. It died on the vet's table - probably from the stress of it all.
Aw poor mite! Don't worry, you did what you thought was best at the time. I've made similar mistakes myself. I've also seen birds with broken necks that have fluttered for ages - and I mean AGES afterwards. It's only seeing that which has me convinced that you need to kill the brain in order to ensure a quick death.
It is very hard to make the right decison and you can torture yourself for ages afterwards thinking "what if". But you gave it a good life and did the best you could for it
Dh would use a brick too, for the same reasons you said.
I live on a farm, and I'm not a veggie, but how the fuck can you stand by and let an animal suffer ??? Have you no empathy ?
Dh would've done it by now I must admit. Note I said Dh not me
recall yup, that is just what I'm doing. YouTubing it too.
I suggest you read the thread before posting next time
It's Friday, how's the chick?
It's Monday and she's still here. She is now able to walk a little and stand upright but the leg from the knee joint downwards is useless, so she can only really use it as a prop, propelling herself forwards with her wings.
She is still not growing as well as she should but whilst she is still eating and making some progress she gets a reprieve. The weather is turning now and without adequate feather protection she'll die anyway so she's an indoor chick for the time being.
I've had many people now tell me that they would have euthanised her and some still think I should, but I think that whilst an animal refuses to give up, neither should we.
I'll weigh her later today to see if she's put on any weight.
rhubarb - while you have the time, patience and tools to help the chick and still think, on balance, that it's still the best thing to do then good on you.
As a kid and an adult i have had many many pets, small and large, been to the vets a million times with my own animals and wild ones, and i would bet money that a vet worth his salt would just say put the chick down. NOT because it's not worth the effort of trying - but because as a business transaction it would be so expensive and - crucially - that with an animal this tiny no guarantee of success after all of it.
That doesn't mean you can't have an informed go at helping the animal yourself - with one eye always on watching for the time to give up and PITS.
Do keep us informed
great news little chick is still fighting
That is lovely news.
But as she gets more chickeny and less chick like the weight will be an issue won't it?
Can chickens support themselves on only one good leg? <clueless>
Thanks for the update, good to hear she's still going.
I think sometimes it's not a case of 'giving up' it's a case of doing what is kindest.
MrsDeVere I have no idea which is why I'm waiting to see. Her leg is getting stronger and she is able to move about. Every day I put her in with her mum and brothers for a little while, if it's warm enough, just so that she can be with other chickens and I think that has helped. For the most part she's in here though as she's just not big enough to survive being outdoors yet.
I am keeping a close eye on her progress and if it looks as though this leg is going to inhibit her and stop her from leading a full chickeny life then I'll put her down. After all, my hens are free to roam and that was important to us when we got them, that they had a good life with plenty of space, lots of bugs to eat and dirt to bathe in. If something goes wrong then or you have to kill a cockerel you don't mind so much as you know they've had a great life.
I won't keep her alive just out of misplaced sentimentality I promise.
I know you won't. I don't think you are doing any harm at all right now.
Makes me want a chicken though <yearn>
I wouldn't bother! I have one barren hen, 2 cockerel chicks and a hen chick with a gammy leg. They really are quite a lot of effort - and I'm getting zero eggs in return at the moment!
'...just a chick'? Nice! When you take any animal on you have to be prepared for vets' bills... It could be in pain and by leaving it the poor thing might get worse, not better. Pain is pain whether you're a chick, a dog, a bear, a human etc
Rhubarb.. Re your response to my last post.. I was just trying to help!! I didn't make any assumptions regarding your level of knowledge on chicken care which is why I suggested what I did. Hope your chick continues to get better to save it being bashed over the head with a brick.. :/ not sure how this solves the brain dead issue over any other way of culling either but whatever!
Farmstay - apologies but your response came after others which implied that I needed dh to do it for me and of course the presumption that neither of us knew how to dispatch of a hen just riled me. Everyone has a different way of despatching animals but that's mine.
Leo - yeah whatever.
The good news update is that we went away on holiday for a week leaving MIL in charge (an experienced farmer and hen keeper). The chick has made a full recovery and is now out with its siblings and mother. It is able to fully use its leg so I am assuming that the bone must have healed itself. It is still half the size of the other two chicks but it is putting on weight so all looks good
No vets bills, no humane culling. I think I made the right decision and I have to thank the many posters who helped me make that decision with their common sense advice.
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