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To consider not taking my lame pet to the vets?

(225 Posts)
THERhubarb Fri 06-Sep-13 13:56:31

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?

THERhubarb Fri 06-Sep-13 14:29:46

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?

StephenFrySaidSo Fri 06-Sep-13 14:31:03

you are being snippy OP. the smile doesn't fool anyone. we can all see your posts.

lougle Fri 06-Sep-13 14:32:35

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.

DaleyBump Fri 06-Sep-13 14:33:11

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.

THERhubarb Fri 06-Sep-13 14:33:15

And breathe.....

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.

RattersReward Fri 06-Sep-13 14:33:43

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.

woozlebear Fri 06-Sep-13 14:34:27

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....


tabulahrasa Fri 06-Sep-13 14:34:45

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.

Beamur Fri 06-Sep-13 14:36:10

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.

THERhubarb Fri 06-Sep-13 14:36:33

Stephen - whatevs mate. Like I said, I can ignore the hysterical posts and take the good advice from the others. smile

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!

SacreBlue Fri 06-Sep-13 14:36:56

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?

HairyPorter Fri 06-Sep-13 14:37:35

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!

Binkyridesagain Fri 06-Sep-13 14:37:53

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

vaticancameo Fri 06-Sep-13 14:39:13

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.

StephenFrySaidSo Fri 06-Sep-13 14:39:45

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?

THERhubarb Fri 06-Sep-13 14:39:50

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.

SilverOldie Fri 06-Sep-13 14:40:14

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.

trice Fri 06-Sep-13 14:41:04

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.

WorraLiberty Fri 06-Sep-13 14:41:05

Why ask on Mumsnet OP?

There must be loads of specialist forums where you can get advice on this.

THERhubarb Fri 06-Sep-13 14:42:04

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?

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 06-Sep-13 14:42:54

'sometimes those who don't have chickens can give good advice too'

Quote of the week surely?

THERhubarb Fri 06-Sep-13 14:43:28

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.

StephenFrySaidSo Fri 06-Sep-13 14:43:55

the thread doesn't offend me. I just wonder if you intentionally posted in AIBU to ruffle a few feathers (pun intended grin) when you know you would have had the answers you say you wanted from the chicken keepers section.

Binkyridesagain Fri 06-Sep-13 14:44:31

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.

Burmobasher Fri 06-Sep-13 14:44:57

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?

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