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My chicken has just been put to sleep

(28 Posts)
Berrie Mon 14-Jul-08 16:58:26

She had a black comb and the vet said it was a sign of a lack of oxygen in the blood which was a sign of something else. There wasn't much hope for her so she's gone. They are going to do an autopsy and let us know what they find.

Not told dc yet.

MehgaLegs Mon 14-Jul-08 16:59:30

Poor chook, sounds like a nasty condition. sad

Berrie Mon 14-Jul-08 17:01:30

She had a huge squashy crop...again secondary to whatever was you think we'll get her back? Do you think we'll get ds's Duplo box back? shock

electricbarbarella Mon 14-Jul-08 17:25:34

sad my mums neighbours chicken has a black comb I noticed at the weekend, do you think I should tell them?

oggsfrog Mon 14-Jul-08 17:54:08

Some chickens do have black combs naturally.

Berrie, I wouldn't think you'll get her back if they are doing an autopsy.
<bites lip and sits on hands to stop from making irreverant comments about jointed/stuffed etc>

Phone about the Duplo box and ask for it back.

Berrie Mon 14-Jul-08 18:56:25

I checked with the breeder as to whether our chicken should develop a black comb as it's feathers were a greyish blue colour anyway but she said not.
Apart from the comb and the crop she seemed fine. She was brighteyed, perky and feeding and drinking well. The Vet said that they can be good at not appearing to be unwell.

Callisto Tue 15-Jul-08 09:23:47

I was slightly suprised that you took your chook to the vet, but I'm stunned you've agreed to an autopsy. I could have told you that a dark comb = bad circulation and a bad prognosis. Why did you decide on the autopsy? Do you realise how expensive it will be?

Callisto Tue 15-Jul-08 09:26:10

"The Vet said that they can be good at not appearing to be unwell". Not in my experience - if a chicken is ill you can tell pretty much straight away. And if she seemed ok why did you have her put down?

Berrie Tue 15-Jul-08 12:33:43

The autopsy is free otherwise I wouldn't bother. hmm I suspect it was professional interest on behalf of the vet.

I took her to the vet because her black comb indicated something wasn't right and as a new chicken keeper I wasn't confident in flushing the crop myself which was more than ordinarily stuffed. I was hoping that the vet would be able to help her.

To be honest I really don't like your tone Callisto.

Callisto Tue 15-Jul-08 13:49:01

I'm sorry you don't like my 'tone' Berrie, but the economics just don't add up to me. Even my rare breed Barbu's don't get taken to the vet because the consultation costs more than a new chicken and I'm not going to medicate (bar wormer/louse powder etc) because it is just not worth it financially

Frankly I am amazed that your vet would bother to do a free autopsy on a chicken (though thank goodness you're not going to have to pay for it) and I am very dubious about the claim that chickens don't show it when they are ill. All animals show when they are ill if you know how to read the signs, and if your chook was eating, drinking and generally seemed happy then she didn't need to be killed. Is your vet a small animals vet or a farm vet? Farm vets tend to be better for all livestock including poultry, and your vet may never have examined a chicken for illness before.

Also, please bear in mind that vets are in business and need to make money and some (though not all) will advise unnecessary treatment if they think they can get away with it. I suggest you buy a decent book on chicken keeping and chicken illnesses and perhaps ask for advice on here before wasting another £50 on a chicken worth £5. smile

Berrie Tue 15-Jul-08 14:36:38

She cost a lot more then £5. I do have books and I spent quite a bit of time on the internet which threw up quite a few serious conditions though not oxygen problems. I asked on the practical poultry forum and was advised to take her to the vet.
I rang round lots of vets until I found one that had experience with poultry and they offered further treatment but advised me that it was a long shot and probably not worth it. Since she was going to die anyway, I thought it better that we didn't have to watch her get iller and I didn't fancy wringing her neck myself.
I am new to this and this is the first time that one of our birds has become ill. Perhaps as I gain more experince, I will see things differently but on this occasion and since she was more of a family pet, I did what I thought was best.

ZebsRoomofHerOwn Tue 15-Jul-08 15:01:21

You'll learn Berrie, and soon be as heartlessly callous as the rest of us. grin.

Having said that, as a newby to keeping the things, and as the vet was offering to do the autopsy for free, I don't blame you at all. Besides, if you didn't know what it was, and specifically, _nor did he_, it's irresponsible to let the animal die of 'unknown' causes and uninvestigated. I'm not saying it was bird flu or anything that serious or notifiable, and it certainly wasn't, but in these days of DEFRA curfews for anything & everything, FMD, bluetongue, TB etc etc etc, it's better to check these things. And yes, I know cattle & pigs are totally different, but this is still livestock and it's therefore a welfare, and potentially public health issue to ensure that it's not a communicable disease which could be passed on to any more chickens you might have. Pet or no pet. Like I say, it undoubtedly isn't, and with more experience you'll be able to figure all this out for yourself and whether or not something is really serious. In the meantime, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Sorry, rant over, but we have just had an inconclusive TB test and all sorts of annoyances with bluetongue zones, so I'm a bit touchy on animal welfare and disease.

oggsfrog Tue 15-Jul-08 15:35:43

Callisto, I think that when pets are involved (and I think Berrie's chickens fall more into the pet category than an ongoing concern (though I stand to be corrected)) then it is usually the case that 'the economics just don't add up'.

People keep animals for a huge range of reasons and unless it is for financial gain then the economics are rarely a factor.

I personally would not take a chicken to the vet and if it appeared to be suffering then would get dh to pull it's neck pronto, but I've had chickens for years and can usually recognise if they are suffering or off colour.
Somebody new to chicken keeping would not neccesarily always pick up on this although Berrie obviously did hence the trip to the vet.

I personally eat my chickens and any surplus cockerels, but a lot of chicken keepers do not and would view this as abhorrent.

Compared to some people I very rarely consult a vet for dogs/ cats/ ponies etc and do not have any of them insured or vaccinated further than the initial shots.
Some peoples animals are insured, regularly de-flead, de-wormed, boostered and taken to the vet at the slightest sign of a sniffle so to speak.

Each to his own.

Tbh you came across as a bit harsh.

ZebsRoomofHerOwn Tue 15-Jul-08 18:20:42

Well I did just eat roast chicken for dinner...sorry, I just have absolutely no qualms about these things. Never did.

princessofpower Tue 15-Jul-08 18:42:34

Message withdrawn

Berrie Tue 15-Jul-08 19:28:08

Thanks Princess. smile

Doodle2U Tue 15-Jul-08 19:36:17

sad for you and the kids Berrie.

Callisto Tue 15-Jul-08 20:07:33

I didn't mean to sound harsh, sorry Berrie, I was just in shock at the thought of the £££'s an autopsy would cost on a (relatively) worthless chicken. (I'm still amazed that a vet would perform an autopsy for free - it certainly doesn't happen around here).

Berrie Tue 15-Jul-08 20:26:13

I was probably oversensitive Callisto. smile

oggsfrog Wed 16-Jul-08 08:13:43

That surprised me too Callisto. No way would any of the vets around here do that for nothing.

What sort of Barbu do you keep? There are some really pretty ones. They are all bantys aren't they?

Callisto Wed 16-Jul-08 09:46:21

I've got mille fleur Barbu d'Uccle's and have just hatched 6 chicks from my remaining cockerel and hen. Here is some info and breed pics:

Barbu's are one of the few true bantams (ie there isn't a big equivalent). They are lovely, gentle, very tame (dd loves them) and can be free range as they don't dig my garden up (due to ridiculously feathery feet). I'd recommend them to anyone. They even lay quite a few eggs. grin

Callisto Wed 16-Jul-08 09:47:25

Doh, forgot how to do links there for a min. Try this:

Callisto Wed 16-Jul-08 09:48:11

(it's worth a click just to see the dodgy chicken man...)

tortoiseSHELL Wed 16-Jul-08 09:55:33

Hey, is this the first fight on the chicken topic? How exciting!

Seriously, Berrie, I'm sorry about your chicken - I had a sick chicken just after I got my first chickens, took it to the vet who gave it a shot of ABs, it promptly died, they insisted on a PM (which I had to pay for hmm) in case of avian flu...hmmhmmhmm

I think black/purple combs CAN be a symptom of avian flu, but I'm sure your chicken DIDN'T have that.

As far as chickens go now, I wouldn't ever take them to a vet now - simply because I believe that I now have as much or more knowledge of chicken ailments as they do. I suppose actually I might take them if they needed a specific AB, but I would make sure I knew what to ask for.

I was quite surprised that the vet instantly put your chicken to sleep given that she was eating and drinking - I think I would have been inclined to separate her from the flock, give her some 'pick me up' food (high protein - beef cat food, tuna, hard boiled eggs, poultry spice), check for lice/mites, worm her etc.

I have heard about chickens hiding that they are ill too - I think that if the flock suspect a sick chicken then they may pick on it, so they hide it until they think they are dying, and then go into the 'hunched, eyes shut, tail down' position. Certainly what mine do. Sometimes they're not dying, and I bet they feel stupid when they realise that!

Berrie Wed 16-Jul-08 10:13:27

Oh don't tell me that grin You make me feel that she died for nothing!

The vet did say something about the crop being so dilated it was unlikely to return to normal.
Ah well, I'll know better next time.

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