March 14, 2016

A Story of Chicken Recovery


Back in mid-December one of my buff orpington pullets was injured in a freak accident. I found her hanging by one foot; she'd caught it on the edge of a wire cage in the coop.

Buff orpington recovers from injury

I didn't know how long she'd been hanging. After disentangling her toes, I carried her into the house and put her in a private suite in the mudroom: a lidless tote with a generous layer of shavings on the bottom. I didn't have an extra feeder or waterer, so she had cat food bowls with water and her feed crumbles.

Two days later it occurred to me that she'd probably dislocated her hip, but it would have been too late to fix that. She didn't seem to be in any pain though, and she was eating and drinking, so I thought I'd give her a chance, wait awhile, and see how she did.

Young buff orpington pullets

Her legs seemed to be useless, and she sat in the shavings for a long, long time. I had a wire top on the tote but she wasn't going anywhere. I bought a chick waterer. I changed her shavings, changed her position several times a day, and bathed her when the shavings stuck to her rear end. One leg was skewed forward, and the other stretched out backwards.

Obviously it was the pullet that liked to hop on my back while I was feeding them, since that wasn't happening any more when I'd go in the coop each morning.

She sure had a will to live. I didn't think she'd recover and I didn't want a "sitting chicken" living in the mudroom for the rest of her natural life. But - partly because I just didn't have the heart to put her down - I continued caring for her.

Eventually she began to propel herself backwards with the forward-stretched leg. And then one day I realized she was actually standing on one leg. When I found her in the middle of the mudroom floor - she'd pushed the wire top off the tote and flown out - it was time for her to go out to the coop.

A hen's amazing recovery

To keep her safe from the other hens, since she couldn't move quickly to get away from them, she stayed in a rabbit cage inside the coop for awhile.

Three months later, she's now walking on both legs completely normally. I am amazed at her recovery. Isn't it wonderful what time and care can do?




This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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20 comments:

  1. So glad she's feeling better!

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    1. Thank you, Laura, me too.

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  2. That's excellent- I think I would have assumed things would not have turned out well for her. Well done for persevering!

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    1. I didn't have the heart to put her down when she seemed happy and was eating and drinking just fine, Gwen, but I had the same opinion you did.

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  3. That is wonderful! It's lovely you were so kind and patient - and so lovely that she has fully recovered. Thank you for sharing this encouraging post with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop.

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  4. Glad she is feeling better and recovered, that is great post thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop.

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  5. So happy for both of you! An amazing story of healing.

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful outdoor post on this week's Maple Hill Hop!

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  6. Chickens are so resilient. I'm so glad she's better, maybe soon she'll start jumping up on your back again!

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer. I kind of hope she'll jump on my back sometime again, I kind of miss it.

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  7. What an inspiring story! Patience certainly is a virtue.

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    1. Thank you, Betty. Her progress has been wonderful.

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  8. That is great that she was able to recover! Thanks for sharing this month on the Country Fair Blog Party!

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    1. Thank you, Val. It's amazing how well she's doing now.

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  9. Oh, your heart is just beautiful!
    I love that you took care of that girl as she made a recovery, and hopefully she'll give you tons and tons of eggs <3 Maybe she'll even jump on your back again soon!

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    1. Thank you, Savannah. It was worth the time and trouble.

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  10. Thanks for sharing on country fair blog party! great post!
    Jan

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    1. I can't even tell her apart from the others any more, Jan. She has completely recovered!

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  11. Amazing recovery!

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    1. It still amazes me, Deborah.

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