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Chicken Surgery

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1 Chicken Surgery on Wed May 07, 2014 6:02 am

Echo 1

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Yesterday we found Daughter's favorite show hen had a HUGE laceration down her side where the rooster's spur had caught her. Some how he had broken his spur and I assume the sharp edge must have done the damage. What a mess! The laceration is about 5 inches long and went deep into the muscle layer. Infected, necrotic tissue and the smell.... well it was just gross! "Normal" people would have just euthanized the bird. Apparently we do not fall into the "normal" category but I have been aware of that for some time! One of the amazing vets I work with used her lunch hour to do chicken surgery! She removed as much of the infected tissue as possible, trimmed up the edges of the wound, flushed with what seemed like gallons of disinfectant and sutured what was left as best she could. She even did subcutaneous sutures to hold the flap of skin to the muscle layer of the body wall. The hen is on antibiotics 3 times daily and is receiving hydro therapy twice a day as well as wound care. I am amazed that she is eating, drinking and walking around as best she can in her small "hospital" room/cage. Time will tell if the effort is worth it but for now at least we tried. How to pill a chicken? Crush the massive pills and mix with a little canned cat food...she loves it!

2 Re: Chicken Surgery on Wed May 07, 2014 7:59 am

heda gobbler

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What an amazing effort for all concerned - sounds very promising so I hope it all turns out well!

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3 Re: Chicken Surgery on Wed May 07, 2014 8:04 am

toybarons

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Hope your daughter's hen makes a full recovery.
What wonderful parents you are  Very Happy 

4 Re: Chicken Surgery on Wed May 07, 2014 8:24 am

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Thanks for the well wishes....it's an uphill battle to be sure but worth the effort whichever way things turn out. Nothing worthwhile happens without effort. I would be happy to have any positive suggestions.... when Daughter gets home from work I will get her to post pictures

5 A few pictures on Fri May 09, 2014 11:11 pm

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Pre Surgery
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30 hours after surgery
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6 Re: Chicken Surgery on Sat May 10, 2014 6:29 am

CynthiaM

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Oh no, you know this particular breed is near to my heart. Get the rooster spur dremmeled off nice and round, or even a nail file, anything, sandpaper, anything. Also get the long spur trimmed, cut it off, whatever, and do the same. Rooster spurs are nothing to mock, they can do serious damage, as you now know. We jsut don't think about it enough. Not giving you blazes, it is just something we put on the back burner. That dude would have some pretty spikey spurs by now. I need to do the same to one of mine pretty soon. I never will forget one time one of my cochin roosters broke his spur right off, no clue how, but it was gone, have the spur to prove it. I was surprised at how little blood actually. Didn't seem to affect him very much. Wonder if removing spurs completely is a good idea, smiling, or not....I really do wonder. You are very fortunate to have that friend do the surgery, that is remarkable and this is a happy day. She WILL recover just fine. And I don't think that chickens have the same pain for things as we think like humans, we we hurt. They hurt, and seem to just carry on. I wish that I had had a friend that could have done surgery on one of my prize hens last summer. A visiting dog, wanna swear here, cornered her when we were not looking and ripped her side right open. I put her down immediately, it was a shame, she was a show girl, sigh. We learn these things, I am very aware of dogs now, more than I never have been. Anyways, happy story, Echo, I bet Daughter was grateful for the friend too. Happy dance. Have a beautiful day, CynthiaM.

7 Re: Chicken Surgery on Sat May 10, 2014 11:43 am

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Cynthia, I am so sorry for your loss..... I know how much you love your birds. For just such a reason, we do not allow strange dogs on our place.....how awful! The rooster in question is NOT the guy we got from you. I have to mention that the boy from your lines is such a gentleman, he makes me smile constantly! We check the boy's spurs often and yes they are kept short and smooth. (I love my cordless dremel for this and many other reasons!) All our breeding hens wear saddles but of course we had removed it to allow her a dust bath. Unknown to us,  this boy broke his just a day or two after we had inspected them.  His spurs were only about 1/2 an inch long and smooth.. well 'til he somehow broke it.  Whatever the cause of the disaster, I am so thankful to have amazing people in my life that will sacrifice their personal time to try to save this beautiful bird.  I was feeling sorry for her.....she is in a large dog crate in our spare bedroom, not much room to move around.  Daughter pointed out that if this bird was a battery hen she would have 4 or 5 others to share the limited space with.  We do have a very small chicken tractor that she gets out in for a short time on nice days.  If she lives, she will never show again. With some luck, she should still be able to hatch some lovely chicks for us. I have to say she is a delightful patient. That wonderful Orpington temperament shines through!



Last edited by Echo 1 on Sat May 10, 2014 11:58 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)

8 Re: Chicken Surgery on Mon May 12, 2014 1:28 pm

KathyS

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Wow, thats an awful looking wound.  I wonder if the looser feathering of Orpingtons makes them more susceptible to this kind of injury.  Or if their skin is somehow thinner or more easily torn than some other breeds.  I've heard from a few fellow Orpington breeders that they have dealt with similar issues.  
And Echo, at least a couple of people I know have taken their favorite chicken to the vet for expensive treatments. I think it shows a real commitment and caring to go through that trouble and expense.  Not a bad thing at all to teach kids.  
Chickens often surprise me with their ability to heal and recover. Here's wishing for a good outcome for your poor hen.

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9 Re: Chicken Surgery on Mon May 12, 2014 9:22 pm

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Back to the vet for a recheck and some additional wound treatment today, Dr Stewart removed some nasty debris from a pocket at the lower end of the wound. We did an x-ray to check to see if she was egg bound...thankfully she is not. She's alive but it's still touch and go. She is certainly an ambassador for the temperament of the breed. I really do love these big golden birds!

10 Re: Chicken Surgery on Fri May 16, 2014 10:37 pm

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The hen continues to do as well as could be expected. She is eating some on her own and we are still force feeding her twice daily. Her temp is normal and her weight is holding steady. Recheck tomorrow night with the good Dr. I did get a giggle out of her hypnotism of the hen so she would stay still for the xrays.....Dr. Stewart was a really good sport when she wound up wearing chicken poop! Hens do not like to be hypnotized....or so it would seem.

11 Re: Chicken Surgery on Sat May 17, 2014 12:06 pm

Farmer Bob

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Hypnotism eh...? Ok...you need to tell us more about that!

12 Re: Chicken Surgery on Sun May 18, 2014 1:16 am

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You tuck their head under their wing and holding the wings close to the body move them is several rapid circles... not spinning...... but like a clock face and you are moving the bird in a steady but rapid motion up over your head and then down toward you knees in a big circle.  Round and round she goes...when she'll poop nobody knows! Seriously, she lay totally still for her rads....

13 Re: Chicken Surgery on Sun May 18, 2014 7:49 am

Farmer Bob

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That is quite fascinating! Now I'll be looking for an excuse to try that! Sure hope she recovers!

14 Re: Chicken Surgery on Sun May 18, 2014 9:58 am

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Recheck went great! Wounds are healing very well. I am a little nervous about taking her off all the antibiotics but I guess it has to be done sometime. The next few days will be important, once off the medications we will have a better idea if anything is brewing that was hidden by the meds. I will have chicken crazy daughter add new photos. I must say that this hen has been an incredible ambassador for the breed. Her sweet Orpington temperament shines through!

15 Re: Chicken Surgery on Mon May 19, 2014 7:13 am

CynthiaM

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Echo, this is very pleasing to hear. Those orpingtons are beautiful birds aren't they, inside and out...I am so pleased that she is going to be saved, it sounds very good. Get that dude going, he will sire some very wonderful additions to your flock, just wait and see. Have a most beautiful day, CynthiaM.

16 Re: Chicken Surgery on Mon May 19, 2014 7:29 pm

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Here is today's picture of her wound. It is healing well! The good Dr. is very happy with her progress...so are we!

17 Re: Chicken Surgery on Mon May 19, 2014 7:50 pm

Jonny Anvil

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It is amazing just how resilient they are.
I have had a few hens recover from some nasty wounds, inflicted by both roosters during breeding or by a bird of prey.

Glad to see the wound is healing nicely!


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~Breeding for 2015~: Show Quality Large Fowl Light Sussex (J. Samis Lines)
Small personal line of Coronation Sussex & Buff Sussex. Currently working on operation "Project Silver Sussex"
Also breeding Top Quality Black Orpingtons.

18 Re: Chicken Surgery on Mon May 19, 2014 9:53 pm

KathyS

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Looks excellent! Nice and clean and healing very well!

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19 Re: Chicken Surgery on Tue May 20, 2014 5:51 am

CynthiaM

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Freakin' AWESOME!! Have a most awesome day, CynthiaM.

20 Re: Chicken Surgery on Tue May 20, 2014 6:47 am

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Thanks for the support! Cynthia, I believe this hen is one of the pullets Alyssa got from you last year. She is such a lovely girl!

21 Re: Chicken Surgery on Tue May 20, 2014 8:50 am

toybarons

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Very Happy 

22 Re: Chicken Surgery on Sat May 24, 2014 6:17 am

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The injured hen spent her first night outside since her laceration was repaired! 1 less chicken in the spare bedroom.... YAY!!!! We put her in with the 6 week old chicks in the grow out pen and she seem to have done very well. We will continue to weigh her and take her temperature daily...... if everything continues to go well She will be reintroduced to the main flock in about 10 days. Cautiously optimistic that all will be well.

23 Re: Chicken Surgery on Sat May 24, 2014 6:38 am

CynthiaM

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She will be just fine when she is melded back. Do remember though, they may pick on her a little bit, or not, sometimes it is like introducing a new member to a flock when one has been away for a bit I would imagine. They and she will soon remember. Not sure if I would wait that long, she is pretty much healed, and it is not anything contagious, so no quarantine in my mind would be necessary, I think the sooner she is back in the flock the better (unless there is an open wound not covered with feathers that they could peck at). This is so good to hear, smiling. have a beautiful day, CynthiaM.

24 Re: Chicken Surgery on Sat May 24, 2014 11:49 am

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Very sound advice Cynthia. We tend to reintroduce slowly. She will spend several days on the other side of the fence so they can see each other, then we have one or two of the most placid members of the main flock spend the day with the "new addition" in the small run while the rest of the crew are out in the big one. Nights are spent in a large wire dog crate in the coop so the other's can see and smell her but not bother her. When everyone seems ready, they have supervised "visitation" as a flock. All being well, she will join the group. We have done this successfully with the youngsters too. It's a bit of extra effort but has seemed to work for us so far. The Buffs are such placid sweet birds, we rarely have squabbles. Our black hens are a DIFFERENT story! Those ladies have attitude!

25 Re: Chicken Surgery on Sat May 24, 2014 4:38 pm

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I do believe she just laid an egg for the first time since being injured!

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