Our lone survivor of the hen house attack is doing better. That first night when I retrieved her from under the hen house, she was thoroughly terrorized. Chickens that have been attacked tend to go into a kind of chicken-shock – those are the ones that you sometimes find the next morning dead from a heart attack. They are literally scared to death.
My chicken couldn’t move her legs and I thought it very likely that she might have some spinal damage. It didn’t look good but she was breathing and there didn’t appear to be any bleeding so I put her on bedding with some water nearby and waited to see how she would be in the morning.
What I have found with chickens that have been severely injured, is if they make it through the first night, then they usually have a fairly good chance at recovery.
She made it through the first night.
I’ve since moved our little Barred Rock into the rabbit hutch chicken-ICU unit (she is protected and has food, water, and is not pecked on by the other chickens.) Several times a day I go out and give her physical therapy by supporting her body while she tries to move her legs. She was never too keen about being touched so I have to be very calm around her and I softly cluck while holding her. Pretty girl, good job!
Slowly, slowly, her legs seem to be coming back. The first night she didn’t have any control over them and they remained curled under her. Now, with some assistance, she can spread her toes out and she has even put *some* body weight on legs.
She’s still in a precarious situation (every now and then I go out to check on her and find that she has rolled over onto her back and can’t get back up) but she continues to show steady progress and as long as I see that, I’ll continue giving her the chance she deserves. .
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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