Friday, April 3, 2009

Stride Rite for Chickens

Compared with our first flock (from a different hatchery) two years ago, we've had some problems with this one requiring more of my energy and time. Since my last posting we lost a Buff Laced Polish and Silver Laced Polish, both of which went downhill within a day's time.

The swollen eye of the Salmon Faverolle has since burst. She's been treated and separated with this Cuckoo Marans born with deformed feet. The hatchery is sending the unfulfilled portion of the order with replacements in April, and suggested euthanizing the latter two. I'm willing to work with both of them, and if they cannot be integrated back with the flock they can go live with Teddy Bird in the CWD (Chickens With Disabilities) coop.

At first I thought the Marans just had spraddled legs, but taping them together made no difference, because her crooked, rubbery feet offered no stability. I've since spread her toes apart and taped them down as they should look, and to straighten her feet I've taped half a q-tip from her middle toe up her leg. Although this is forcing her to walk on her toes without bending her ankle, at least she can walk now. I can only hope with nutrition and time everything will grow stronger and straighter.

I will make adjustments every few days, and see how she progresses.

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