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Stripey the Chook – will she heal or…

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    is it time to do the ‘kindest thing’?

    Hi guys. I read on here a fair bit but don’t often post. Hoping I’ve put this in the right section and complied with the ruels… Hoping too you’ll be able to tell me your stories/share your opinions please.

    Stripey the chook began limping about 2-3 weeks ago.

    She was slightly limping one day (so it was hard to tell unless you sat and watched her)

    definately limping the next

    not walking at all on the third day ie not weight bearing, or would stand one leg and balance the other side with her wing. She would be in different spots in the yard throughout the day

    We aren’t sure what exactly happened – she has some broken feathers too so we are thinking fell from the roost or a fight (with other chook or cat). I’m not really thinking the latter as the girls usually just peck as opposed to that kind of fighting, and the cats can’t get in at night (and she is the only chook with damage).

    So thinking fell from the roost (one of the other girls may have pecked her and she lost her balance etc). She is usually the ‘boss’ along with the other little Isa Brown, or likes to think she is anway, she’s definately not at the bottom of the pecking order – that spot belongs to one of the Leghorns, Snow White. We have an Australorpe (Nicoal), three Leghorns (Snow White, Combless and Spots) and two Isa Browns (Stripey and Bacon).

    Anyway. To the vet. She was given metacam for 5 days to reduce inflammation. She is otherwise in excellent condition (the vet confirms), eating like a pig and drinking well. No antibiotics or pain relief as such, were given.

    However, she pretty much stays in the nesting box now and we are hand feeding and giving her water etc. The kids take her out and sit and pat her and feed her.

    She will stand but not weight bear. Tonight she did go from point a to point b of about 4m but that was a struggle as I was a few minutes late getting out to put her in the nesting box (had taken her out for some fresh air) and she was going the long way round to get back in herself.

    So she can’t scratch, can’t peck around the place and hunt for bugs…

    What gets me is she is otherwise ‘well’ – alert, eating, drinking etc but of course I can’t feel how sore her foot is. It is swollen on the ‘palm’ if you like, what we would call our ‘palm’. I spoke to a different vet on the phone and she seems to think that no more medication will make a difference, and that if it was going to heal it would have begun to heal itself by now…

    so… is it ‘time’? Do you/in your experience will her foot heal?

    Will a second opinion be worth seeking?

    I was thinking it’s like people – sometimes things heal quick, sometimes they take a few weeks… but she’s a chook so maybe it’s different..?

    She’s a good chook and if it’s possible to heal her foot I really want to give it a go.

    I know the kids will be upset but they have dealt with death several times (people and pets) and will again manage. My question is more for doing the right thing by Stripey herself.

    Thanks for reading.

    eta we have been successfully treating the girls for leg mites (thanks to the long thread on here!) over the last couple of months. Stripey has never been unwell before this.


    Kristy ……I do soooooo feel for you :hug: – to be truthful I’ve gone a bit teary -because I currently have the exact same scenario with my beautiful Barnevelder rooster Mr Clogs.He too is really well , no obvious problem, or foot pad abscess, or injury but he cannot weight bear and lies down all day with one leg extended to the side , no life for a big roo, and I’m assuming he’s in pain.I’m thinkinh rheumatism/arthritis? He’s about five years old.

    I have waited probably too long,hoping he would come good, but it’s not going to happen.He is currently in a small pen with very nearby food and water waiting for my farmer neighbour to come and send him to chooky heaven, poor fellow.I did have a hen in there with him for company but have put her back with the others tonight as my neighbour is taking longer to come than I hoped.Busy time on the farm for him.

    So my guess is that the time may have come for your girl too , unless you are in a position to try the vet again as a last resort, and if necessary then he/she could euthanase Stripey there and then…….and if she cannot have a proper chooky life it IS the kindest thing. :hug:


    Hi Kristy, I know you from other forums. Can you post any pictures of her foot? Is there a black spot underneath the pad of her foot? I recently had a hen with bumble foot & she had minor surgery on it & is now right as rain. Did the vet check for that? Did the vet feel her joints to check that none were dislocated or bones broken? Were her joints moving okay? It’s really hard to know, but I’d give her the best chance & persevere for just another week or two to see if there’s improvement. If it’s a damaged ligament it may take a while for her to get better, but you should see some improvement in that time. Unless she ends up lying down all the time like BW’s poor Mr Clogs, there’s still every chance she’ll live a good life. How old is she? Is she still laying?


    Bandicoot Valley hi and thanks. ‘Bumble foot’ I’ll Google that and see what I can find. By ‘minor surgery’ what needed doing? I’ll see if I can get a pic of Stripey’s foot tomorrow.

    The vet didn’t know a lot about chooks specifically, but did check for broken bones and her joints as best she could (without wanting to hurt her of course) and all the other ‘usuals’ as a general thing.

    Stripey’s age… she’d be about… oh… well, we’ve had them for coming up to two (or three..?) winters this year and they were laying then… so she’s at least two. We got them Sept 2010 and the lady who had them had them from chicks before that. So add at least another 6-12mths or so?

    I think she was still laying up until before this.

    We were getting about 4-6 eggs a day from the girls (6 chooks) for most of last year but prior to this averaging about 3-4 a day this year. But it’s hard to tell which of the girls is laying… and we are getting the ‘mini’ (tiny and no yolk) eggs more often of late

    BW Poor Mr Clogs… I feel for you knowing that your decision is definate… I hope that Mr Clog’s time comes quickly since the decision’s been made, and that it all goes as smoothly as anything like that possibly can.

    I’ve been suggested to try a few drops of lavender (medicinal quality) and tea tree oil in water and soak Stripey’s foot in it. I figure it can’t hurt?

    I spoke to my Nanna tonight too who has had chooks almost forever and she said similar – give her a week or two weeks and then if no real improvement, then yep, it’s time.

    thanks for the replies. two similar stories with different outcomes – doesn’t make the choice easier but at least gives hope 🙂 Good luck BW


    Stripey will be buried tonight out by Psycho(Australorpe), under the apple trees, and just down from the Jemma-Dog(border collie x kelpie) & Prince (shepherd x Lassie).

    Thanks for all your help guys.


    🙁 Sorry to hear that Kristy.

    Hope you & the children are okay. xxxx



    RIP Stripey foot


    :hug: :hug: :hug:


    Thankyou :hug:


    and now Bacon is limping (our other Isa…) 🙁

    So I am wondering is it



    something else…


    What actually happened with Stripey in the end? Did she die naturally or was she put down? Is there swelling on Bacon’s foot? Can you post a picture?


    basically Stripey had deteriorated quite (despite still having a good appetite) a lot since her last visit, and since there was no clear answer (looking more to a hip injury or tumour pressing on the nerves in that area) as to the main cause, it would require a lot of investigation and intervention to find out with no guarantee that Stripey would be ok in the end nor that she wouldn’t suffer in the meantime iykwim. So Stripey was euthenised. 🙁

    We have been treating them for leg mites with olive oil but I’ve been reading that ‘leg mites’ is a bit of a mis-namer and they should be treated with a ‘mectin’ product. So now I’m just not sure and the vet didn’t mention anything about it when I said we had been treating the girls for leg mites with the oil/soaking method…

    I’m going to look through the yellow pages today for a vet that specialises in birds… that’s my starting point


    All the best for your hunt, and for finding an answer.It sounds very like what happened to my Mr Clogs.


    Did the farmer eventually come for Mr Clogs, Blue Wren? 🙁


    Just wanted to add an update.

    Re: Bacon – I kept all the girls in for 3 days so that Bacon wouldn’t be tempted to try and be the boss (because she thinks she is) and go out too. She healed up fine.

    Then, Spots started limping (white leghorn). I was thinking far OUT what am I doing. Then I wondered because in the morning they hurl themselves down from their roost… even though they get up there quite easily via the ramp, they just throw themselves down in the morning. So I am thinking that they had jumped down and hurt the foot. No idea why Stripey didn’t make it but Bacon and Spots did of their own accord – more severe injury perhaps?

    Anyway… so I modified the roost so they almost have to get down ‘easier’ on themselves and will be taking a second look at it over Easter.

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