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In Twenty Years With Chickens

31 Mar

I’ve had chickens for twenty years now.  I’ve had a lot of different experiences with them.  But this winter has certainly been a first with my phoenix hen.

Mama Phoenix and Nugget

You might remember, she hurt her leg and spent some time healing last summer.

phoenix hen enjoying cucumber

Then she reinjured it during the polar vortex and came to stay in the garage.

Mama Phoenix

Unfortunately, she felt better and decided to roost in the rafters.  When she came down, she chose to land on the concrete instead of the soft bedded side where the llama and kids were.  She ended up completely destroying her legs.

Mama Phoenix and Cinnamon

I tried to keep her comfy and make sure she could get to the food and water.  I know it was painful, but I hoped she would heal over time.  (Pictures from this point foreward are current and get a little graphic.)

I just didn’t know that the way she would heal was by losing her feet.

One is completely gone.

see the stump hanging down

The other is still on there but dead.

I did talk with my vet, and he said I was doing the right thing (you know, since I didn’t just wring her neck when she hurt herself).  Once the second foot falls off, I’ll give her a bath and try to clean her up better, but I don’t want to do that right now.  It’s just hard to balance and move around with that dead foot still on there. She really doesn’t seem to be in pain now.  She talks to me when I come in, and she has a really good appetite.

My hope is that she will be able to balance and get around in the rabbit hutch a little easier when she doesn’t have a dead foot on there.  I never would have dreamed up a scenario like this, and I hope we never have it happen again.  Poor baby.