Saturday, June 11, 2011
Is It Possible for a Chicken to Benefit From Therapy?
People can loose the use of an appendage for various reasons, but then they are able to get some of the movement back through therapy.Could it be possible for this to work with a chicken?
We have a pair of Bantam chickens, which Pop purchased at the Flea Market. He has always been fascinated by the small Bantams, so he collected several eggs from the pair, and when the mother decided she was ready to set,he put only their eggs under her.She hatched out only four chicks, and since we didn't really need any more chickens, we were satisfied with the four.Well, of course, when you only have a few, something inevitably, happens to one or two of them.If we had had 20, they would have all survived,but there would have been way too many roosters in the bunch.At least that's the way our luck runs with chickens.Well,we lost one earl;y on, never knowing what the problem was.I tried to save it to no avail.Then the second chick took a spell, but it had a totally different problem.It lost the use of one leg completely. W e figured, perhaps, it had gotten it's leg hung in the coop wire since they would run frantically whenever they were fed. I guess they we frightened them.Nevertheless,I did my best to work with the chick. I even tried to make it a splint, but it just wasn't working out.It would stretch that leg as far and straight out to the front of itself as possible. Then I thought perhaps, it was out of socket where the thigh joined to the body.I maneuvered it as gently as possible, but even that didn't seem to help.Well, low and behold, the other leg begin acting in a similar way. One leg would stretch out to the front as straight as a stick,and the other out to the back just as stiff and straight.Unreal behavior in a chicken.Not knowing what could possibly be wrong, I have continued to hand feed and water the chick for what seems like forever,but I do feel like it is getting some better.It has never lost it's appetite, so I feel that's a good thing.Maybe there's hope.Pop and I have questioned our efforts from day one,yet not having the heart to let it die,it seems so healthy in every other way. But how can a chicken survive without it's legs.Both of them anyway.Maybe one,possibly.Pop says he has seen one legged chickens,but how could one manage without the use of either leg?
I decided I would try a little therapy on it's legs. I noticed when it is extremely nervous, it's legs go crazy, but when it's calm,snuggled in my warm hand,it will let me put it's legs in a normal position.Cupped under it's body.It had lost, or so we thought,all use of it's toes. They would stay in a completely club position, no use to them at all. Lately, with me working with it's legs, it seems to be getting back some movement in it's toes,too.This has been the strangest case I have ever seen in a chicken. I don't know how long it will take to get the little thing raised,and if it will ever get any use at all, back in it's legs and toes, but I am giving it my best shot at helping it all I can.It does seem that the warmth from my hand has some type of comfort for the chicks legs.I have read that the electricity in ones body is healing. Maybe there's more to that than we know. We can only hope.