Fox attack

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clairerey

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Fox attack
« on: August 05, 2011, 16:13 »
hello we have three pet chickens, one for each of my children to care for. Almost three weeks ago a young fox came into the garden at 11am in bright sunshine. i let the hens out in the morning everyday since we've had them and put them back in at bedtime, with no problems at all. I caught the fox with one in its mouth, which it promptly let go when it saw me screaming and running at it (not sure what id have done if id have caught it.lol), this hen ran off, with a limp which thankfully seems fine now. I then noticed that 'buster' was missing and found her at the back of the garden, feathers everywhere and covered in blood. A sad sight i will remember for the rest of my life! i cleaned her up, washed her wound and purple sprayed them. She has been living in the shed, away from the others and nice and quiet since. Her wounds seem to have healed well, except for one which seems to have formed a cyst. The main thing im asking is that she hasnt stood up since, three weeks later. At first i thought maybe it was shock and daily she has been getting better, first of all she wouldnt move her legs at all, now she stretches them out and can grip with her right foot but she will not stand at all and flops onto her side when put down. I really, really want her to get better but does anyone think that she is going to or shall in just end it now? :(
claire x

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Lloyd

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Re: Fox attack
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2011, 18:12 »
Three weeks is quite a long time in which to recover. Maybe she has internal damage, to nerves, spinal cord or tendons. The strange thing is that she can still stretch them. If it was my chook I'd give her a little longer, then start moving her food and water slightly further away from her to see if hunger gives her the incentive to use her legs again.

Possibly relevant, is she fat?.....If so maybe it's just a coincidence and she is simply "Off her legs" through being overweight?
"Fine words butter no parsnips". John Major.

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bantam novice

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Re: Fox attack
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2011, 18:18 »
Hello Clairerey
welcome to the forum and sorry it is for such a sad reason  :(.  Foxes are cunning and will be about in daylight.
I am not an expert and I'm sure some more experienced people will be along to advise you; however for what it's worth, I would take her to a chicken-friendly vet for a check up.  Not all vets are chicken-friendly and some won't even treat chickens.  The vet should be able to discuss with you whether it is worth persevering.
I know that chickens are flock animals and do not thrive on their own.  If you lose this one it may be worth considering getting another just so that if one dies you are not left with a lonely only chicken.
Good luck with your chicken and keep us posted.
11 bantams (and counting!) 2 dogs 1 cat

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joyfull

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Re: Fox attack
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2011, 18:44 »
one of my appenzellers has a heart problem and earlier this year she had what we thought was a stroke. I kept her in a cat basket and fed her with mixed corn and put critical care formula in her water. Every day I got her out of her basket for her to have a break - for a pooh, and a bit of a stretch (she kept falling over) - she was in a tin shed with a wire mesh panel over the door way to allow light and fresh air in - also to allow the others to come and say hello through the mesh. After a few weeks she eventually got the strength back in her legs and now you wouldn't know that anything was ever wrong with her. She still sleeps in the tin shed but 14 others have joined her to keep her company  :D.
So perhaps your girl has had the same problem and had a stroke. Try keeping her confined and getting some critical care formula or rescue remedy - they do help  :)
Staffies are softer than you think.

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clairerey

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Re: Fox attack
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2011, 12:00 »
heya thanks for the replies. She is the smallest and skinniest of the chickens, so its not a weight problem. For the past week ive had her food and water further away from her and she manages to shuffle herself over to them but shes still not getting enough water as she laps it up when i put it close. The main worry i have at the moment is that she has streched out her left leg and wont pull it back in again, so she totally flops over and shes getting very stressed now when we enter the shed, i dont know if this is a good sign and shes becoming a normal skittish chicken again or theres something thats frightening her. Im so unsure what to do for the best. i think ill give her another week and then decide whats for the best. We have no chicken vets in the area and if i wanted to go to one further away it would be 60 just to see him. I put her back into the coop last night to see if she would use the legs more to follow the others but one of them just kept pecking at her face, so ive removed her again. I was really hoping that she would be better by now, fingers crossed that the next week sees lots of improvement
claire x

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bantam novice

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Re: Fox attack
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2011, 14:03 »
Good luck and keep us posted

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Honeysuckle

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Re: Fox attack
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2011, 21:34 »
When one of mine was injured by a fox earlier this year, she too had problems standing.   We segregated her from the others - along with a guinea fowl that had been bitten on the back - and kept her in our 'hospital' coop.  It took her about 2 weeks to stand and then she would support herself up against the side of the run.  We kept food and water close to her for a good couple of weeks so that she wasn't pressured into trying to stand on her own.  It was a very slow progress but after approx 6 weeks she was trotting around quite happily  :D

She was introduced back to her friends after about 8 weeks (by which time she had started to lay again) and is now one very lucky, happy chook!  :nowink:

PS - the guinea fowl also made (an almost) full recovery.  She has a slight limp but has been laying well for the last few months  ::)
 
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clairerey

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Re: Fox attack
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2011, 14:04 »
just a quick update... had her in the garden yesterday, pecking around in the grass and she stood up :D yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. still not strong and cant stand for long but yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy :D i think someones on the mend :D

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Honeysuckle

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Re: Fox attack
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2011, 17:38 »
That's great, really pleased for both of you!  :D :D

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bantam novice

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Re: Fox attack
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2011, 21:59 »
excellent news  :D

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clairerey

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Re: Fox attack
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2011, 23:39 »
thought that might be it for needing advice for a while.lol :D
she can stand quite well now and takes very wobbly steps. brilliant!
BUT... ive put her back into the coop and she seems to be happier and makes more progress than she does in the shed on her own, i think wanting to follow the other chooks out makes her try to walk. the problem we have is the biggest hen 'nugget' has taken a real dislike to her, she is really, really nasty. She pecks at her face all the time, at her back, where her wound was too, even though you can hardly see it now.  Today nugget made a running charge at busters head, for absolutely no reason. I dont know what to do about her, i dont want to put buster back into the shed, as i said i feel she makes more progress in the coop but i also dont want her to be stressed and bullied. She lowers her head and body everytime nugget gets anywhere near her, its a sad sight to see as she used to be one of the more boisterous ones.
I have read that smaller chickens get bullied by the bigger one. do you think as buster is laying down most of the time nugget might think shes smaller or maybe its just a pecking order thing and will get back to normal or am i resigned to getting rid of poor buster so she doesnt have to put up with this. Poor things been through enough already.
claire x

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Sassy

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Re: Fox attack
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2011, 08:18 »
It would be better to remove the bully for a week and when she is returned she will have lost her place in the pecking order. It is worth a try.

Just as a matter of interest the ruler and head honcho in my set up is the smallest hen! She has the biggest sttitude :)
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted!!

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Beano

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Re: Fox attack
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2011, 08:52 »
First of all, well done for getting her this far. We had a hen that was off her feet for weeks. Fortunately for her, she was the top hen and was not bullied. It's nature I'm afraid because in the wild a sick hen is a liability to the group and the bully is only "protecting the group".
I agree with Sassy and think it's an idea to remove the bully for a while and see what happens.
Good luck.
El.



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