Friday, July 11, 2008

Hopalong Cassidy....

A while back - two or three weeks - I had a 4 week old pullet get PUMMELED by a hen when she got out of the brooder house. She was just laying there, in a heap, when the dust cleared. I picked her up and saw that her leg was either broken or dislocated. At any rate, it was just "hanging" there, flopping in the breeze.

I set her back down on the ground for a minute while I contemplated what to do.

While I didn't want her to be in pain, I sure didn't want to loose a bird, either. Oh well, what must be done, must be done........

I reached back down to pick her up - and she ZOOMED away on one leg! It was truly amazing to see how fast she could move on the one good leg she had left. I decided to hang onto her for awhile and see what happened, so I put her back into the brooder house.

Over the next few days, I noticed that she always managed to get food and water - probably because she never strayed far from either one of them. Day by day she actually IMPROVED.

She developed a sort of "sparrow hop" to move around, never putting to much weight on her bad leg. It took her a week, but she even managed to hop up onto the "roost" that is 8" above the floor. When she hopped down, however, it was a crash landing.

A "quirk" she developed was a new way to scratch. She would flop over and scratch with the good leg, then hop upright and peck. It was odd to see her doing this, but encouraging, just the same.

In the past 3 days, I have noticed that she has made great "strides" in her recovery. While she no longer "hops", she still limps. Early on, I started calling her "Hopalong Cassidy" (or Hoppy for short....) so, even without the "hop", it's still her name.

When I first found her, I didn't know for sure if she would be able to recover. Now I am glad I didn't cull her. I expect that she will make a full recovery.

My broiler, are doing great, they are growing nicely. Every time I go near the coop, 3 or 4 hop up on the door and think they need fed. They are pretty good at staying inside the coop, even with the door open. Of course, they are ALWAYS willing to eat, and their food is in the coop.......

They are REALLY happy to see me whenever I get near.

We'll see how they feel about me in a few weeks when Mr Hatchet comes calling.......

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