We’ve had Lily exactly 1 month now, and her transformation from a hen with tissue damage to her wing and leg that couldn’t move, to the hen that can now walk perfectly well and is head of the group, is amazing!
Lily arrived on the 9th July 2017, part of The Hazels, a group of 7 hens, and whist there were a few in that group that had damaged limbs, Lily was the worst. The excellent Emily at Avian Veterinary Services diagnosed tissue damage in her wing and leg and warned us that it may take a few months for Lily to heal, and would need anti-inflamatories and physiotherapy to help her get back to normal, which we were more than happy to do. Those first few days Lily looked worse for wear, but we isolated her to restrict her movement – not that she could really move anyway – and put her beside her sisters when we could so that she didn’t miss out on any social interaction.
Her wing was wrapped in a sporty pink piece of vet wrap, to match her pink leg ring – this was to keep her wing in as natural position as possible and we’d often put Lily in a box with her side supported by a fleece acting as a cushion, again to keep her body in it’s natural position. Slowly she began to improve. We’d help her exercise her wing and leg every few days by gentle stretching and rotation of these limbs and after about 2 weeks with the body wrap on, her wing was able to hold itself in a normal position.
Over the next week or so she became a lot more mobile, and vocal! With advice from Carli at Avian Veterinary Services, we gradually reduced her anti-inflamatories down to the point where she didn’t need them, being careful to monitor her and ensure that if she did show signs of pain we would increase her treatment. She was able to move around very freely and her limp reduced to the point that after about 3 weeks in total we could hardly notice it. In this time also she moved up the pecking order, taking her place as number 1 hen in her group, and letting the others know it! We were prepared for a long recovery process for Lily but are delighted to see that in the space of a month she now shows no signs of wing or leg damage and she can now really start to enjoy her retirement with her renewed spirit and enthusiasm for life.