Tag Archives: amputation

Operation Cheeks

Cheeks is well.  She needed her afflicted foot addressed, and redressed.


HW likes to hold her up sitting on her tail, and that it makes her look like a little person.  She is surprisingly very ok with this.  Whatever you do, don’t put these pictures on the internet! From this upright position, she is very involved in the whole operation.  Quiet and still, but watching it all up close.

I had to flush her wound and try to squeeze out any pus.  You can see her toe is healed, but the infection settled in the palm of her foot, and there’s still swelling.  Extraction went well.Show us your new foot glove!

Cheeks is thinking out of the box.

Cheeks is making a comeback.  I got her antibiotics and baby aspirin last week and started the daily regime of shoving them down her beak.

I was hoping I wouldn’t have to force feed her, so I tried everything to entice her to eat on her own, hoping her appetite would improve when the infection in her foot was controlled – kale, spinach, quinoa, beef fat, oatmeal, rice, coconut oil, raw egg, cooked almonds, cheese, cream – all things a well chicken would go crazy over.  Rather surprisingly, the only thing she would eat on her own was roasted unsalted sunflower seeds (and later, pie crust).

Force feeding it was, unfortunately.  I whipped up a blend of oatmeal, raw egg, and fruit juice.  I thus serendipitously nailed the recipe for replica vomit.  Should you ever need such a thing, you’re welcome.

For a couple of days, I held her on my lap morning and night, her head in one hand, forcing her beak open like  a baby bird, and squirted in the mock vomit.  She’d cough, sneeze, struggle, and shake her head, spraying me with it with every move, but it got in her.  Then I’d hold her and coax her to drink water, and offer some sunflower seeds.  I’d hold her some more and we’d birdwatch and I’d work some with her on my lap.  That’s how we discovered that she’d also enthusiastically eat pie crust.  Not the pie (pumpkin)- just the crust.

The force feeding seems to have worked, though, as her energy and attitude are up.

Where’s my foot spa?

You can see her amputated middle toe.

I took to setting her on top of a Rubbermaid where she could see outside for bit after breakfast (while I wiped down myself and surroundings and cleaned her box). She seemed pleased,  ate sunflower seeds off the windowsill, and yesterday stood for quite a while on one foot giving herself a good going over, combing all her feathers.  She’s grown back in well after molting.   When she seemed tired I put her back in her banana box where she had a long nap and she was lively again around lunch time.  She was also energetically scritching around in her box last night, and ate a tiny bit of chicken feed – a promising development.

I really hope that force feeding is soon over.



House chicken 2018

Cheeks is in “intensive” box care in the house.  At the end of October, she somehow got the end of one of her toes torn or bitten off, pretty cleanly.  I was horrified but it can’t be reattached, so what can you do?

She’s been spending her days in a chickery safe from harassment but still with the other hens in the GH.  I figured she needed safe time to heal and the the wound would close and she’d make a recovery.  Appetite, check, using the foot, check, lots of time resting but normal behaviour.

Then suddenly, she wasn’t using the foot anymore and it’s swollen and hot.  Infection entered her amputation and grew in her foot.  In spite of eating apparently normally, she’s also lost a lot of weight that I hadn’t noticed as she had molted before this happened.  So she’s not in good shape.  Certainly not the beauty she used to be.

What I now know that what I SHOULD have done at the time of the injury is stitch the skin closed over the break and polysporin the heck out of it and bandage it up and maintain the dressing.  All of that seems completely obvious in retrospect, but I guess I wasn’t thinking right.  She was still so darn active and feisty that confining her to a box or bandaging her foot seemed ridiculous at the time.   Now she’s fighting infection and I have to push antibiotic pills in her beak 2x/day (hates it!) and give her foot soaks (loves it!).  This could go either way.She’s in a modified banana box.  We can call her Cheekita.  Spunky enough to be sticking her head out to look around is a good sign.