We are completely devastated to report that Helen passed away this evening. Despite dramatically improving since her first day of treatment, she was not able to beat her multiple injuries. While we do not know for certain why she died, we and our vet suspect that blood clots from her leg fracture (which would have entered into her blood stream, traveling to her heart and/or causing infection) were the main cause; she was in no shape to undergo the surgery to set her leg before tomorrow, but also it was always a risk. The extent of her trauma meant there was no ideal treatment plan for our dear Helen.
Her discomfort came on quickly, and we were by her side the entire time. We held out hope she could pull through yet another challenge, but it was not to be.
We are grateful for the days we spent with Helen, watching her show signs of life and resilience. In the days she was with us, she got to eat blueberries and kale for the first time in her life; she got to look out a window and watch the world go by; she knew a gentle touch, a kindly spoken word, and what it meant to be loved.
Helen changed us, as well as the many people who came to know her and her story. We can only hope that perhaps Helen’s life will help others see the value of every chicken, and how truly terrible it is to treat them as mere consumables.
Helen will be forever missed. Thanks to all who cared for her along with us.
Helen the broiler hen was found by two compassionate vegans alongside a rural road. She and two other young hens had fallen off of a transport truck en route to slaughter.
Her two companions died, but Helen survived with serious injuries, including a bad laceration on her neck, a broken wing, and other wounds.
We rushed to pick her up and take her to our avian vet, where we began her medical care as quickly as possible.
Helen has undergone about three and a half hours of surgery to suture her neck laceration and set her severely fractured wing with pins. Despite all that she has been through, her heart stayed strong throughout and she is stable. We brought her home to monitor and administer pain meds and antibiotics.
Her blood work looked a little better than we expected, and the vet felt strongly (as did we) that after all she had been through, Helen deserved a fighting chance to get better. She has a long road ahead, including another surgery to address her fractured leg, but she has made it through an important first step.
Helen is one tough hen, and we are working closely with our vet to give her the best care and quality of life possible. We are letting her rest with some supplemental heat and oxygen and do not want to bother her with photos right now. Thanks to everyone for your concern.
Please help us save the life of this beautiful, brave young bird. She has a chance at life that so few “meat” chickens receive:
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