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Dislocated or broken? How to tell?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Our golden comet, Sweetie Pie, cannot walk or stand. This first happened at the same time that she was attacked by the other girls. My husband went in the coop in the morning and she was on the floor being pecked and stomped to nearly death. He put her in the infirmary. She couldn't walk or stand the first day. Gradually she could stand up on one leg, eventually she could walk. I could never find anything that felt broken or out of place, and no manipulation of the leg caused her any distress. As of this morning, she was getting around fine, still limping, but "gallumping" along very well. She has been in the infirmary with Little Red Hen, who's recovering from impacted crop, for almost two months (I think they both are going to be permanent "retirement home" hens... neither can get up and down from the coop or roost anymore.) Tonight, my husband let the other girls out to forage while we had dinner, and Sweetie Pie got out of the barn and got attacked again. I found her pushed up against the raspberry fencing on her side. I picked her up, carried her somewhere safe, put her on her feet. Collapse. We're back to square one. This time it's the other leg, I think. I didn't realize that at the time, but will check in the morning. She won't put any weight on it.

Can anyone help? How can I determine if it's broken or dislocated? Wouldn't she show distress if I moved an injured leg? I felt all along the bone and didn't feel any movement like something broken. I have no idea how to tell if it's a dislocation. How would I examine for that and what would it feel like?

Thank you!
post #2 of 4

I'm not an expert on bones, but bruising, displacement, or swelling would be things to look for. Sprains are more common than broken bones, and some breaks can be hidden if they are spiral breaks. Xrays by a vet which would be costly, would be the best way to know what is going on. This poor hen just seems like she is always going to be stomped, so I would confine her to a pen with food and water, plus some vitamins with minerals (such as Rooster Booster Poultry Booster or Poultry Nutri-Drench,) and leave her to heal for 2 weeks. Sweetie may have some underlying disorder causing her problems, or she may just be too meek to be with more aggressive birds. I hope that you can get her healthy again, and perhaps keep her with Little Red. Let us know how she is doing with an update.

post #3 of 4
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thank you, Eggsessive.  I appreciate knowing what to look for.  I will check out the links. She is standing on the previously bad leg today, but not putting any weight on it.  I put her food and water right in front of her, and she's just resting.  I guess we're in for a long haul again.  I suggested to my husband that it's time to set up an accessible Old Hen Retirement Home: low roosts, short climb into the coop, small run.  "Sweetie Pie" had actually turned into a not so sweet bully, so maybe the hens were getting even the first time, and still haven't forgotten ;)  I don't think I will ever be able to re integrate her.

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