My flock consists of four hens and four chicks. The chicks are isolated and are doing fine. My problems are with two of the hens that I raised last year.
1) Barred Rock, about 13 months old, has a stick sticking out of her back. No, really. At first it looked like a few ruffled feathers, then became more prominent. I investigated and found a round, semi-soft abscess kind of thing with yes, a stick sticking out of it. Apparently it came down in a windstorm and pierced her (not very deep) and is now in the process of being walled off and pushed out. I'm watching her carefully, but she is eating, scratching, roosting, and laying normally, and is not sick. She does not express any pain or discomfort when I handle the lump (gently), nor does she fool with it. No bird vets around here ... is there anything else I should do besides keep an eye out for trouble?
2) Buff Orpington, my best layer, also 13 months old. Limping as of today. As a horse person, if my horse were limping this much I'd call the vet, but I wouldn't tell her it was an emergency. About grade 3 lameness out of 5. I can't see anything on her foot or leg but haven't had a chance to look at her closely yet. My chickens are not super-tame, I can handle them but it stresses them, so I tend to wait and see. What should I look for and what general things can I do to help her?
Thanks in advance.
Pat in Oxford, PA