I am writing for my neighbor who has recently begun keeping backyard chickens – I am helping him along the way and now need to ask for your help.
One of the pullets (1 to 2 months old) has a hurt foot (I wonder if she may have been dropped?). This happened about a week ago – the top of the foot-pad (where the toes come together) was swollen and bluish. As she was limping we separated her from the rest of the chickens. The next day she looked much better – she was more mobile and I thought for sure she would be able to return to the coop with a day or two more of rest. That I did not hear from my neighbor I took it as a good sign.
Three days later I returned to my neighbor's to find her almost immobile – she hops a little but does not put any weight on her foot. She has also lost weight and is noticeably smaller than her pullet counterparts. I wet some of her feed and held her over her food bowl – I have never seen a chicken eat so much with out breaking. I am definitely going to check in on her a couple times a day to make sure she is eating/drinking (she may also stay with me while she is healing). I wonder if there is anything else I can do for her?
It worries me that she is not putting weight on her foot or using her leg – I don't want it to atrophy. I've never worked with a chicken with a hurt foot before. Any insights about healing time, splinting, giving pain meds...would be much appreciated!
Erin & Alabaster the chicken