Best quarantine method - limping pullet

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Oct 31, 2015
Hi all -- looking for some more experienced chicken stewards to weigh in on the best (for reducing stress, not upsetting the balance) method for protecting an injured pullet (21 weeks old).
(1) Medium sized dog crate with food and water and bedding -- in the coop.
(2) A protected, sectioned-off area in the chicken run. She's exposed to some weather, transferred into the coop (into that dog crate) at night.
(3) Bring her inside for a lot of protection and attention.

Our poor Tilly (Speckled Sussex, such a sweetie) has been limping. Not sure what happened -- between my morning chicken chores and visiting them in the afternoon one day, she injured her right foot (pretty heavy limp, barely resting it on the ground). After looking at her leg, toes and the pad of her foot -- and being stumped -- I soaked her foot in Epsom Salts and wrapped it using VetWrap with some triple antibiotic cream (in case there was a cut that I wasn't seeing); I turned over the outside perches; and I was removing her from the perch at night so she wouldn't jump down. It didn't improve after a week and a half of this and I didn't see any progression of swelling or bumbles or anything! I stopped wrapping the foot but decided she needed unimpeded access to food and water. First I brought her inside my house in a dog crate and she definitely filled her crop in this situation but seemed to dislike it (limp pacing, trilling voice). So after 2 days, I used 4 ft chicken wire to create a protected area outside in the chicken yard -- it's around a wide, low bush and she has a perch that's 2 inches off the ground, soil and grass. She's eating and drinking in there, I let her out for about an hour before dusk and supervise her grazing, and then put her in the dog crate in the coop for the night. But still a lot of pacing when the rest of the flock wanders off and unhappiness about the situation in general (she's taken to lightly pecking me when I pick her up, which is a strong expression for such a mild chook). It's been 4 days of this (so about 2 weeks total, no noticeable healing). To compound the issue, we're supposed to get rain and high winds tomorrow.

Do I need to harden myself to her complaints and keep her separate for her own good? Maybe even bring her back inside for bad weather? Or at least the coop? Anyway, thanks for any thoughts on this (whether on the potential injury or on the quarantine method).
Here she is in a garden bed cover that I used for a few hours before doing the "chicken wire around a bush" setup.
If the limp is not getting better/worse after 2 weeks with limiting her activity, then I would probably just let her go and see how she does. You still may want to cage her in the coop at night so she doesn't make it worse by jumping down.

With her age, it could be injury or even possibly a symptom of disease like Marek's. It would be hard to know unless she declines further.

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