Black toe


6 Years
Sep 16, 2013
One of my hens has a black toe and is in a lot of pain. I need to pick her up to place her in the coop. She can only stand for a short time. Any ideas on getting her healthy again?

Here are the photos. She's limping badly, otherwise healthy. Not sure if she injured herself. We are trying to keep her inactive and quiet. We did look for foot/ injuries on the site, but note sure where to start. We adopted her 6 weeks ago (one of 6 plus a rooster) from someone who was leaving town and are complete newbies. Thanks, we are really concerned about her and don't know what we're dealing with!
Thanks Sandstorm. I'm not sure where it was posted originally, but seems to be in the correct forum now. Thanks to whoever moved it! I see from this forum rules that additional info is requested.
1) She is adopted, beige in color, I think she's a Brahma - we were told about 3 years old, otherwise healthy chicken, no issues since we had her.
2) Behavior is heavily limping, barely puts weight on the one leg.
3) For past 3 or 4 days only, previously fine.
4) No other birds exhibiting the same symptoms.
5) See photos of feet, no other signs of trauma.
6) No clue what happened.
7) Bird is eating and drinking normally.
8) No clue how poop looks, can't tell one from another, but nothing looks unusual.
9) No treatment given other than confining her to coop for most of the day so she doesn't have to try and keep up with the others who are all free ranging.
10 ) We want to treat ourselves.
11) Photos posted.
12) Bedding is pine shavings, coop is LUXURY, custom built, with outdoor run on dirt. Chickens free range woods and garden during the day.

All suggestions appreciated, we are newbies and don't want to lose our "Tan", she is beautiful. Will keep reading, hoping to find something that may help.
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Once you soak that foot try some Nustock ointment. There is also a product called BluKote but be very careful to protect YOUR skin unless you don't mind being blue for a while. LOL If there are any sores you find use vet wrap but not too tight.
I myself would NOT confine the bird. I feel they need the fresh air and free ranging to be healthiest. They recover faster that way too. Just watch closely as you can. If the other birds are harassing then try to separate. But provide some kind of space for the bird outdoors each day on grass. Always fresh air helps. If it 'chooses' on its own to stay in coop then let it.

Thank you kindly for all the replies, you guys rock! Update: We didn't let any chickens out this morning, so they only had access to the coop, the outdoor run (100 sq ft) and the space under the coop, so Tan could spend most of the morning resting, but still had the flock. This afternoon, we let them out and she seems a little better, not limping so badly and hopping to keep up with them. Pete the rooster is mellow, and didn't bother her, but he's also pretty defensive of them, so it took a while to separate her, which we did about half an hour ago, when we brought her inside the house and let her feet soak in luke warm salt water for about 10 minutes, gently cleaning between the toes with a cotton ball. She was such a good girl and didn't complain, but I was so nervous of hurting her, I didn't pull anything around. I then dried her feet off and used another cotton ball to apply some original neosporin (the one without the "caine") to the one foot.

I have to admit I fell at the gate of applying the vet wrap. :-( We did manage to get hold of a roll, and a can of BluKote from the next town over, which will be great for our "Chicken First Aid Kit" I now realize we need to have on hand, but I couldn't find any instructions on how to dress the toe/ foot that I thought I would likely make matters worse if I did it poorly.

We have now let her out again and she spent about 20 minutes sitting quietly on a wood deck with some fresh cherry tomatoes from the veggie garden as a treat, away from the dirt, then she joined the rest of the flock on the grass, which is pretty clean and soft. I hope this will give the antibiotic a chance to soak in before she gets into any dirt.

1. Pain relief? We didn't, but should we have done?
2. Shock - how would I know if she went into shock and if so, how would I treat it?
3. Do you see anything in the new photos above? This is pretty much the first time we've ever seen a chicken foot close up (ANY chicken foot)!!!

No comment too small!

Thanks you so much Backyard Chicken Peeps.
You are doing a great job of caring for her already, just continue with what you are doing.
I agree. She can't spend all of her time resting, so just keep her in a clean area, so her toe wont get dirty.
Keep an eye on her, but there's no need to get too worried. She will recover in time!
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Maybe my eyes are going bad but her toes look fine. Maybe it was more dirt than black toe? You did everything just great. She's probably uncomfortable but not in pain. No shock. Shock occurs when an injury is life threatening.

Search this site to see what you should have in your chicken first aid kit. It will come in handy. Jeffers Livestock sells things like scalpels and sutures and syringes with needles. The heavy duty stuff you never want to use. Some states allow supplies like that to be purchased in feed stores but NH doesn't.

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