Broken leg? Sprain?

ernie85017

Songster
7 Years
Jun 24, 2012
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One of my little seramas started limping two days ago.
I felt her legs thoroughly. She had been favoring the right leg, but
when I felt her lower left leg, above the toes, she pulled away. So
that confused me.
I felt no crepitus, or swelling on either leg.

Now I am certain it is the right leg. She has been inside with me in a cage for
the last 2 days and it seems no better.

Do chickens get sprains?
How long should I expect to wait before improvement?

I put her in the house with me because when she was in the cage in the
chicken pen, she was too excited, trying to join the others, and working the leg
too much. In here she is calm and quiet, she even laid an egg yesterday.

I was worried their night perch was too high for jumping down in the morning,
but the lady I got them from had the wide ladder type of perches at an angle and
they went up much higher.

Would something for pain help healing in any way? An Ace wrap is all I can think of
that humans would use. If it didn't hurt she might walk on it too much and delay
healing, right? She is eating and drinking,
..and pooping,,,,, well.

Thank you all in advance.
 

Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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southern Ohio
Chickens can get sprains, as well as infections in the joints. Mareks disease can start out with dragging or stepping on the foot like it is numb, or a marching appearance. Hopefully it is not Mareks, but should be considered. Does she have any curling under of her toes on the sore foot? I would check the bottom of her foot pad for any scab or swelling of bumblefoot. Would it be possible to keep her separated in a dog crate with food and water, but leave her where she can see the other chickens? I am not sure that I would splint it yet. Posting a video (to YouTube with a link here) of her walking might add something to think about.
 

ernie85017

Songster
7 Years
Jun 24, 2012
178
18
126
There is no bumble foot She is with me now,. This girl loves to be held. She closes her eyes and relaxes and makes little noises.

The foot is relaxed with no curling of the toes.

She can curl the toes on that foot, around my finger, but it is not as brisk or strong as with her other foot. When I pull gently on the leg, she doesn't pull it away. She does with the other one, the usual strong get=your-mitts-off-me response.

The other foot has a little bit of swelling between the toes, perhaps from being over-used to compensate.

When she was with the other chickens , in a cage, they were very close to her, but she still got frantic.

I so hate this. Not knowing what is wrong or what to do. It's my job.
 

ernie85017

Songster
7 Years
Jun 24, 2012
178
18
126
She is worse. She moves the upper part of her leg, the part with feathers, and there is very slight movement of the lower leg and toes. She is holding it out in front of her, like she was going to step up onto something. She has been eating and drinking and pooping fine.
Can anyone help?
 

Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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southern Ohio
That is sounding more like Mareks disease I am afraid. There is no treatment if that is what is causing problems. I would continue to make sure that she eats and drinks normally, and can reach food. Some chickens may benefit from a chicken sling or chair with food and water cups attached in front of them. They can be let out frequently to rest or stretch, and to sleep at night. Some may try to get out, so watch that they don’t hurt themselves. You can dissolve a regular aspirin or 4 baby aspirins in a cup of water and let her drink. Vitamins may also help. Here is a thread with lots of pictures of slings:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/versions-of-chick-chairs-please.1166308/

And a video:
 

ernie85017

Songster
7 Years
Jun 24, 2012
178
18
126
Thank you for your help. I am so sad that this little girl is sick. I have only had them for a month or so. She's the best layer. It took me a while to recognize the sling in the video. Clever. I made her a dust bath hole yesterday and took her out. She tried, as she loves her dustbaths, but couldn't do the leg action.

Can you estimate a time frame for how long she has? Re: the aspirin. Is she in pain?

OH, almost forgot. She started yesterday making a very different squawk. She still does her regular talking, but not as much. I finally saw her making the weird sound and she brought her neck back , head forward, with an odd curve (facing front) below her head, in the back. It looked like a human's very very exaggerated swallow. Her crop is fine. It's not like when they adjust their crop. Sort of, but on a bigger scale.

Is the sling's purpose to keep them off their breastbone? She's losing her balance a lot, catching herself with her wing. But it's getting really hard for her to move around. I will work on a sling.

She's on Poultry Cell vitamins now.
 
Last edited:

BrittChick15

Chirping
Apr 18, 2019
83
124
96
North Eastern Pennsylvania
Thank you for your help. I am so sad that this little girl is sick. I have only had them for a month or so. She's the best layer. It took me a while to recognize the sling in the video. Clever. I made her a dust bath hole yesterday and took her out. She tried, as she loves her dustbaths, but couldn't do the leg action.

Can you estimate a time frame for how long she has? Re: the aspirin. Is she in pain?

OH, almost forgot. She started yesterday making a very different squawk. She still does her regular talking, but not as much. I finally saw her making the weird sound and she brought her neck back , head forward, with an odd curve (facing front) below her head, in the back. It looked like a human's very very exaggerated swallow. Her crop is fine. It's not like when they adjust their crop. Sort of, but on a bigger scale.

Is the sling's purpose to keep them off their breastbone? She's losing her balance a lot, catching herself with her wing. But it's getting really hard for her to move around. I will work on a sling.

She's on Poultry Cell vitamins now.



Did she pull through? I am currently having the same issue with one of my girls. She isn’t laying yet but looked like she was soon going to start before she hurt her leg! I’m worried. It’s been 4-5 days and no improvement. She will not put weight in her leg at all and it makes me worried that it could be worst than just a sprain. I’m also treating for coccidia ugh! Everything seems to happen at once. Let me know how she is, if she recovered and what you did? Thank you!
 

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