Broken Leg Versus Sprained Leg?

citychickinthecountry

Songster
10 Years
Oct 14, 2009
170
8
111
Gainesville, Florida
How do you know the difference between a broken leg and a sprained leg in a chick if there are no visible signs that the leg is broken?

The chick is putting some weight on it's leg, the leg doesn't have the obvious signs that it is broken (it's not hanging there oddly or twisted the wrong way).

Should I just let her heal on her own? From what I understand and read, chicks heal pretty quickly.
 

chookchick

Songster
11 Years
Aug 18, 2008
1,921
77
216
Olympia WA
I would let her heal on her own, unless the leg is obviously broken. How old is the chick? How is she behaving with her leg? Do you have any idea what happened, or the progression of her injury? Is she able to keep from being run over by the others, and get adequate food and water?
 

citychickinthecountry

Songster
10 Years
Oct 14, 2009
170
8
111
Gainesville, Florida
The chick is 5 days old. I have no idea what happened. She was fine and then now she's limping. I gently felt her leg from her hip down to her toes. She doesn't react until I get to her "ankle". I'm not familiar with chicken injuries, but I'd assume that she sprained her ankle.

Here is the info from my other post about the same injury (that oddly enough you indicated was a duplicate post...that's because no one was answering...
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I have a 5-day old chick (a silkie) that seems to have an injured leg or foot. She's limping and isn't putting any weight on the leg (or as little as she needs to to get around). She's doing everything else normally...eating, drinking, pecks at the other chicks occasionally. I don't see any visible signs of bleeding or cuts and I haven't seen any of the other 9 chicks in the group bothering her or picking on her. She occasionally yelps a little when she steps down on that leg too hard. hit

I have placed her in a separate pen with another silkie (for company). Should I just let her be and heal on her own? The leg doesn't appear to be broken...she *is* putting weight on it.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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But now I have a second chick that's limping. She was completely holding her leg off of the ground, but since I have placed her in the same pen as the other injured chick, she's been slowly putting weight on her injured leg (over the past hour or so).

I have the chicks (10 total) in a 30 gallon storage container, so I know that there is more than enough room for them at this point since they are only 5 days old. I was concerned that maybe I inadvertently injured these chicks while handling them to check for pasty butt, but I've raised chicks before. I'm just completely baffled. I've also been trying to pick up the chicks so that their legs hang between two of my fingers.

The first chick seems to be doing a little better this evening.
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It sounds like I started doing the right thing by putting her in a separate bin. Since I noticed the second chick was injured, I took the other two silkies out of the bin with the first injured silkie (put them back with the rest of the chicks), and put the second injured chick with the first injured chick...does this make sense...my head is spinning right now.
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Thanks for responding chookchick.
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chookchick

Songster
11 Years
Aug 18, 2008
1,921
77
216
Olympia WA
Chicks seem to be really prone to leg/foot problems, so I doubt you caused it. I had one that was fine, then hobbled for a few days, then was fine again. See if you can get some vitamins to put in their water, like avia-charge, or you could give them poly-vi-sol drops, diluted by half, one drop twice a day for a few days. This seemed to help mine a lot. I wouldn't put the poly-vi-sol in the water because they dislike the taste.
 

citychickinthecountry

Songster
10 Years
Oct 14, 2009
170
8
111
Gainesville, Florida
UPDATE: The Silkie seems to be doing much better. She's/He's putting almost full weight on the hurt leg/foot.
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The other chick is putting a tad bit more weight on her leg, but doesn't seem to be eating and drinking all that much. I *have* seen her eat and drink, so I know that she is, but she's not eating and drinking as much as the Silkie. She wants to sleep. She gets her perky spells and hobbles around, so I'm not too worried, but is there a point where I should be concerned about her intake of food and water?

(And yes, for the record, I am a very paranoid chicken mommy.
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I worry about my babies (the grown chickens and the baby chicks). That's just my nature.)

I got some Poly-Vi-Sol (without Iron) last night and added some to their water (just the injured babies). They didn't seem to mind it. Although I'm not sure what dosage to use, so I did .5 mL for an entire mason jar of water (8 oz.). Is this too diluted? I figured that it was better to have the dosage too low than too high so as to not OD the babies on vitamins.
 

Wiglwerm

In the Brooder
10 Years
Nov 9, 2009
74
0
29
My silver laced wyandotte pullet was attacked by a evil predatory rat (RIP evil rat) that bit her on the legs a few times and she was limping for awhile. After she was doctored she did not put much weight on the leg and wasn't eating much for the first few days (she had lost a bit of blood from one of the bites, I think a vein was hit) but she is doing much better now, although it has been a few weeks I can still see that she is favoring the leg a bit. What I am trying to say is it takes awhile for the leg, sprain, injury to heal as they don't really rest it. Always standing, getting on the preches, trying to be with the others ect... Give it time, as long as she is eating and drinking she should be fine. (I too am a paranoid chicken mom
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Good luck
 

citychickinthecountry

Songster
10 Years
Oct 14, 2009
170
8
111
Gainesville, Florida
Okay, so I think I only have two more questions:

First a statement...the black silkie seems to be all healed now. I'm going to put her back in with the other chicks. I waited an extra day to make sure her leg was healed first.

1) Should I put a docile chick in with the still-injured chick to keep her company, or is it okay to leave her in the bin alone? I'm afraid she'll get lonely and cry...

2) She's been injured since Saturday...how long should it typically take for a chick's leg to heal? She seems to be doing a little bit better, but not healing as quickly as the silkie did.
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I gave her a half and half (one drop of Poly-Vi-Sol, one drop of water) doze of vitamins at lunchtime today. I hope that'll give her a boost. She's pooping and eating just a little, but I haven't seen her drinking...she may be doing this while I'm at work. I'm presuming she's drinking because I see the white in her poop which is her pee, and since she's pooping, that's indicative of her body digesting food and water...right?

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The silkie definitely needs to go back with the other babies because she's starting to trample the other chick...which probably isn't helping her at all.
 

chookchick

Songster
11 Years
Aug 18, 2008
1,921
77
216
Olympia WA
Here's what I did with my "slow chick" so she wouldn't get lonely--I made a semi-circle of hardware cloth at the corner of the brooder. I gave her two little containers with water and food, and a feather duster. Part of the brooder light was over her area, so she could choose to be under the light or not. That way she could hear and see her brooder mates. Worked great for me! I would take the poly-vi-sol and everything else out of the water as I've heard it tastes horrible. Make sure she is drinking, you may want to encourage her by dipping her beak in plain water, or putting drops by her beak.
 

citychickinthecountry

Songster
10 Years
Oct 14, 2009
170
8
111
Gainesville, Florida
She is drinking...and I've had clean water (not Poly-Vi-Sol) in the bin since Monday. I've noticed her drinking since yesterday morning. Yay! She's eating too. Not a whole lot, but she is drinking and eating.
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Good idea about the hardware cloth...I might give that a try.

I'm sorry I'm so needy...I just like to ask questions before I do something and have no clue what I'm doing. ;p
 

citychickinthecountry

Songster
10 Years
Oct 14, 2009
170
8
111
Gainesville, Florida
Okay, I'm needy again...another question. The second injured chick seems to be putting more weight on her leg (still limping a little though), but she doesn't seem to be pulling the leg directly under her. It's out to the side.

I've read about spradle leg (sp?). Not to jump the gun or sound like a hypochondriac chicken mommy, but would a stomped on foot (the original injury from what I can tell) lead to spradle leg (or what does it even look like)?

She's getting a slight case of pasty butt which is showing me that she's eating more and I also see her eating more than she has since she got injured. She's very tiny now compared to the other chicks. She was the second smallest and now she's definitely the smallest.
 
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