Broken Leg?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ChickenBuffs, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. ChickenBuffs

    ChickenBuffs Chirping

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    Mar 26, 2014
    One of my hens cannot walk on her right leg. It's completely limp. How can I tell if it's broken? And, if it is, can I do anything to heal it? Not sure what happened, but she might be the hen the got into my dog enclosure. She got out too fast for me to tell which hen it actually was, and I don't see any tears or punctures. If it's not a break, what else might have caused this?
     
  2. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Sorry you face this. :(

    Can you feel any swelling, redness, or heat? Is there a pain response when you squeeze?

    Is she eating and drinking?
     
  3. ChickenBuffs

    ChickenBuffs Chirping

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    Mar 26, 2014
    No swelling, redness, or heat. She is eating and drinking. She doesn't like me handling her leg, but doesn't pull it away like she does her other leg. She just tries to get away without using it.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    Can she stand and walk at all? What part of the leg is bothering her? Look at her footpads for any scab that might be bumblefoot. Is she laying around, not able to get up? Pictures can be helpful, or even a video posted to YouTube with a link here if she is walking some.

    Unless you can see a vet for an xray, I would confine her to a pen or dog crate with her own food or water for a few days, to force her to rest the leg. If she cannot stand at all, you may want to make a chicken sling or chair. I would get some vitamin B complex and crush 1/4 tablet over some food daily. Evaluate her ability to stand daily. Make sure that she can reach her food and water.

    If she has a sprain, it can take days or weeks to improve. A broken bone takes 3-5 weeks to heal, and splinting can be done. Mareks is just one possibility. Do you know if she was vaccinated? Here are some good pictures of chicken slings and chairs:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/versions-of-chick-chairs-please.1166308/
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    How old is she?
     
  6. ChickenBuffs

    ChickenBuffs Chirping

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    She's currently standing on it in my son's bathtub. Haha. Guess I'll be cleaning that tonight. She's not walking at all, but other than that seems in good health. She has not been vaccinated as we have an organic home and garden. I understand there are varying opinions on this and am open to the expression of those opinions, but please be kind. We have had chickens for 5 years and have never had an issue like this before.
     
  7. ChickenBuffs

    ChickenBuffs Chirping

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    Mar 26, 2014
    So, she passed away during the night. Thank you all for your input. I'll be watching the rest of the flock very carefully for signs of any sickness.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Bummer :( any chance for a necropsy?
    How old was she?
     
  9. ChickenBuffs

    ChickenBuffs Chirping

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    No. We don't have a vet that I can find anyway. She was a year old.
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    Sorry for your loss. Where are you located? Most states have a state vet and poultry lab that will perform a necropsy. You can refrigerate the body and take it or ship it overnight to get one, and a diagnosis of what was wrong. Mareks does seem like a possibility, or something inside such as infection, tumor, or hemorrhage that may have been pressing on her sciatic nerve. If it is too late, I would definitely get one with any other death. Here is a link for finding your state vet lab:
    http://www.metzerfarms.com/PoultryLabs.cfm

    Here is a good article to read on Mareks disease:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq.66077/
     
    aart likes this.

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