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broken toe and not eating ~ any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Faybeau, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. Faybeau

    Faybeau In the Brooder

    Feb 23, 2014
    Yesterday, one of our sweetest chickens, Margaret, seems to have caught her largest toe in something (?) and has apparently broken it at the base joint; her toe is swollen and she can't use it. There is a wound at the base of the toe where she most likely caught the toe.
    We've soaked her foot in warm soapy water, washed it well, applied Bacitracin ointment and separated her from the other chickens by placing her in our Temporary Coop, used exclusively to raise chicks, where it is extremely clean & dry. She immediately went 'upstairs' and roosted on a very low rail and refused all food & water.
    This morning, the wound is dry(no blood oozing) & her foot remains clean. I turned her loose from the Private Coop, hoping she would eat/drink if she 'free', to no avail. About 4 hours have passed and, other than hobbling around a bit, she prefers to lay in the inner chicken yard while her buddies are out free-ranging; she continues to refuse water & food (I've provided her with her 'favorites'). :-(
    Is there a way to splint a toe? Is there a way to encourage Margaret to eat/drink? Any advice or thoughts would be greatly appreciated!!!
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You can splint it with whatever you can invent, maybe stiff cardboard under the fot pad and tape on top. But I wonder if she may have more wrong than the toe, expecially since you didn't see the cause of the injury. A chicken will refuse food and drink for a short time due to shock, but it seems like a sore foot wouldn't stop her from even drinking.

    You can usually get a little liquid in them by dropping it a drop at a time along the side of the beak, and they will draw that drop in. I'd work on fluids first. You can also tube feed if you wish:


  3. Faybeau

    Faybeau In the Brooder

    Feb 23, 2014
    Thank you so much for your thoughts & suggestions.
    I've moved her to my back porch to keep a close eye on her throughout today and did 'splint' her foot; she tolerated my working on it surprisingly well! Still no interest in food or water so I am going to find an eyedropper and give it a try.
    I'm sure she is in shock & pain; this morning the toe is black & blue with swelling. She is also going through a heavy molt, unlike any of our other chickens of the same age ..... could molting have any influence in her disinterest in eating/drinking?
    Again, THANK YOU for your help!!!!

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