Chick holding leg up, injured or sick?


Mar 16, 2016
Midwest US
We got chicks today from the feed store, we picked them out ourselves and they looked pretty good. When we put them in the brooder we noticed one standing on one leg with the other pulled up. It keeps picking at the foot, then raising it again. It does look a little red.

I've never had chicks before, only older pullets. Is this a sign of a bigger problem like an illness, or just an injury?

Do chicks get bumblefoot?

Should I put some coconut oil on the foot, or something else to help?

Hi there!
I'm not an expert by any means, but maybe your chick slipped and now has a splayed leg? Is she walking funny, too? I think my four-week-old Easter Egger has a splayed leg; she holds her foot up in the air, too, sometimes, and I think that's when it's hurting most. :(
How old is the chick?
I hope you find out what's wrong with her, and are able to help her. :hugs
Baby chicks sometimes have a compulsion to peck at feet, their own or their mates. Sometimes it can result it serious injury since baby chick feet are very fragile.

Any chicken, when feeling pain in their feet, will peck it it. It's the same sort of reaction we resort to when grabbing a thumb we just hit with a hammer. This is how you can tell if your chicken is feeling pain. They also tend to hold an injured foot up against their belly. This is how I know when one of my chickens has a splinter or thorn in their foot.

Any injury can become infected. Bumblefoot is just a silly name for a staph infection of the feet. So yes, a chick can get an infection in their foot. Therefore, you need to treat the wound, clean it, put something on it to keep infection from setting it.

You don't say if the wound is on top of the foot or the bottom. If it's visible to the other chicks, you should use Blu-kote on it to camouflage it so the other chicks won't peck at it, and it may keep the injured chick from pecking at it, too. It will also protect against infection.
I'll have to look closer for a specific wound, the whole foot looks red compared to the others. I don't see other chicks pecking at that one's foot specifically. There are a couple little foot peckers though.

Just wash the foot off with warm water?
What is the "something" you mentioned for infection that I should put on the foot?
Blu-kote or Blue Lotion are anti-fungal and antibiotic dressings that have gentian violet in them that stain the wound blue which is a neutral color to chickens so they won't be attracted to the redness of the wound. Feed stores carry it.

Always cleanse a would with soap and water to remove bacteria before putting the wound dressing on it.

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