Chick with Hurt Leg


11 Years
Mar 7, 2008
Western Kentucky
Hi All,
I picked up two chicks at the local farmstore this afternoon. One has a hurt leg. She/he is walking about on her left leg, but holds the right at a 90 degree angle. There is a sore and swelling on the (I think) hock joint. I believe that is what it is called. I gave her a little aspirin and some vitamins in water. She is eating chick crumbles. Unsure really what to do. I read on DCT's site about an achilles tendon being popped out, but this looks severe if that is the case. Very unsure how to go about popping it back in if indeed that is what is wrong. The leg will straighten partially but is uncomfortable for her, but the hock is very large and knobby looking. I wanted her to destress and just get warm, eat, and rest before doing anything to the leg that might cause any more pain. She is an independent little chick, wants to eat on her own, is grooming herself, poop looks good (solid, good color). Should I leave alone, try to splint, or what? I don't want to Not do something and do her a disservice, but don't want to cause harm. The vets around here don't know a lot about poultry and most do more harm than good or refuse to see chickens. Any advice appreciated.
I will try to post a pic, but am unsure how.

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It kinda looks like she broke it and she sat on it so it fixed its self in that position judging by her age, i doubt you can reset it in place, so she will basically hop around on her other leg her whole life, which i have a bantam hen with a leg like that exept bent backwards and she hopes around great, just separate her from roos, They tend to get aggressive with the crippled ones

good luck with her
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A horse stepped on my chick breaking it's right hock (compound fracture-bone thru skin) and breaking it's left foot. Nothing I could do about the foot, but I wrapped the broken leg with vet wrap (cut into a smaller narrower piece) to stabilize the leg at the break. It's been two weeks now, and it's still lame, but the leg seems abit better. The chick hobbles around, hopping mainly but eating & drinking good. It doesn't put much weight on that leg, I guess it uses it as leverage/balance for getting around. I've got it in a large rubbermaid container with a heat lamp. Good poop, not runny. I don't think I can release it back in with the other chickens right now, but I have high hopes for later as it gets bigger. The broken foots bones seems to have healed, crooked, but healed and it has no trouble hopping. It has such a will to live, I couldn't kill it.
Aww. Poor thing.

We got our first batch of chicks from a lady who shows them 4-H. One of the chicks she packed up for us was lame. We took her to a vet and it turned out she had string-wire that cut into her foot. So they removed it and she was put on antibiotics... it never healed right (the foot actually ended up dying) so she was scheduled for amputation. Three weeks before her surgery, she was snatched up by a hawk...

She was my favorite, so mixed emotions, I guess.

unless you feel the need to take it to an avian/exotic animal vet, I think the best you can do is wait and see. It's such a cute little thing. I love the coloring.

Good luck.
Thank you all so very much for the kind replies. I am going to take her to the vet tomorrow, we have one that is fairly poultry savvy about 45 min away. I would have taken her saturday but we had a blizzard and in KY where snow is foreign, we have little road clearing in the rural areas. I literally couldn't get out of my driveway. I fear that she will not make it and do not want her to suffer. I have only had her for 2 days, and today she seemed a bit drained. She has a bit of that "I am in pain" look now that she didn't have before. Have given aspirin diluted per instruction, electrolytes, vit B supp. and tiny bit of antibiotic injectable (again per vet instruction through sending photos and talking to vet on phone). I also have her resting on a blanket and not the wire cage and a heat lamp and she is indoors of course. The vet will open at 8 tomorrow and I plan to be there with her and a hot water bottle under her blanket to keep her warm. Again, I really appreciate the support and information on this site. It seems a nice community and I am glad that I have found it. On a brighter note, the limber neck chick is doing very well thus far.
I took Hoppi (I know, probably not politically correct, but a cute name) to the poultry vet on monday when they opened. She did have a fracture and severe infection with the bone/cartilage already affected and dying. We decided to amputate the leg and give her a chance. The vet knows my set-up and that I will keep her safe in the barn and aviary. She is now 5 days post-surgery and doing better. Getting up and around more. I am keeping her on a fleece blanket in a cage with her limber neck (almost totally recovered) friend Hootie. Lots of cleaning but she prefers the fleece to a towel or paper, and wire cage bottoms would not be good. Will keep you posted, but thought I would let you all know what it turned out to be.


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