Chick with toe injury--what to do?


11 Years
Aug 4, 2008
Bay Area, CA
I've got chicks that are almost a week old, who are being mothered by my broody hen. The problem is that I didn't think the other hens could get at the chicks through the wire mesh cage that separated the nest box and its outside area, but apparently one got her beak through the small opening enough to bite one of the chicks on the foot.

Anyway. that's what I think happened. The bottom line is I caught one of the hens trying to get at the chicks this morning, and I have now blocked off the small wire mesh, so that she can't get at it. But I found one of the chicks limping on one foot and the toe seems bruised and red. It doesn't look broken, but she's floundering on one foot, trying to to put it down, so it must be painful.

I'm not sure what I should do. Leave her in the nest box with mama, now that I've made sure my nasty hen can't get her beak through the wire on the outside run? Take her inside, either isolated or with one of the other chicks for extra warmth, and put her in isolation with a heat lamp, food, water and bedding? But I don't want mama hen to reject her later, if she's re-introduced. I'm also at a loss as to what to do with the foot injury. My boyfriend wants to isolate her, but I'm not sure that's the best solution. She's floundering awkwardly, but she's still getting around sorta, and she's eating, but she periodically gets stepped on. Spends a lot of time under mama, when mama is settled down.

Any advice is appreciated.
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