Chicken down


In the Brooder
8 Years
Apr 10, 2011
Gonzales, La
I have a Brahamian thats about a year old and about 4 days ago she appeard to have injured her leg. One leg works fine, but the other is very weak and she is not using it.

I checked for breaks, dislocation, or other injuries around the hips and "knee" joint, and toes and can not find anything obvious. She is alert and eating and drinking some, but she cant get up so shes poopng on herself.

Ive kept her in a warm dark and quiet space with a little heat lamp on her with food and water right next to her, but shes not getting better, and I believe it may have been some sort of stroke or something. There are not roos around and the other two hens in the coop are very docile and are not bothering the injured chicken.

Any idea on what I should do here? I do not want to put her down, but I do not want her to suffer any more than is necessary.

Also, what about eating the chicken? I got the birds for a food source (eggs) so Id hate for the meat to go to waste unless its absolutely necessary.
The pad of her foot is all clear? No bumblefoot? Does she have equal strength in both wings? A neurologic process should effect the leg and wing on the same side. It really sounds like an injury to me. A fracture higher up in the femur/thigh area would probably not be palpable. Keep her warm and secluded. I'd give her a little more time. Offer to let her stand/soak in a really warm bath.
The foot looks completely normal except for the limpness and the strength in her wings appears to be normal.

Seems like a broken bone would cause the chicken to make a noise, or try to escape when I move the leg around, and she doesnt make a peep. It almost like she is in shock.

I do not know if she would even try to get to food and water if it werent right in front of her.

How can I tell if the chicken is in pain, or suffering?
Anyone have any comments on how to tell when a chicken is in pain? Seems like a creature being in pain would be obvious.

Anyway, its been over a week with no improvement. The sad thing is that theres no worsening either... as far as I can tell.

Man, this will be the first chicken Ive lost. I thought it would be easy to cull and throw a chicken in the pot, but its proving to be more difficult than that.

After reading some of the other posts I think its time to let her go. Shes obviously not part of the flock anymore, and while the other two chickens do not go out of their way to abuse the gimp chicken they sure do ignore and step on her, and eat the food I put for her, and knocks her water over... Its almost like the gimp chicken is waiting to die anyway.

Adios Chong. Thank you for your food.

Im open to any suggestions from anyone so if theres something to say please let me know.
I thought Id give you guys an update and maybe you could give us some guidance on this.
Chong the Chicken is doing much better. Her bad leg is still a problem, and she isnt using it for much more than a prop when she stands, but she is standing, and hopping around to hang with the other chickens when they are outside free ranging. The fact that she is standing means she isnt just pooping all over herself any more. I had to wash her off several times, and I think she enjoyed the warm water on her bum.
The leg appears to be cocked out to one side so I think that something hurt her, versus it being a stroke, or disease.
The fact that she is standing and trying to hang with the other chickens makes me happy that I did not put her down. She hasn’t laid any eggs since the incident occurred, but do you guys think she will lay any more eggs? Also how do you know if she is happy? That sounds crazy, but I can not tell if she is in pain, or if her quality of life is such that putting her down is the humane thing to do.
Hey, good to hear there's some improvement! I'm surprised more people haven't piped up here with some advice - I think people may still be getting used to the new format here and aren't posting as much. We had a Marans that began to seriously limp, no signs of anything wrong with her whatsoever. At first she was very unlike herself, staying in/around the coop a lot and then a few days later she started hopping and eventually hobbling after the others all over the yard. It took several weeks before it went away but sure enough she went completely back to normal. We decided that she probably "sprained" her leg somehow, maybe hopping down from a perch or something.

We had another that survived a dog attack somehow (two others died). She hopped and limped for a few weeks too with no visible injuries.

Neither of the girls were at laying age yet so I don't how those type of injuries affect egg production but stress can certainly stop a bird from laying for weeks or even months. I assume whatever happened to Chong to cause her to limp is probably pretty stressful so just keep doing what your doing and hopefully she'll be back to normal in no time :)

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