Chicken has a hurt leg


In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 24, 2013
A couple days ago a fox came lurking around and my husband caught it before it could snag a chicken. However it did spook them and they all flew up and away from it. My silkie female was one that was spooked. Now the fix NEVER touched her and she walked back to the coop on her own. The next day her leg was lame. I've checked her leg and there is no slipped tendon, no swelling at all, and no heat. Her leg is perfect visually and to the touch. What could be wrong? She is active and alert but she has stopped eating and is thin. I've bought some meal worms and expensive vitamin enriched chicken feed. I've also put probiotics in her water. With her nit being able to stand her good leg is being comprimised. Any advice? Please spare me the culling her speach because I really like her and that will be a last resort.

It's possible that when she was spooked, and ran from the fox, she sprained her foot. Keep her from moving her leg too much, but keep checking on her each day to see how much she can move it around. Sorry I cant help more, but hope she gets better soon!
I agree with Sandstorm495--your pullet probably sprained or bruised her leg/foot while running from the fox. If possible, I would isolate her (alone or with some gentle chicken friends) in a deep-bedded, clean place. Don't give her a roost, and try to keep her from moving her legs too much. I would also recommend giving her some poultry vitamins to help strengthen her legs and body.

Keep her isolated and rested for a week, and then see how she is. Good luck!
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Also, keep trying to encourage her to eat. Offer treats like scrambled or hard-boiled eggs, mealworms, moistened feed, fruit, applesauce, bread etc. If possible, I would start weighing her daily and checking for continuing weight loss. If she continues to lose weight, despite offering tasty foods, you should consider tube feeding or hand feeding her in some way.
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I agree with everybody else, she's probably just strained her leg in the effort to get away from the fox. After all, if you have eliminated the possiblities of an external injury to the leg, the only other explanation would be that she has something wrong with her leg that you can't see. With enough rest, she should be fine. Keep her in a well-bedded cage with sufficient bedding and a low roost (or no roost at all). If she can't move very well, put the feed and water right next to her. To help her get over the stress, give electrolytes if you have them, as well as vitamins. Give some nutritious foods too, like scrambled eggs, to encourage her to eat. Try some moistened feed as well.

Hopefully, she starts eating enough. Otherwise, you might have to hand feed, or consider tube feeding. Try mixing up some feed in a spoon with some water until it reaches a thin consistency, and try putting the spoon in front of her or pressing it against her beak. This might make her "drink" the food mixture. My chickens love mealworms, so hopefully yours will too, and will eat some of them. Here are some links to tube feeding, in case you have to do it:

Hope this helps! And,
When a similar thing happened one of my girls I put her into a cat carrier where she had enough room to turn about, eat and do her business, but also had no other choice but to rest. I gave her soluble aspirin 3 times a day and within 2 days she was able to put her weight on her sprained leg again, 4 days and she was back with the others. I hope your girl gets better again soon.
I have her isolated here in the house so I can watch her and make sure she is safe. I can push her beak into water and she will drink but won't do it on her own. I put food in her beak last night piece by piece. Looks like I will have to tube her. As of today her leg is completely lifeless. Still no swelling or heat. I've put her in a sling but its doing no good. I take her outside everyday to be with the other chickens. It seems to me she is trying to give up but I won't let her. She is still bright eyed and alert so I have no idea why she's just not trying.
She needs the rest, the least she needs to move her leg the better. You can lift her a couple times a day for a cuddle to keep blood circulating, but rest is very important, so maybe a day or 2 just been inside will do good. I would take her out of the sling so that when she sits she will put her leg into a comfortable position herself. If your worried bout her drinking and eating put sugar into her water, fluid is very important to keep her hydrated and sugar should keep some fight in her, I don't think she's trying to give up, she's just in pain, and it's strange to her, so chin up, I'm sending you and hen all my good luck.
I have decided to syringe feed her. Hopefully in a day or two she will have gained back some strength and will decide to eat on her own. I've taken the feed I bought her and put some of the liquid vitamins for babies and meal worms and I mix it together with water to make a liquid. Hopefully having something on her tummy will make her feel better. I'm still using the probiotics in her water. I move her frequently so she doesn't develop sores and she is on soft towels since she is very thin and can easily develop pressure sores. I'm also trying to massage her good leg for circulation.
Oh and also she is showing no signs of pain whatsoever not even when I do a range of motion on the lame leg. This is so confusing because with everything she shows no sign of any injury just a lifeless leg.

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