Jul 14, 2020
I have visited my parents and I have noticed that one of their chickens has a swollen leg. They said they noticed it last week and have added apple cider vinegar to the water and also treated the whole leg with betadine. She is eating her laying pellets and vegetables, drinking and pooping normally and has full use of the swollen leg. None of the other chickens are displaying anything similiar

She is a silkie bantam x and she is 5 months old. I am not sure of her weight but she feels similiar to her sisters.

She has a vet appointment tomorrow, however if it comes down to amputation of the leg my parents will put her to sleep. I don't want that to happen because she is the sweetest little chicken.

Just some advice on what you think may be the problem and if you guys think she would be able to cope with amputation of the one leg if the situation calls for it

Ps. The weather has been really cold and wet down here but she is inside at the moment.
The orange on her feathers is from the betadine




9 Years
Aug 7, 2011
Puget Sound area, WA
If she's eating normally, pooping and walking on it, I doubt it will need to be amputated. It does look like it's infected though. The betadine was a good idea, but you might consider getting her an antibiotic powder, like sulfadimexothine that you can get from most feed stores and just dissolve into her water. I bet when she sees the vet, something similar will be what's prescribed.

I know the wound and swollen leg looks terrible, but it's amazing what chickens can recover from. We've had chickens with pretty bad wounds like that, who recovered just fine with Neosporin ointment, antibiotic powder in their water, and separation from the other chickens until they heal.

Good luck with her!

Crazy dog-chicken momma

In the Brooder
Oct 5, 2019
I hatched 19 chicks 5 weeks ago. They all came out perfect. 3 weeks ago we noticed one was walking funny. I thought it was spayed leg but turns out it was broken. I tried everything, splints, taping her legs together, everything I could find on the subject but the broken one still healed wrong. REALLY wrong. Her left leg was normal but her right leg bent at the hock joint and it bent backwards. The bottom of the leg and foot was useless (still alive tho) so she was walking on her broken joint. When it was time for her sisters and brothers to go out to the coop, I knew I had to make a decision as she just wasn't able to be out in the big girl coop with our guineas, ducks and pig. I debated on putting her down but I started researching amputations. Apparently chickens are able to recover and learn to use their wings to balance and use their good leg and foot to hop and get around. So I made the decision to try that first as I wanted my baby to have a chance if it was possible. All the vets I talked to told me to cull her, but that just wasn't an option for me as she was eating, drinking, and just an all around happy girl. So I had to perform the amputation myself. This happened 3 nights ago and she is doing AMAZING! She was up hopping around the very next day. She's already learned to use her wings to balance and she hasn't fallen over one time. My advice? If your baby has the will and determination, she will make it as a one legged chicken. Obviously she won't be able to live with the rest of the my case, she will either be a house chicken or I'll build her a separate house and runner.. But since I've become pretty attached after cutting off her leg myself and nursing her back to health, a house chicken is sounding pretty appealing 😊 either way, she will be spoiled rotten.

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