Chicken Wirh Broken or Dislocated Leg Help!!!

Alina Blanchard

Jun 3, 2017
Around three in the morning I woke up because something had found it's way into my coop and tried to drag my hen out. It didn't succeed, but now my hen is hurt and I'm not sure what to do (I will be making sure the coop is well protected tonight!!).

As of right now I've separated her from the flock, and have food and water available (I've put some raw apple cider vinegar in her water, and oysters and diotamacious earth in her feed). Her left leg is completely limp and as far as I know she cannot walk on it. She managed to move a few feet when I wasn't around so I'm not sure if she's used her leg or just scooted awkwardly. For the most part she's been fairly perky, though right now she's sleeping.

I'm still debating going to the vet, as money is really tight right now and that would be really expensive. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Jun 2, 2017
I'd say you are doing the best you possibly can. Just keep an eye on her, don't let her do anything that can possibly hurt her leg any worse. :)


Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Jul 16, 2015
I have had a few leg mishaps over the years, some have healed and others we have culled.

You have two choices, take it to a vet, or wait and see how it goes. I would give the bird a gentle examination to see if I can determine the problem. A break requires help to heal. Other things can heal on their own. I generally leave them be for about a week to see if there's any improvement. If there is than generally they will heal. If they haven't improved the outcome is more guarded.

If the chicken seems generally comfortable, than I would wait and see.

Glenda Heywoodo

Dec 19, 2016
Cassville Missouri
Here is some information on the problem you are having

National Poultry News#3
Leg Hobbles (also called "Hobble Braces") help keep a young chick from trying to incorrectly twist a hip and leg out sideways, by keeping a chicks' legs from spreading too far apart. These leg braces are made of material wrapped comfortably around each leg & connecting across the gap between the legs.
◾Hobbles should be put on lower legs (below hocks) and allow enough room for the chick to stand with its legs just a little farther apart than normal standing position so chick can balance and practice walking.
◾Hobbles can be made from a variety of materials:
◾White cloth-type sports tape is probably the most ideal, but you can use Band-Aids, Scotch tape, masking tape that has strong stickiness, etc. Be sure to see Special Note on Removing Tape from Legs.
◾For sensitive or feathered legs, put a little piece of paper towel (to cover the tape's stickiness) on just the section of the tape that wraps around the chick's legs. Yarn might be another good material to try--It helps minimize catching on fluff. Watch out for hobbles slipping too much
◾You can also use attach one tiny plastic zip tie to each leg, leaving them a little bit loose to allow for growth. Tie the zip ties together with string & adjust length over time. This method may particularly be helpful for feather-legged birds.

◾You can make adjustable hobbles from Velcro. Make sure only soft side of material touches legs.
◾If you use a small elastic or hair-band in figure-8 around legs with tape wrapped around section between legs, there is greater chance of the hobbles slipping up on the legs, plus the band might stretch too much to be helpful enough. It is not as reliable of a method for treating Splay Leg.

◾Make sure wraps around the legs are secure enough that they won't come untaped on their own nor slip up above the hock joint. Make sure that circulation isn't restricted, which you can sometimes detect if feet start looking reddish.

◾Be sure to check & change Hobbles as needed at least every 2 days since a chick is growing fast and wraps will quickly become too tight to allow growth & circulation.

Once the chick has Hobbles on, it will usually experiment with turning its legs forwards (like it should) instead of twisting one leg or both legs out to the side. The little chick will gradually wobble less and not use its wing for support as much, and will try stepping ahead. Once the chick learns that correct walking is the most effective motion and the chick reprograms its brain, you can begin leaving the Hobbles off.
◾Leg Hobbles have the best chance of being effective if put on within 1 to 3 days of hatch, and usually correct Splayed Leg within 4 to 6 days of treatment in a newly hatched chick. If the chick is 4 days old or older when you start treatment, the chances for reprogramming the chick's brain are slim and the problem likely can't be cured.
◾Do not leave hobbles off AT ANY TIME before the problem is cured (except briefly for Physical Therapy if you choose to do that).
◾Continue to keep the Hobbles on most of the time for a minimum of 1/2 day after chick seems to be walking pretty correctly. Watch closely for a few days after & put Hobbles back on if chick needs help again.
◾If you want to really help ensure continued recovery when chick seems better, instead of completely removing hobbles, at first just cut across the middle connecting section so legs can move freely for 2-5 hours. Then tape the middle section back together for 1-4 hours. Then completely remove hobbles (See Special Note on Removing Tape from Legs) if chick walks correctly, or repeat this process another time or two if needed.
◾If you remove Hobbles too soon, the chick may revert to previous problem within a couple days. The older a chick is and the more time a chick spends using its legs wrong, the more difficult it is to fix this problem.


Glenda Heywoodo

Dec 19, 2016
Cassville Missouri
Here is the rest of the article
Chick Leg Hobbles with stiff center for chick leg problems

◾If the chick wriggles out of Hobbles, use a single vertical wrap of sports tape (or masking tape or sticky section of band-aids) around the section between the two legs to more firmly tape the center section together.
◾If chick keeps standing with its hocks too close together, you can experiment on added solutions. This may be especially needed for chicks 4 days old or older.
◾Physical Therapy can be a very helpful added treatment.

◾A technique that's proven some success: Add a second hobble on upper legs above hocks.
◾See "For feathered legs" above to deal with fluff on thighs.
◾A technique you may test out that may have positive or may have negative results: Reinforce center section of brace to add extra stiffness to help keep legs apart. Use extra sports tape wrapped vertically, pipe cleaners, thin piece of taped-on cardboard, etc.

◾You need to be extra careful on tightness for these. Keep watch that it isn't so loose that it slips where it isn't supposed to be (such as slipping over hocks) nor so tight that it cuts into muscle.
◾You SHOULD NOT try to correct long-time twisted legs or severely twisted feet in ADULT BIRDS. (Although, kinks in toes can sometimes be gradually corrected if the foot hasn't become too twisted.) Adults' bones have finished developing & hardened--it would be unsuccessful & very painful to try making any significant changes. Changes would also throw off balance, and adults are extremely likely to persist in trying to walk in habitual distorted way which will re-create and worsen the deformities.
◾Kinks in somewhat mature birds' toes can sometimes be gradually improved if the foot hasn't become too twisted. However, most toes with minor twists do not cause any significant problems, so they do not need any treatment.

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