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Chicken's foot us curled up tight and she is walking on the top

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Jwiley1, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. Jwiley1

    Jwiley1 New Egg

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    Jan 4, 2014
    ~~I am new to back yard chickens, we have 3 hens and 3 young birds about 3 months old. Today we discovered that one of the young hens has a issue with her foot. Just one of the feet is curled up, in a tight ball, and she is walking on the top of the foot. Upon further investigation, she is missing part of a toe. It is very cold here at night, so at first I thought some sort of frost bite, but I'm not convinced. I looked up Merck's and I don't think that is it. She is walking around fine and eating, she is just walking on the top of that balled up foot. Does anyone know what this could be?
     
  2. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    curled toes can be caused by the humidity in the incubator. was this chick a bator chick? you need to make it a shoe. i have found pipe cleaners and vet wrap work the best for me but you can find many options in advanced search. [​IMG]
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Has the foot been this way all along, or just now? Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) deficiency can cause curled toes, and so can diseases like Mareks. I would quickly start her on poultry vitamins in the water, or you can give her PolyVisol baby vitamins 2 drops daily by mouth.
     
  4. Jwiley1

    Jwiley1 New Egg

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    She's a little older than a chick and wasn't raised in an incubator. No, she just got this way yesterday, we've had her for months. I did notice she was missing the end of one of her toes. The nail part is missing. I just feel so bad for her. She's walking around on what must be the knuckle part of her foot. The other foot looks fine.
     
  5. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    so it is like eggsessive says or an injury to the toe is causing her to curl it , like a pain reflex. the vitamins wont hurt
     
  6. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    She might have 'slipped' a tendon which has caused her toes to curl. First get your hands on her and make sure she has not somehow damaged (cut) the bottom of her foot or her leg. If their is no obvious injury, put your finger under the toes of the affected foot. If she attempts to grip your finger she may be able to use her foot again. You can apply a bandage to force her toes out at a normal angle. If she doesn't freak out at having the bandage in place, leave it on for a week or so.

    Otherwise she will learn to 'peg' the leg and get along just fine, Make sure, however, that she is not bullied by the other birds.

    Who knows what is really wrong with her. Give her a chance as long as she is trying.
     
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  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    1 person likes this.
  8. Jwiley1

    Jwiley1 New Egg

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    I think it has something to do with the pecking order. Today I found the same poor little girl all bloody with sores on her back and head. The other birds are hurting her. I thought it was because it has been so cold here and they have spent so much time in the coop. Thankfully it was warmer today and they wereable to get out for most of the day. Any suggestions on taking care of her wounds and keeping the other girls from continuing to hurt her?
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Neosporin ointment on the wounds or BluKote to disinfect and color them blue to discourage pecking. It sounds like she may be bullied to death. I would separate the ones picking on her for a few days. More room, some interesting things for activity (roosts, rocks to climb on , things to explore, and a little extra protein in the diet may help.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  10. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    Cannibalism is often the cause of demise of a weak member of the flock. The flock is getting rid of the weakest member. They know something is not right with her, and in a natural situation, the weak hen would attract predators.

    The best thing to do is to separate her from the others. If you can figure a way to keep her in the coop, yet protected, would be the best for her. A dog carrier works well.

    [​IMG]

    Or a smaller version of this with wire on the top:
    [​IMG]


    Or you can get a few cardboard boxes and make a 'corral' with chicken wire across the top:

    [​IMG]


    Keep the wounds clean and feed her a good quality diet. Once she is well you can try to introduce her to the flock again. Be aware, however, that a flock can kill the weakest member.

    I hope this gives you a few ideas on how to help your hen. Good luck with her.
     
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