Circles the Chicken has a Limp

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kat6225, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. kat6225

    kat6225 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2015
    Hi Im new here, and I need some professional help from you guys. Our poor Circles(Great name, I know... she walked in circles as a chick and it just stuck) has been walking with a limp. We seperated her to see if she could rest and feel better with time. That didnt work. It dropped her spirits and she wouldn't eat or drink. I'm not worried about the pecking order. We have three barred rocks but the other two know she isn't a bright bird so they leave her alone and she thinks they are her buddies. I have looked at her foot on the bottom and I don't see signs of bumble foot. I compared it to the other foot and I think her right foot (middle toe) is bruised. Should we splint it? Are there instructions on how to do so? Is it something else? Should I look anywhere else on her feet? We can't afford a vet right now but we want her to be back to her silly self soon. Any tips and advice would be greatly appreciated.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. kat6225

    kat6225 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2015
    She didn't want to eat last night until I put meal worms down. So today I put her outside with the other two and I saw her eat some more. When I tried to pick her up to look at her foot she hobbled away from me and didnt want to be caught. She has hopped up to a perch that was no more than 6 inches off the ground and both feet grasped it even though she favors it while walking and standing. Is that a good sign?
     
  3. kat6225

    kat6225 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2015
    Any and all help is appreciated!!
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    How long has she been limping?
    Has she had in trouble in the past laying eggs?
    What type of food/treats do you feed?

    From your photos it looks like she is molting as well. The photo of the foot looks like it may have a slight bruise which in time should heal on it's own.
    You can limit her activity so her foot rests by placing her in a wire kennel inside the run. This way she can still see her buddies, but won't feel like she has to keep up with them.

    If she is molting, offer her some extra protein, either with commercial feed like a flock raiser/all flock feed or by giving chopped egg or tuna. Add some poultry vitamins that have B2 (Riboflavin) to her water a couple of times a week.

    Leg injuries can be fairly common and usually resolve on their own with a little TLC and rest. If after a couple of weeks she is no better or declining, then you will need to investigate further. Internal laying/reproductive disorders or illness can also cause limping.

    Keep us posted.
     
  5. kat6225

    kat6225 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2015
    Thank you so much for replying!!! :)

    She has been limping for about a week and we tried to let her resolve it on her own hoping it was a sprain.

    I can't really tell if she has been having a hard time laying eggs. All three girls have slowed down on egg production. And they lay all over the yard instead of the nesting box. I think Circles is the one that still lays eggs but I'm not quite sure. I dont think she laid any eggs when she was in isolation. I usually catch her still sitting on an egg somewhere in the yard. We think she was dropped as a chick before we got her, but we still love her.

    The wire kennel is a good idea. I dont think she will know that she is separated from her friends.

    I put out layer feed and a block of scratch so they always have a snack if the feed runs out. All of the girls are molting right now but Circles was the first to start molting. Is molting sometimes correlated with limping? I can definitely get them a better feed and scramble some eggs for them. What is the ration for how much tuna and eggs I give them? Is the vitamin for the water usually available at the farm feed store?

    Thank you so much for the reply!! I will definitely keep you updated!
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Any photos of how your coop/run is set up?
    A flock block makes a fine treat, but is like candy for chickens[​IMG] I suggest you make their regular feed available at all times when they are awake. Ideally you want them to consume more poultry feed than treats, so limit treats to no more than 5-10% of their daily diet. Give them some scrambled, hard boiled egg or tuna in a small dish - I usually don't give more than they can consume in about 15-20mins. You can find poultry vitamins at your local feed store or online, follow the directions on the package.

    Is there a reason why your girls don't lay their eggs inside the coop?
     
  7. kat6225

    kat6225 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2015
    I will get you photos of the coop. Our coop is a free bathroom cabinet we recently got on Craigslist. It's still a work in progress but it has a roof and is up off the ground. Because of the holidays, we haven't been able to get a ramp set up for the girls so we pick them up and put them to bed at night and we set them down from the coop when it's morning. I know that doesn't help them to lay in their nesting boxes but they didn't always lay in their old coop either.

    Their run is the backyard and we fence off the areas where we dont want them (like the garden and the rabbit run). It keeps the hens from running the lawn down to nothing. We tried a chicken tractor but that was more work than it was worth.

    I have to go to the store to pick up more feed for the girls and rabbits so I will be sure to get the right feed and vitamins for them when I go to the feed store today.

    Thank you for being patient with me. This is the first set of hens I've raised.
     
  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I look forward to seeing your photos[​IMG] I love it when people are creative and are able to upcycle/re-purpose materials!
     
  9. kat6225

    kat6225 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2015
    Hey thanks! We have been trying to be resourceful.

    We lock the coop up with a board that sits between the door knobs and the doors to keep them flush until we can find a latch to install. The main doors are where they roost and they like to try to lay eggs behind the smaller door on the bottom shelf. The opening looks pretty small to me and I want to try to get my husband to open it up a little more so they don't feel as cramped. The head hen likes to sit on the top shelf even though I haven't seen any eggs from the top shelf before.

    Do you have any tips on requirements for a ramp so they can come and go as they please? I know they can jump that high but I don't want them to try and hurt themselves over it so I shut the doors during the day.

    We keep the feed in that big trash can and I use a metal pie pan to serve their feed. The metal trash can seems to keep vermin out and the feed stays dry longer.

    Any suggestions on editing the coop are welcome.

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  10. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    That's a great way to repurpose a cabinet - clever!

    These are just my ideas, I see nothing wrong with your setup, except maybe adding some ventilation. I see that the back eve is open and that's good, but adding some ventilation holes on the side and front would be helpful especially in summer. This will also let in a bit more light as well. I do recommend any openings be covered with wire, preferrably hardware cloth. This will help keep any varmints out. Chicken wire is great keeping chickens in, but is fairly thin and a determined raccoon or possum can rip it to shreds.

    Finding a latch for the doors is a good idea, again, raccoons are savvy and can usually figure out locks/openings, so try to find one that they can't easily open.

    As for a ramp, you can use a board that reaches the ground, I think they are usually angled at 45degrees(?) If it is steep I do suggest putting cleats across the board (little pieces of wood), that way they have a grip going down. I've seen where some people use crates at various heights for the hens to jump onto to get into the coop. If you google "chicken coop ramp ideas" you will find tons of ideas. With your creativity, I'm sure you can find just the right thing to suit your needs.

    The underneath of your coop is a good place to hang a feeder, waterer or even treats. If your girls use it as shelter during bad weather, you could hang an apple or some greens under there for them to pick at. Mine love hanging veggies.

    Please do keep us posted on Circles progress. I hope she gets better soon!

    Just my thoughts.

    Here is a more "traditional" ramp that my husband built for our coop.
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    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/540701/coop-ramp-idea (ramp photo post#7)
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/307379/chicken-ramp-ladder-questions/10 (ramp photo post#16)

    Ventilation:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...-go-out-there-and-cut-more-holes-in-your-coop
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017

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