Cockerel can't put weight on leg

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by salsss, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. salsss

    salsss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 10 week old cockerel who was limping, so I brought him inside to a dog crate 4 days ago. He hops around....has good balance when he's standing so I am hoping it won't be a Marek's case? This is the first time anything like this has happened...

    A tree limb fell outside the coop and caused a huge kerfuffle...maybe in the rush he was injured?

    I can find no marks or lumps...the leg is not hot and he doesn't seem to react when I examine the leg.

    How long do I let him try to recuperate in the house? Should I cull? This isn't a great life if he doesn't recover...I have 4 cockerels in my flock and will only need one. This one is the lowest of the pecking order in the cockerel group. I saw nobody harassing him though.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    My guess is that he was injured, especially since there is cockerel competition. Does he hold the leg up, or is he trying to put weight on it? You could let him rest the leg with minimal activity in a crate with food and water, in a chicken sling, and either try to splint it or not. But really, what are your options here? If you are raising him for food, you could crate him until he is large enough. It is very hard to even give away extra cockerels, so I would decide which one to keep, and then make your decision on whether or not to cull or treat him.
     
  3. salsss

    salsss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I really liked his coloring...and wanted to give him a chance. He does try to put weight on it but can't.

    This is really sad for me as I just had to put down our pick rooster for breeding...he was getting aggressive.
     
  4. mickeymushroom

    mickeymushroom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a friend who had excellent success with wrapping the leg tightly with duct tape. He left it on ten weeks and after that... perfection!
     
  5. mickeymushroom

    mickeymushroom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    try this before you cull!!
     
  6. mickeymushroom

    mickeymushroom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    actually might help him weight bear and heal faster
     
  7. Wickedchicken6

    Wickedchicken6 No Rest For The WicKed Premium Member

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    For 10 weeks? I would be concerned that as a growing cockerel... the leg will grow and the duct tape would constrict his leg.
     
  8. mickeymushroom

    mickeymushroom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That was my thought too... but he did this on a chick and had excellent results. I'd give it a try anyway, rather then cull. The support will encourage weight bearing to build the bone.
     
  9. mickeymushroom

    mickeymushroom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If that concerns you too much maybe try the wrap they sell in TSC. You know... the stuff the vet uses after they take blood? It's stretchy... then secure THAT with duct tape.
     
  10. mickeymushroom

    mickeymushroom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you want to get technical...use cotton balls or foam and a pop stick or something. He had luck with duct tape anyway... but he's not into all the work... Here's an old thread from BYC.

    It seems like a few of you have questions about this.
    In all cases breaks should be seen by a vet, however if that is not possible decide whether to try this before euthanasia.

    you will need.
    a cohesive stretch bandage ( such as co flex, equiwrap, co stretch, vetrap.. etc) This stuff is excellent for any animal, in an emergency it can even be washed and reused.
    thin Cotton pads, medical or makeup..
    an improvised splint (discussed below)
    cotton balls
    medical/paper tape (easy to tear and can be removed from feathers.)

    if its an open fracture with a wound or bones protruding from skin, all of the above. +
    antiseptic cream
    antibiotics
    nice clean hands:)
    warm water
    betadine/ antiseptic drops if possible.

    Improvised splint: you need to find something sturdy, flattish and about the width of the chickens leg ( I once splint a water hens two broken legs with the cut down handle of a fly swat) the size of the splint is obviously dependent on the size of the chicken, for a small chick it might be possible to use half a paddle pop stick, the flat side of half a peg for a lager chick, perhaps half a ruler for a larger bird.. along those lines. the length of the splint should be at least the length of the bone you are splinting, where ever the break is with the fracture positioned in the middle.eg, If the injury is in the bone between the 'ankle' and the 'knee' at the top of the shaft near the joint, you will need a splint the length of the metatarsus 'shin bone'
    prepare the splint. the splint will be in place for two weeks so it is important that is as comfortable as possible and doesn't cause any more damage, file any sharp edges round and pad the side of splint that is going against the skin with cotton pads and then wrap VERY firmly with p.tape.

    Treating a break is dependent on the type and placement of the injury.
    sometimes the injury is obvious but all times a good inspection is needed, covering your chickens head with a sock or cloth will help keep them calm, particularly when you place them upside down on your lap:)(splinting a break is best done with two ppl, (one to hold bird the other to medic it) particularly if your chicken is feisty). three, if it really really feisty.(like a swamp hen:)
    Feel both legs, looking for discrepancies, move the good leg to acquaint yourself with its movement. (this will be of importance when you place the splint).
    locate the break/s. the bones need to be aligned as straight as possible and touching so as to heal, (it helps to know the skeletal structure of a chicken ( http://www.google.com.au/imgres?q=c...w=111&start=0&ndsp=16&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0,i:67 )
    this will sometimes mean pulling the bones back into alignment (if they are through the skin) or maneuvering them back into place (painfull) but necessary. be aware that there are blood vessel, tendons, nerves etc involved here and with more serious breaks this is a very difficult process even for a vet, even with the use of xrays. some bones with multiple fractures will never heal. At all times keep in mind that as blood vessels run through the bone some breaks will compromise circulation and at that point anything below the injury is forfeit.
    Is there a wound on top of the break? if there is, clean the wound with warm water with betadine in it, apply a small amount of antiseptic cream and dress with cotton pad and hold in position with paper tape.
    Position the bone for splint. with the information above as best you can position the bone, (some fractures will be supported (held in correct position,(very lucky just splint it) and some will be very moveable.
    If you have to pull a broken bone back through the skin, pull back through and into position then holding tension cover wound with pad, cover pad with splint then, tape round the leg till you cover splint
    with less compounded fractures with no overlapping of the bone, position as best you can, apply splint the same way. tape.
    In all cases you are taping the padded splint to leg and being aware of the circulation, it is not the tape that eventually holds the splint and bone in place it is the bandage.
    Bandage splint in place. wrap the cohesive bandage from just below the splint all the way round/up the shaft to just above the splint,(and back down if necessary) once again firmly but being aware of circulation. always keep an eye on below the break/ foot for the foot changing colour to Grey and becoming cool. (a very little of this is normal but a lot to blue and cold is bandage too tight no circulation, limb death.
    breaks near a joint are tricky but possible even if that means keeping the leg straight (It will be stiff and may need a little physio afterwards) but breaks in a joint inevitably mean the loss of mobility in that joint, chickens are not wild however and many can live with a straight leg, you can try it, see how the bird adapts and if it is terribly unhappy you still have the option of euthanasia, but you have to think about treatment in joint breaks. sometimes in these cases euthanasia is the best option.
     

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