Crippled hen nearing laying age

Captain Cluck

13 Years
Jun 19, 2009
Central Florida
I have a 23 week old silkie x hen who was injured this summer. Her left leg sticks out straight to the side and she has a hard time getting around on her good leg and uses her wings to prop herself up when she tries to move around, so she lives in a rubbermaid tub in the house. She currently has two 3 week old frizzle chicks in another cage for company, but they will eventually move outside.

She is at the age when hens start laying eggs (3 of my other 5 hens the same age are already laying - the 4th just gave me a virgin [yolkless] egglet the size of a quail egg). I have been feeding her flock raiser, limited scratch and some cage bird gravel, hoping to delay puberty, but I am worried I am doing the wrong thing.

Can she lay eggs and function as a laying hen with her injury? Can I prevent her from becoming eegg bound? How? Should I put her on layer pellets now, or wait till she lays her first egg?

Should I have her put down or continue caring for her as she is. She has her good days and her sad days. I just want to do what's best for her.

What do you more experienced chicken keepers suggest?
Having to deal with a similar situation as yours, I can personally say that I would put her down. I just did this Sunday with one of my laying EE's...she had a leg injury that was never going to heal, then she started to use her wing to help her get around. She started losing weight as well. I remained hopeful for 2 weeks that she would have some sort of recovery, but I picked her up on Sunday and felt how much weight she had lost, and knew it was time to put her down.

You need to do what is best for her. Think about if you want her in the house-especially come winter. Imagine if she becomes unable to get around at all. It's a tough decision especially if this would be your first time culling one of your birds. I feel for ya'. And I feel for her. It's a sad, sad situation.

Good luck
the feed store near me got a chick in the spring that had a bad leg. they removed it. and for the longest time i would see it sitting.

i saw it last month almost full grown and yeah it like to sit alot. but it manages to get around well on one leg. birds have an amazing ability to balance.

i had to remove a toenail from one of my chickens that it had somehow bent back 90 degrees. and it would hobble all the time. after i cut it and clotted it it walked on both legs again, right away. though it still 'gallops' which is cute.

i would go to the vet and ask them. if you really like your chicken. maybe he can give you Lidocaine, which is a local anesthetic (numbing medication). It works by blocking nerve signals in your body. i applied this to my chickens toe for a few minutes before i cut it off, the only ew factor is the blood. but getting clotting powder, corn starch and bandages and you could do it.

its your choice.
I have a hen that is crippled. I don't know what happened to her, but she cannot use either of her legs properly. However she is still able to get around, still eats, and still lays. A couple of months ago, I decided to try an experiment w/her. (She's in a pen by herself. She had had a buddy, but it was killed by a hawk) I replaced her eggs w/fertile eggs. In just a few short days, she started to sit. Now, she has 3 month old babies. Of the 3, I think I only got 1 pullet, so the other 2 will either be rehomed, or eaten. And, she does fine w/the chicks.
Thanks for the suggestions.

I don't feel comfortable amputating the crippled leg. I was leaning toward culling, but she's my daughter's pet and, of course, my daughter would prefer to keep her as alive and healthy as possible. She's just so thin - she won't eat much, but drinks and poops champion. She does stand up when I do my crate duties, feed or pet her. She burbles when she gets attention, so I think she is content.

I guess I will try setting up her own pen outside and see if she manages well. If she does, I may try the egg trick after she starts laying, and see what happens. I can't afford a vet surgery, so I guess she will keep her leg.

Does massage therapy help with stiff limbs? (I know, I'm crazy)

If she doesn't do well outside, I guess I will cull.
My lil brahma with a splayed leg is the same way its out to the side.
We tried to fix it but no luck. Shes 2 1/2 months old now

She is out in the coop with her friends. Sure shes slower but she gets around and at bed time shes still snuggled up with her hatch mates.
I dont want to take that away from her, so for now she lives...I dread the day she goes down hill
the vet gave me the supplies for free, cos it wasnt much. (then again we are family friends, and our dogs and foster dogs keep him busy). maybe 10cc of lidocane. and some gauze.
course this was for the cutting of the toenail.

i would atleast take a pic to the vet and ask for advice. that shouldn't cost. sometimes its easier for a chicken to go without something than live with a non functioning part (that is not required for living)

got a free leghorn from someone and notices it mostly walks on stumps or curled toes. it free ranges well and i can't understand how is can still roost. the people had a goose and it ate the chickens toes.....

chickens are part dinosaurs, they are tough.

but as i said, a picture to show the vet could get you some advice or some free/cheap supplies.

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