Ethel is limping

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by paganfish, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. paganfish

    paganfish Songster

    Sep 15, 2007
    Fleming, Colorado

    Well, when it rains it pours! Argh! Yesterday, I noticed one of my two Araucanas (Ethel) limping. I got her from a neighboring farm this past Spring so she's not used to me. I had to wait until sundown to take a look at her. She was skittish (more than usual) but when I felt around her left leg (culprit) I didn't notice anything, no cut, no blood, no weird bone movement and no discomfort. She just talked (what I call it when they just murmur at me) and let me feel her leg. I felt the other leg in case I had it wrong and she was over compensating for it but same...they BOTH felt the same to ME. (However, I'm sort of new at this so, that's not saying much.).

    My question is. What should I do? The vets in the area don't deal with chickens...they would just suggest I cull her. I don't want to do that. I want to keep her. She's one of my favorite hens! If she is to be a special needs hen, I can deal with that. That said, should I confine her (I have a dog crate handy) apart from the others until she is NOT limping? I am worrying needlessly?

    Incidentally, she's been getting stepped on the most by the rooster. This is quite evident in the loss of back and shoulder feathers where the skin was raw...though now healing. I was going to confine her then but since she was doing much better decided against, there's this!

    I am sorry to digress so you can see, I want to do what's best for her. BUT! I want to keep her!

    HELP! [​IMG]

    ~ ;->
  2. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Songster

    May 4, 2007
    She could have just stepped funny, or jumped off from something and landed wrong. Your best bet is to confine her (which you already said you are, so that's good) and see how she does. If she gets worse, then yes I would consider culling her, but most likely it's just sprain or a twist. Also check her feet on the bottom...if you haven't already...for any swelling, broken nails or cuts.

    If she acts like she's in pain, maybe someone here can offer a recipe for a pain reliever, she probably just needs to rest. Good Luck. [​IMG]
  3. paganfish

    paganfish Songster

    Sep 15, 2007
    Fleming, Colorado
    Thanks Angie! I will have to wait until sunup to get at her. I hate to chase her if it hurts her. Otherwise, she is's only when she runs to or from me--that she limps. Again, it's slight limp...not a full out and I-am-in-SO-much-pain, limp. I'll go out there now and check things out...she if she'll let me approach her. I went to the coop today as she was the last one to come out when I opened the hatch. I was worried she was not feeling well. She was still up in her roost and looking around as if to find a better angle to jump down. I went to her and in a soft voice told her "it's ok" and she let me bring her down...she ran off after that. Yes, with the limp! Argh! I hate to worry about my ladies!

    Anyway, thanks again for your help. I will let you know what I see later. I may just have to put her in the crate by herself. Lucy (my other araucana) is going to be lonley...they sleep together. [​IMG]

  4. Check the bottom of that foot for any black spots or cuts. Chickens often get bumblefoot, a staff infection and it makes them lame.

    For pain relief if you think it is a sprain or strain (and the wieght of a rooster will do that to a gal) give her a baby aspirin if she is a full size or half is she is a bantie.

    If rest helps her heal consider locking up the rooster when you let her loose again so she has more healing time without him on her back!
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    As someone who knows more about bumblefoot than she ever wanted to, I can show you a picture of bumblefoot-this one has been operated on before, or it would just be a black scab/callous. That will cause a limp.
  6. paganfish

    paganfish Songster

    Sep 15, 2007
    Fleming, Colorado
    Hi April-

    I checked her again and no I didn't see any lesions, cuts or abrasions. <whew!> I was worried since I'd heard of bumble foot and that came to mind. I am thinking she just landed on her foot wrong because the roost she gets on is like 4 feet off the ground...that plus the rooster favors her! (As I said, she has missing feathers on her back and shoulders which is indicative of this.)

    Anyway, I put her in the dog crate (2 x 3 feet) and although she freaked out at first...once I turned off the light...she nestled in the straw on the floor of the crate. There is a roost in the crate about 4 inches from the floor so she won't have to hop that high...if at all.

    She is a medium size hen...I think they are called Ameraucanas? I currently don't have baby aspirins on hand but I will buy some tomorrow...and give her one.

    I have no way of knowing how to post a picture here...wah!

    Thanks again for all your help.

  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    A friend of mine had a hen get injured by a large cockerel who was too enthusiastic. She thought her leg was broken but it was just soft tissue damage and she healed up. An amorous rooster can injure a hen's legs pretty easily, so maybe it's just a sprain.
  8. paganfish

    paganfish Songster

    Sep 15, 2007
    Fleming, Colorado
    Thanks Cynthia-

    What you've said and the fact that there is no visible sign of trauma makes me feel a bit better.

    I can sleep OK tonite. LOL!

    I am telling you...the next batch of chickens I get, I am NOT naming them! It's so much easier when you do not give them a name...

    Yeah, that'll happen!

  9. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    lower the roosts
    chickens can strain and sprain really easy... might be a good idea to separate her and limit her movement till it is healed.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2007
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Diana is correct. I changed my roosts several times just to insure that no one was stressing their legs coming off the roosts or a nest.

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