First time with a limping chicken.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Canadianislupus, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. Canadianislupus

    Canadianislupus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I went to feed the flock a few minutes ago I noticed that Hera, one of my 7.5 mo RSL pullets had not left the coop to eat. I went to check and found her up on the perches limping around. She was not like this earlier when I gave them scratch around 11:30. I picked her up and tucked her upside down under my arm so I could examine her leg and foot. Found no sign of cuts bruising or swelling on her foot, leg, and thigh and nothing appears to be broken. There is a small missing scale on the inside upper part of her other leg though. I will have to look closer look tomorrow when it is a bit brighter or have my partner hold a flashlight for me so I can get a better look under all her fluffy feathers. My question is what should I be looking for? and what could have caused this? also what should I be doing about it? Could she have done this jumping off a 4' roost? there is a 2' mid level roost for getting up and down... Maybe if she hit the water bucket when she jumped or something?? Could Chester (7.5 mo RIR) have hurt her when mating? [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. Canadianislupus

    Canadianislupus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She is still limping today [​IMG] The leg shakes when she holds it up and she is very reluctant to put any weight on it. I found black tar like, runny poop and her hind feathers are stained a bit so it seems to be hers. She still seems to be eating and drinking fine. Don't know what I should do..
     
  3. Radseg

    Radseg Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh dear. Me, too! Two days ago our hen (8 mos old) came home limping and had a small amount of blood around one ear and a tiny amount in her nostrils. We have her separated from her 2 "sisters." She's eating and drinking--even laid an egg yesterday. Still limping, but is moving around. We had to put a cover on the enclosure she's in so she couldn't hop out. Guess that's a good sign? No apparent damage or injury to the leg, but she sure doesn't want to stand on it. Any thoughts out there?
     
  4. Canadianislupus

    Canadianislupus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anybody???? There is still no sign of improvement with Hera. And now it seems like the chickens in my flock are coughing and sneezing too[​IMG]. No sign of any nasal or eye discharge and the only other symptoms are black tar like poops around the coop. This is my first time caring for chickens and I have no idea what to do. Really need some advice on what to do....[​IMG]
    Here's an example of what the poo looks like. Its on the roosts as well as the floor so I know its not just Hera this is from.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Kristin H

    Kristin H New Egg

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    Our hen willow started limping a couple weeks ago and she is just now starting to get better Her foot was shivering and she refused to put weight on it. I blame the rooster :). Hera should be able to put a little weight on her foot in a week or two.
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    I really don't know what could be going on with all of the different symptoms, but the roost could have caused the leg sprain. From my experience with a limping hen, I would rest the hen in a cage or crate inside the coop with food and water. Black and tarry stools sound like they could be from bleeding in the digestive tract. Could it be from something that they have eaten? How is your ventilation and dust/ammonia levels inthe coop? That as well as mold can cause coughing and sneezing.
     
  7. Canadianislupus

    Canadianislupus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay thank you, I was wondering if I should separate her. I can set up the big dog crate for her tomorrow. Dust levels are not great as the floor is gravel/sand but it is getting better now that I have dry grass and wood shaving over top. The coop is an 8' x 12' old cement shed with a wide chimney for ventilation as well as the finger sized gaps around the door. The door is hooked all the way open on warm days and just wide enough for chickens to go through if it is really cold or windy. There is minimal ammonia smell and I cleaned out all the poo and washed/sanitized all the roosts about a month ago. I was worried when I first got chickens that It wouldn't be enough ventilation but I shut myself in there and there was a significant breeze coming in through the gaps around the door. Should I maybe use the hand drill to poke a few 3"-4" diameter holes? As for them eating something to cause the black poop I don't really think they ate anything odd, they don't free range due to insanely high predator numbers. I did start giving them some black oil sunflower seeds with their scratch about 2 weeks ago. Could that cause it? Or the blueberries I gave them a couple days ago?
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
  8. Radseg

    Radseg Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi, there. Did the dark poo start after feeding the blueberries? If they ate an excessive amount, sounds like that could be it. However, it wouldn't explain the sneezing and coughing. Maybe the two are unrelated, but something is definitely not right.

    One of my hens started limping badly 5 days ago. My 3 girls are free range, only penned at night. I found a small cut above one eye, and no other injuries. We put her in a pen by herself. She's eating and drinking very well--enjoying fresh clover we bring her, too. She's beginning to put just a little weight on the bad leg, and we're hopeful she'll be good as new in the next few/several days.

    You might want to contact your local Extension office and have a chat with an agent.

    Best of luck. I know how it is to worry and feel helpless. One more thought: be brave and take a "smear" with a paper towel. If it's bluish, you'll know it's the berries.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
  9. Canadianislupus

    Canadianislupus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, She is still eating and drinking well so that is a good sign. I will separate her tomorrow so she can recover without being harassed by the others. Thanks for the idea with smearing the poo, I will try that. Although I am not hopeful as there was some black poo before the blueberries. I wonder if it could be caused by the black oil sunflower seeds?
     
  10. Canadianislupus

    Canadianislupus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any ideas for what I should do about the coughing, sneezing, and black poo?? If symptoms get worse or continue into next month I will seek veterinary help.
     

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