HELP! Limping hen!

EllyHood

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 13, 2013
58
5
48
A few days ago we set up an electric fence around our coop and run so that we can open the run door and let the girls free range some. They've been having a blast eating clover, digging through leaves, and scratching up our aged compost. 3 days ago when I went to close the run door in the evening, I noticed that my favorite hen, my Barred Rock, was limping a little. She seemed to get around just fine with just a little wiggle in her walk. I made note of it and reminded myself to check her in the morning. The next day, she was limping worse than before so I inspected her legs, thighs, and feet and there were no signs of anything being broken or moving like it shouldn't. Today, she's limping pretty bad and even laying down to rest instead of running around with the other girls. My dachshund did sneak under the (not plugged in) fence for a little while but, to my surprise, left the chickens completely alone. The buff orpington pecked at her yesterday so I'm pretty sure it wasn't the dog since she seems intimidated, especially since my BR is by far my largest bird.

My question now is, do I just wait and let her heal or is there something I need to do? There were no hotspots so I don't suspect an infection and no blood or even any messed up feathers. Do I need to bring her inside and limit her mobility or since she's taking breaks and resting on her own will she be ok outside? She didn't lay yesterday or today (it's early, but I don't expect one from her today since she's injured). She broke the tip off her beak about a month ago and took a 2-3 week break in laying. She's the only one that's ever been hurt or had any kind of problems, poor thing. They're all 7 months old.

Thanks for any and all help!


I really don't suspect the dog. :)
 

birdlady2u

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 18, 2014
28
0
30
Could be a number of things wrong. Did you inspect the feet for cracks, bumble foot? I usually isolate any injured bird to a confined area (inside) with food and water. That way you can keep a close eye to see whether she is getting better or worse and allow her to rest until you figure out what's wrong and take appropriate measures.
 

EllyHood

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 13, 2013
58
5
48
I thoroughly inspected her feet and there are no signs of bumblefoot whatsoever. The way she's limping seem like the problem is with her leg/thigh. I've been watching her from the window all morning and she's been laying next to the coop resting so hopefully she knows she needs to take it easy.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
3,898
581
Southern Oregon
I would NOT separate her from the flock unless they're injuring her. Re-introducing a bird after removing it can be a nightmare. Since you can't see anything wrong, I'd advise watchful waiting.
 

EllyHood

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 13, 2013
58
5
48
I would NOT separate her from the flock unless they're injuring her. Re-introducing a bird after removing it can be a nightmare. Since you can't see anything wrong, I'd advise watchful waiting.
She's still with the flock. She's my head bird and I'm sure would reclaim her position quickly if she was removed for a while but she seems to be resting pretty well on her own. She's still eating and drinking even though she looks pitiful as she hobbles around. The other hens (only 5 of them) are all leaving her alone so I'm hoping time will be enough for her to heal. Hopefully she heals quickly. :/
 

marthalazar

In the Brooder
11 Years
Jun 4, 2008
92
1
41
Brooklyn, NY
I'm having the same problem with my barred rock. I inspected her foot, which seems fine. I soaked it in Epsom salts and even wrapped it up (she pulled that off very quickly), but she's still limping. It's been a few weeks now and I have no idea what to do.
 

EllyHood

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 13, 2013
58
5
48
I haven't done anything other than watch her but she seems better today than the was yesterday and she was better yesterday than the day before. Hopefully this means she's on the mend! I found her in the nestbox yesterday, but she didn't lay. :/
 

Reesling

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 24, 2014
21
0
22
Wisconsin, USA
Could she have possibly gotten her leg caught in something? It could also be from trying to grab her by the leg and pulling her. If their are any little kids that go by them, it could be that. Compare her foot with her normal one, and with other members of the flock. Also, try pressing down on the muscles on her thigh and see if there's a reaction. If so, it could just be a pulled muscle or bruise.
 

EllyHood

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 13, 2013
58
5
48
Could she have possibly gotten her leg caught in something? It could also be from trying to grab her by the leg and pulling her. If their are any little kids that go by them, it could be that. Compare her foot with her normal one, and with other members of the flock. Also, try pressing down on the muscles on her thigh and see if there's a reaction. If so, it could just be a pulled muscle or bruise.
She does seem to be tender around her thigh area. Both legs and feet look the same. There's absolutely no way any person grabbed her by the leg. Hopefully it was just a pulled muscle. Do I need to do anything for it or just give her time?
 

Reesling

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 24, 2014
21
0
22
Wisconsin, USA
She does seem to be tender around her thigh area. Both legs and feet look the same. There's absolutely no way any person grabbed her by the leg. Hopefully it was just a pulled muscle. Do I need to do anything for it or just give her time?

It probably is a pulled muscle. As long as she can put some kind of weight on that foot, and she doesn't lose her appetite or seem sickly, then time is your best bet.
 
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