Help! Our roo is limping badly!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by One Chick Two, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi- Since Monday, our sweet 16 WO RIR cockerel, Red has been limping badly on his right leg.
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    The limping seems worse today. We think he might have fallen out of the high roost, etc, or even been stepped on underfoot when DH was giving treats on Monday. We are concerned as we can't find an obvious break or wound, hot area or swelling so can't figure out what is distressing him. I took these photos early this chilly morning while my husband looked him over. We don't believe he has Bumblefoot or Marek's. His footpads seem normal.
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    Both claws can wind around a finger, and he can stand on both feet for about 5 minutes or so, the foot he's favoring on top of the good one. Sometimes that leg seems to tremble painfully before he sinks to the ground to rest. He will sometimes make scratching motions in the air with the bad leg/foot but will mostly elevate it, or rest it on a food dish. He's resting a lot, thankfully, and the others don't appear to bother him too much. We haven't separated him as he seems to have enough places to be alone, and can't risk him losing his good status in a flock of 82 others- the ones at the bottom of the pecking order seem to get chased a lot.
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    Although he seems to me a bit depressed (not his normal outgoing, friendly self) he's eating and drinking well, taking in snacks, pooping normally, and mostly hiding away from his rambunctious other flockmates in shaded, somewhat private areas around the large day pen. There's a pullet that seems to want to stay with him and keep him company and block out others if I'm not there. Usually when I'm around he will try to limp over to be held and fall asleep in my arms. He's getting big now, so I let his legs dangle and sometimes he will give a slight moan of protest and I can feel his bad leg tremble or jerk as he's re-adjusted.
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    We're hoping someone can please direct us for what to look for, or how long such injuries can typically take to heal. This cockerel is our favorite out of all our chickens. He's extraordinarily friendly, and enjoys human interactions and just being held. When I go for a walk, he comes running, scratching my leg with his beak until he's picked up, and take him walking (He seems to enjoy it, and is cranky if I get tired and let him down before finishing.) The closeup of Red was taken during one of our walks- you can see how alert and excited he was. Appreciative for any thought or ideas…Thanks for reading.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Leg injuries seem to happen in roosters more than hens because they are more active. He probably has sprained his leg, but it is possible that it is broken. He could use with resting it for a few days in a cage in the area with the other chickens. Maybe his lady friend could join him for company. Vitamins may also help him. Polyvisol baby vitamins 3 drops daily or chicken vitamins in his water would help. Since his leg doesn't appear to be broken, he probably doesn't need splinting, but you can look that up on Google if you need it.

    PS he looks handsome--I have heritage RIR, and he looks about the same color. The darker ones are more rare.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
  3. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you very kindly for your great advice and compliment, Eggcessive. Forgot to mention that he's a PR RIR so far from heritage, but even so, we think he's a handsome boy too with his big boy feathers still coming in. Would absolutely love to see your heritage RIR if you would care to share.

    We will look for the baby vitamins and see about separating him- really was hoping not to do that with this herd of 16 cockerel elephants and feisty hens with a serious pecking order.
    Does anyone have any thoughts on how long these types of injuries can typically can last? Like a leg sprain? (A week or so?) A broken leg? (A month? etc?)
     
  4. MelissaTXRn

    MelissaTXRn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A baby aspirin may help him with the pain too
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I will try to get a picture of them. You should try to read the heritage RIR thread. The breeders are more than happy to help people get eggs or chicks in the spring. I just got mine this year, and they are the most calm and docile birds I ever had. My hen who had a leg sprain last fall was holding one leg up for almost a month. A broken leg might need splinting, and would probably be about the same as a human--maybe six weeks.Here are 2 good sites for splinting: http://www.lbah.com/word/fractured-bird-leg/ and
    http://www.starlingtalk.com/fractures.htm
     
  6. Tubbys Lil Farm

    Tubbys Lil Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a BLR Wyandotte Rooster, very large, that was doing exactly what your Rooster is doing, we assumed a sprain from jumping out of a garden box. However that was nearly 6 months ago, he really started to atrophy. I could never find an obvious brake, I assumed maybe torn tendon. But I did in the end put him down just last wednesday. I did not autopsy his leg (although it crossed my mind), but I do wish you all the best with your beautiful rooster.
     
  7. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Four days and no noticeable improvement yet. [​IMG] I'll keep track of time so others can use our experience as a possible gauge.

    Baby aspirin sounds like a brilliant suggestion, MelissaTXRn. [​IMG] Thank you much- I can tell that he's pained, as he has been withdrawn and quiet, but he's been a trooper through this. I'll see if I can locate info on suggested aspirin doses.

    Eggcessive, terrific suggestions! [​IMG] Thanks for the general time frames- helps perspective. I will read the RIR thread. Like the idea of heritage RIR- would be lovely to have some gorgeous chickens like that. Although space, housing, attention, having roos, etc, would be no prob, here in rural No. Ca. we've had some coyote and raven attacks (in spring) before we seriously refortified our defenses. So, although we now supervise the chickens while limited freeranging, the thought of bringing in a lovely, but rare and scarce chicken species into the fold, then possibly having another unexpected attack while out could be risky and heartwrenching- it was bad enough when it had happened to 15 of our sweet little PR, who are pretty common. We're currently working on large chicken foraging gardens, so if that pans out, we will reconsider then as we be able to have chickens full time penned inside. [​IMG]

    Tubbys Lil Farm, I am SO sorry for the loss of your stunningly GORGEOUS rooster. It sounds like you did everything possible to help your beautiful boy and wait for the injury to heal. He started to atrophy his damaged leg, like not want to walk at all and over time his leg muscles stiffened and wasted? I agree too that it did sound like a tendon. Thank you for warning me of this possibility. [​IMG]

    I know chickens aren't good swimmers, but I was having thoughts of putting Red in the bathtub when (and if…) he gets better and supervising some swimming therapy. [​IMG]
     
  8. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Eight days now, and only a slight improvement- to our poor boy's morale at least. He's still limping, keeping mostly off his bad leg, but putting a small amount of pressure on that leg/foot, and is easily put off balance.

    We had taken the generous advice given here, separated him (implemented the other suggestions) and gave him a few nice pullet friends to keep him company while he's been recuping. (Shown with one girl who has been especially good with him.) He will whine and limp over to different areas of the pen when the others of the flocks do things (have treats, etc.) even though they get treats and attentions too, but I do worry at times he will over exercise himself on occasion. I'll keep posting on his progress.
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  9. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    About 1 week and 5 days now since Red's initial injury. Thankfully, e's been such a good boy to deal with throughout his infirmary. He's beginning to place weight on his bad leg now, and limping with perhaps 50 percent of his weight on the leg as he skips. (About 3 days ago, the weight percentage on his damaged leg seemed to be around 25 percent weight on the leg. He was still tiring more easily then and laying down quickly)

    He appears to be in much less pain now. He's more observant and his morale seems to be somewhat lifted, and less wanting to be dependant on us for everything. All good signs I think. Am concerned about reuniting them with the flock though. He only sports a few juvenile tail feathers left (other hens pulled his other tail feathers out, reaching through the fencing). But I did notice some pretty iridescent big boy tail feathers starting to sprout in. Will let you know of his progress...
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
  10. MelissaTXRn

    MelissaTXRn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Glad he is improving:)
     

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