Help! Pullet with broken leg!

Nov 5, 2018
Birmingham UK
There was an accident involving part of my chicken run and long story short, one of my 3 month old pullets has a broken leg. :hit
It is the bone below the knee, halfway down. There was a little blood and wound at the site of the break but the bone is not protruding through the skin.

I have cleaned the area with antiseptic wound wash and wrapped with stretchy wound tape and a small piece of thin wood to act as a splint. I have never dealt with a break before so I'm not sure what to do next!

I made a quick sling out of some cloth and a plastic bucket with food and water pots taped in front, but she seems to hate the sling. She has not touched any food or water.
Does she need to stay in a sling or should I leave her to just sit down in a cage? She is very skittish and does not like to be handled. Will she need antibiotics? How long will she need to be isolated?
I don't have photos at the moment because she is resting in the dark to keep her calm.
If she is not tolerating a sling, then place her in a dog crate to limit her activity. Make sure that any splint is padded and that the vet wrap is not too tight. Check her circulation in the foot often because vet wrap can slide and cut off circulation. Is the break in the metatarsus? Pictures would be helpful. Here is an old video on splinting a lower leg:

Yes the break is in the metatarsus, about halfway along the bone. I left her in the sling/chair and she is getting used to it. She is a lot calmer today.

Hopefully I bandaged and splinted the leg OK. How often does the tape around the leg need to be changed and the area checked, or is it better to be left alone?
I would check regularly to make sure nothing has shifted and that circulation is good, swelling can happen sometimes days after the actual break, especially if the bird is moving a lot. I would only change if needed, but if needed for any reason, then redo it. This manual (below) is very good at showing how to splint various fractures. With a compound fracture (open wound in the skin at the break) I would be inclined to do a round of antibiotics, probably amoxicillin. You can get that online as a fish antibiotic, Fish Mox.


  • Duerr_Splinting_Manual_2010.pdf
    2.6 MB · Views: 4

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