Hen limping, not wanting to put weight on leg, slightly swollen

carlaashdown

In the Brooder
Jul 9, 2021
39
17
41
SE Georgia, USA
One of my 8 month old Sapphire Gem girls was limping this morning when I let them out. She was still walking and pecking around, otherwise normal, but obviously limping and favoring one leg. First examination at that time was no swelling, redness, or deformity of the leg or foot. After examining her, she jumped down about 18 inches off of a short roost and immediately laid down and was unable to stand on it. Still can’t/won’t walk.
I brought her inside my house, checked her a couple more times and couldn’t find anything actually wrong with the leg or foot. After a couple hours, the leg is a little swollen near the joint to the foot/toes. I don’t see a scab on the bottom of the foot or between the toes and the foot pad is still soft and not red., but is a little swollen. No signs of an infection at this point. I’m guessing if it’s bumblefoot, it’s early.
She will stand on both feet, but she plops down and won’t walk.

Otherwise, she doesn’t appear sick at all.

*Will attach pictures of our coop and run from my phone after I post this, since I know y’all like to know all of that information*

We have six hens and one rooster. They have a big 10x12 feet house and a 10x20 feet covered run. Plenty of space for them. Eat good quality food. Get fresh food and water daily. I clean under their roost daily, so no poop or ammonia build up. Bedding/litter inside the coop is pine shavings about 3-4 inches thick. Inside is always dry. Has a wooden floor covered with vinyl flooring for easy cleaning. House is well vented at the eaves. We baby them.

HOWEVER, the only thing different than normal is: the last there days have been abnormally cold for us. And wet. Cold rain all day Friday. I kept them closed inside the coop house most of the day yesterday, because we had heavy cold rain with 30-40mph wind gusts. Temps have been in the low 40s with “feels like temp” of mid 30s. We live in SE coastal Georgia, so it’s always humid whether it’s cold or hot…these are abnormal temps for us in November.

She was fine yesterday and last night. She was on the roost like normal last night. Which also means she had to jump down from there this morning like normal before I let them outside. She wasn’t laying in the house when I went out this morning, she was up moving around.

I thought maybe she has frostbite on her foot, both feet were cold….or that maybe one of the other chickens had pecked her foot while they were cold. After bringing her in, no signs of frostbite or wounds. The other chickens are fine also.

My questions are:

If it is early bumblefoot, should I just watch her to see if the foot becomes red or signs of infection? Or should I go ahead and put topical antibiotic on it? Put antibiotics in her food/water? I’ve read about putting preparation H on it?

Just not sure what to do at this point. Any other suggestions or ideas are welcome.
 

carlaashdown

In the Brooder
Jul 9, 2021
39
17
41
SE Georgia, USA
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Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
63,149
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southern Ohio
Do you have any pictures of the leg and foot? I would suspect that she has sprained or fractured her ankle. It would be best to limit her activity for a week or two, in a wire dig crate with food and water close to her. If you need to splint the ankle for support, you need to first pad it, then use a popsicle stick or similar stiff object on the leg and top of the foot, then wrap in tape or vet wrap strips. A padded aluminum finger splint can be bent and shaped to fit the foot and ankle. Check the foot often for any signs that the splint is too tight. Getting help to apply a splint is helpful.
 

carlaashdown

In the Brooder
Jul 9, 2021
39
17
41
SE Georgia, USA
Do you have any pictures of the leg and foot? I would suspect that she has sprained or fractured her ankle. It would be best to limit her activity for a week or two, in a wire dig crate with food and water close to her. If you need to splint the ankle for support, you need to first pad it, then use a popsicle stick or similar stiff object on the leg and top of the foot, then wrap in tape or vet wrap strips. A padded aluminum finger splint can be bent and shaped to fit the foot and ankle. Check the foot often for any signs that the splint is too tight. Getting help to apply a splint is helpful.
Thank you for replying!
I have her inside my house in a crate already. Thats what I’m suspecting since the swelling didnt start until later. I am a paramedic, so I have plenty of splinting and bandaging supplies.

She is crouched down laying, and is talkative. She lets me touch it, but doesn’t curl her toes around as much as the uninjured foot.

Unfortunately, I created another issue this morning when I brought her inside.
I gave her a little bowl of mash, which she promptly ate ALL of. And now she’s acting like she has an impacted or overfull crop. She must have not gotten any grit yesterday either from being inside the coop house all day or maybe limping and not being able to go get it. (It is available for them inside, but they rarely eat out of that one. They usually eat the grit from the outside bowl). So the bowl of mash this morning made her over full).
I gave her a little olive oil and put oil on her grit and in her water in the crate. She keeps trying to eat the grit and is drinking water fine,
 

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