Hen limping


6 Years
Apr 7, 2013
Western Washington
One of my hens does not seem to bend the joint where all the toes are attached to. Observing her from a couple of feet away, I could not see a wound or swelling. Hen also does not pick at the foot as if trying to remove a thorn. She did hobble to where all the other chickens hang out under the bushes. I brought her water and snacks very close by and she is eating. When standing up her tail is in normal position. She is also purring.

Thought she could have a sprain from jumping off the roost. My chickens are very used to me being around but never cared for being handled. I did not want to stress her out without knowing what to do with her.

Any idea why she is not bending her 'ankle'?

Thanks so much
It's possible that she broke or sprained the foot. Tall roosts are a big cause of this. She also could have bumblefoot (swollen pink footpad with a black dot on the pad,) she could have gout, or an infectious disease such as mycoplasma synoviae (MS,) or viral arthritis (tenosynovitis.) In the latter two, the joints including the hocks may be swollen. If you have a headlamp flashlight, at night while they are on the roost is a perfect time to pick them up and examine them for problems as well as lice and mites, or to worm them. I would cage her for rest for at least a week with food and water, plus vitamins in her water. Place the cage in the coop or run with the others so that she remains part of the flock. Here are some links to read about gout, MS, and viral arthritis:
Thanks so much Eggcessive for the quick reply and the links. I'll have to do a lot of reading.

The hen made it back into the coop all by herself, ate some more and somehow flew up on the top roost. She did have a bit of a time to seat herself.

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