Hen with a bad limp - unknown cause

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by gaylittleswan, May 5, 2016.

  1. gaylittleswan

    gaylittleswan Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 19, 2014
    Central Florida
    One of my dominique hens recently began to limp. I cannot tell if it has gotten better or worse, but it's obvious that she's not putting any pressure on the leg. When flipped over, she can still grip with her toes, and there are no signs of swelling, discoloration, or injury. It doesn't seem to hurt her to bend the leg either, but putting pressure on it is her issue.

    The hen is 11 months old and lives on straw, dirt, and grass. She is housed with one rooster and three hens of the same size, in a cage suited for 15+ chickens. They eat a standard Nutrena layer's diet, supplemented with egg shells for calcium, and garlic for mites. When she was a chick, she was vaccinated for Marek's, however even if she wan't vaccinated this does not look like Marek's at all. She is fully supporting her wings, her other leg is fine and she is otherwise alert. The only other thing affected is her mobility, it seems to take a lot of energy to move so I don't blame her for slowing down a bit.

    After the limp developed, she continued to perch in her sleep (although she was more hesitant to come down, maybe it hurts to), but when we let them all out to free range she goes and sits in the grass under a tree, not attempting to forage. I cannot tell if she has been laying reliably, but I doubt that she has. This morning when I entered the cage she pooped and it was little more than water. She is walking around and should be capable of making it to the food, maybe whatever this is has messed up her appetite?

    When her symptoms started, we assumed she would die in less than 48 hours. But now, four days later, I think maybe this could be survivable. It has not caught to any of her coopmates, so as far as I know it is not contagious.

    In terms of treatment, I haven't yet taken action, but my mind is open to anything. I would really prefer to administer treatment myself, but if this drags on much longer I'll have to bring her to a vet just because I don't believe she can continue living this way for too long.

    Please let me know what you think! If your advice doesn't help me it may help somebody else. If suggested, I can move her to a quieter cage to recoup. I hope you can help me!
  2. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal True BYC Addict

    May 4, 2016
    Somewhere in the Universe
    I would isolate the hen and make sure she has access to food and water. Watch her closely and see if the limp gets better after a day or two of limiting activity. If she gets worse and you want to, then take her to the vet. Not really sure what it could be. Hope everything works out for you!
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    She probably has a sprain and rest is best for a couple of weeks. She also needs to remain part of the flock. So I would place her in a dog crate with food and water, and a towel for shade, and keep her near the other chickens.

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