Hen's leg broken at knee

rwilliams296

Chirping
Mar 5, 2018
48
55
94
One of my hens appears to have broken her leg at the knee. No external injuries, cuts or abrasions on her leg anywhere. Her leg just dangles loosely at the knee joint. Is this repairable? If so, how would I treat her? I appreciate any advice. Thanks
 

humblehillsfarm

Crazy chicken lady
Mar 27, 2020
3,674
7,255
461
Southwestern Pennsylvania
My Coop
My Coop
I am so sorry no one saw your post sooner.

How is your hen doing?

If a vet is an option, that is my first choice. If not, people have successfully treated breaks at home.

First, with any break, the chances of the bone throwing a blood clot are high. Start the chicken on some aspirin (1 mg per pound of body weight, but you can round up as a little extra won't hurt). Aspirin is a safe pain reliever for poultry and a blood thinner.

If it was an open fracture, the chances of infections setting in are quite high. The chicken would need to be on antibiotics stat. You can order an antibiotic called Baytril 2.5% (Enrofloxacin) online without a prescription. It is squirted into the chicken’s mouth directly. The recommended dosage is 10-15 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight. You can also use Baytril 10% administered in the drinking water (3 milliliters per 8 ounces of water), but this is a less effective means of administration. If antibiotics are necessary, make sure you are providing fermented feed or probiotics in the water to ensure the chicken’s gut bacteria is not disrupted. A disruption in gut bacteria can cause diarrhea which is not conducive to effective healing. It isn’t a bad idea to provide fermented feed even to healthy chickens!

If you're able to set the bone, that is ideal. If the break is at the knee joint, I am afraid joints are much harder to set correctly. Here is some great info about treating, setting, and splinting a broken leg: https://bestfarmanimals.com/broken-chicken-leg-lame-how-splint-treat-part-2-of-3/

If you splint the leg, I highly recommending using a chicken sling for 4-8 hours a day to allow the chicken to be in a more natural position and keep the chicken more stable. It's easier and safer for them to eat and drink when standing as well.

Chicken sling:
1617197006529.png


Ultimately, there is always a chance that amputation is the outcome. The link I provided discusses amputation as well. A chicken can certainly live with one leg.

Finally, there is always the option to euthanize. No one would judge you for making that difficult decision.

I wish you the best of luck. Was this information helpful to you?
 

rwilliams296

Chirping
Mar 5, 2018
48
55
94
Now I'm not sure it's a break at all. I cannot feel any obvious breaks anywhere on that leg. No heat or swelling. When she is being held she tends to let that leg dangle but when she is set on the ground she is able to hold that leg up against her body which I would think would take a functioning knee to accomplish. I'm hoping it is just a muscle or tendon injury. I have her isolated in a dog kennel. She is alert, eating well but not drinking much water and her poops are normal. She is even still laying, not that I care about that. I guess it's a waiting game now. Hopefully the isolation and rest will help. Thanks so much for the information.
 

humblehillsfarm

Crazy chicken lady
Mar 27, 2020
3,674
7,255
461
Southwestern Pennsylvania
My Coop
My Coop
Now I'm not sure it's a break at all. I cannot feel any obvious breaks anywhere on that leg. No heat or swelling. When she is being held she tends to let that leg dangle but when she is set on the ground she is able to hold that leg up against her body which I would think would take a functioning knee to accomplish. I'm hoping it is just a muscle or tendon injury. I have her isolated in a dog kennel. She is alert, eating well but not drinking much water and her poops are normal. She is even still laying, not that I care about that. I guess it's a waiting game now. Hopefully the isolation and rest will help. Thanks so much for the information.
I'm sorry I don't have more advise to offer. How is she doing now?
 

tiffbrunner

In the Brooder
Apr 26, 2021
5
22
24
I'm sorry I don't have more advise to offer. How is she doing now?
I am curious too! I have a hen in a similar circumstance. We’ve been keeping her in a dog kennel for 3.5 weeks and she’s making some progress with walking but putting very little weight on her one leg. I wonder if there is permanent damage or if she will heal and how much longer it will be before I can introduce her back to the flock.
 

amandadvd

In the Brooder
Apr 14, 2020
11
13
41
I am so sorry no one saw your post sooner.

How is your hen doing?

If a vet is an option, that is my first choice. If not, people have successfully treated breaks at home.

First, with any break, the chances of the bone throwing a blood clot are high. Start the chicken on some aspirin (1 mg per pound of body weight, but you can round up as a little extra won't hurt). Aspirin is a safe pain reliever for poultry and a blood thinner.

If it was an open fracture, the chances of infections setting in are quite high. The chicken would need to be on antibiotics stat. You can order an antibiotic called Baytril 2.5% (Enrofloxacin) online without a prescription. It is squirted into the chicken’s mouth directly. The recommended dosage is 10-15 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight. You can also use Baytril 10% administered in the drinking water (3 milliliters per 8 ounces of water), but this is a less effective means of administration. If antibiotics are necessary, make sure you are providing fermented feed or probiotics in the water to ensure the chicken’s gut bacteria is not disrupted. A disruption in gut bacteria can cause diarrhea which is not conducive to effective healing. It isn’t a bad idea to provide fermented feed even to healthy chickens!

If you're able to set the bone, that is ideal. If the break is at the knee joint, I am afraid joints are much harder to set correctly. Here is some great info about treating, setting, and splinting a broken leg: https://bestfarmanimals.com/broken-chicken-leg-lame-how-splint-treat-part-2-of-3/

If you splint the leg, I highly recommending using a chicken sling for 4-8 hours a day to allow the chicken to be in a more natural position and keep the chicken more stable. It's easier and safer for them to eat and drink when standing as well.

Chicken sling:
View attachment 2593017

Ultimately, there is always a chance that amputation is the outcome. The link I provided discusses amputation as well. A chicken can certainly live with one leg.

Finally, there is always the option to euthanize. No one would judge you for making that difficult decision.

I wish you the best of luck. Was this information helpful to you?
This is a brilliant contraption! Have the same issue with my hen so will make this!
 

amandadvd

In the Brooder
Apr 14, 2020
11
13
41
I am curious too! I have a hen in a similar circumstance. We’ve been keeping her in a dog kennel for 3.5 weeks and she’s making some progress with walking but putting very little weight on her one leg. I wonder if there is permanent damage or if she will heal and how much longer it will be before I can introduce her back to the flock.
how is your hen doing? We are in same position ... leg just kind of dangles and she doesn't want to put any weight on it and can't walk at all but I don't feel a break. She has been isolated for a week and I am not noticing any progress but she does eat and drink. Would love to know how your hen fared .... Thanks!
 

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