Injury - Limping Chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by waywind, Oct 12, 2019.

  1. waywind

    waywind In the Brooder

    Aug 25, 2019
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hi all,

    Just looking for some reassurances / guidance on my first chicken medical issue.

    I have a 7 - 8 month orphington called Buffy. Today I noticed a really obvious limp in Buffy's gait where she is avoiding putting her weight on her right leg. I picked her up and brought her inside for an inspection.

    - Couldn't see any obvious redness or swelling
    - Gingerly pressed along her foot pad and leg bones, couldn't feel anything that seemed strange
    - No cuts or broken skin on the bottom or top of her foot
    - Thinking on it, I think she may have had a bit of a limp in the past but I just thought it was part of her loping when she ran. Today it was really noticeable, so unfortunately I do not have an accurate timeline of how long it's been occurring.

    In terms of behavior, she seems pretty normal, along side with her sister. Eating food and grazing like normal, I've seen her drink water and she's laying eggs quite consistently daily. Poop is normal. They've both started to molt, so I've started to give them a bit of dried mealworm to help the process along.

    The only chance she couldn't injured herself is off the ramp from the coop, where sometimes they just like to flutter down instead of taking the steps. I still can't get them to roost, so they actually just sleep on the floor at the moment, so it can't be roost-related.

    They are kept in the a chicken run through out the weekdays and then I free range them in my garden when I'm home on the weekends or evenings.

    So I guess I just want to know
    - could this be related to any other diseases I should know about? I've read about bumblefoot.
    - is there anything I can do to help her recover? I've read about instances putting them into 'hospital', into a small enclosure and forcing rest. Should I be doing this? I have a medium dog shelter frame that I can erect for her to sit in. I'm assuming bandages are no help as I can't see any external cuts.

    Any advice or help would be appreciated.

    Video of her limping

    Attached Files:

    glassdragonfly likes this.
  2. glassdragonfly

    glassdragonfly Crowing

    Sep 3, 2019
    Hi and sorry your hen is hurt. If she has had an injury before she might have aggravated it. A tumble or misstep. A few days rest may help a lot.
  3. waywind

    waywind In the Brooder

    Aug 25, 2019
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thanks glass dragonfly for the reply.

    What does a few days rest best consist of though? Do I stick her in holding cage for a few days with food and water where she is limited to movement?

    I only have two chickens so I'm a bit concerned on separating them two at night. Do you know if this is an issue for a few days? I would put the cage in the same run so they can see and talk to each other during the day.

    Also how would this affect her laying with not having access to a nesting box?
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  4. Bio cryo guy

    Bio cryo guy Chirping

    May 9, 2019
    Kaukauna, WISCONSIN
    I just had this happen with my black sex-link, Pearl. Fortunately her symptoms resolved in about 3 days. I checked for cuts and bruises and gently palpated her injured leg as well. Everything checked out okay.
    I just limited certain interaction with her, because she would force herself to run up to me. She got around quite well on one leg, too. It was kind of fun to watch.
    I wouldn't cage your girl if a limp is the only symptom you're seeing. Depending on her temperament, being confined might even tick her off and cause pacing.
    Feeding her some cooked egg would give her a protein boost to help heal a potential injury, not to mention help with feather regrowth.
    There is potential it could be a neurological issue, but I don't think you should put that on your short list yet.
    Hope she gets well soon!
    glassdragonfly likes this.
  5. I too have a 5 month old that was limping. A week later she would just use the leg as a support and not actually walk on it. I had her x-ray done and doc said even the youngest of chicks can get arthritis, and it's rather common. Mine did end up with swelling at the knee, many weeks later. I know have her in the coop in a 2×3 dog crate so she can still be with her coop mates, but minimize her movement. She does now lay eggs, but we have her on an anti inflammatory med, so doc said we cant use her eggs until a week after sshe stops her med. But he wants her on med for 7 days, so "hospital" for by days. She too was eatting n drinking n grazing just fine, just limping was all I noticed, until the swelling finally showwed it's nasty face:th
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  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    She's beautiful in the video:)

    How tight is her leg band?
    Her foot does look a bit puffy. What type of food and how much treats do they get each day?

    Since it's only the 2 of them, I think I would just observe for a few days. Don't encourage running and see how it goes. Most of the time if it's injury, they will self-limit activity.

    There are diseases that can cause limping, Marek's is always something to think about. Sadly, there is no cure or real treatment, can try upping B vitamins for a couple of days a week to see if that makes any difference. A lot of times it's "time and patience" that heals and shows improvement instead of supplements/vitamins.
  7. BarredRockMom

    BarredRockMom Songster

    Jun 9, 2013
    I saw the leg band too, and since it is loose enough to slide up & down the leg, perhaps it got wedged somehow? Is there a reason that she needs to have it on? With two birds, even of the same breed, I'm sure you know who's who. Perhaps consider removing it?
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  8. waywind

    waywind In the Brooder

    Aug 25, 2019
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thanks for all the replies.

    @Wyorp Rock/BarredRockMom, the leg band was on both of them when I got them from the breeder. It was loose enough to slide up and down the leg a few centimeters either way. I did take the opportunity while I had her inside to snip this off :)

    I did press on her foot pads gently and didn't get a strong reaction from her. It did seem a bit more squishy than her sister's I thought.

    They have dry layers pellet, 16.5% protein, available as their base food. I give them vegetable and fruit scraps mostly, as well as sprouted wheat seeds and dried meal worms as a treat every few days. They also get to free range during the evenings and weekends when I'm home.

    I think I will heed the general consensus for now and leave her be as she seems to be happy enough behaviorally except the limp. Thank you all, it makes me feel a lot better having a few people chip in.
  9. waywind

    waywind In the Brooder

    Aug 25, 2019
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hi all,

    So a week has gone by and Buffy doesn't seem to be getting any better. During the week they are both confined to the run, so I thought that would help with resting, but still limping around; she's still scratching the ground with both legs which is good, but I observed her trying to hop over a small log and she stumbled when she landed :(

    I've noticed she's making little short grunt noises whenever I'm around now; not sure if this is related or not, but it's a behavioral change I thought I'd mention. All other activities in my original post remain unchanged (eating, drinking, laying etc.)

    We brought her in tonight again to inspect the foot; she seemed to be a bit more sensitive now and fought me more when I touched her leg. I couldn't see or feel anything wrong with the foot or leg, so I'm inclined to think it's more muscle related?

    My wife and I are a bit sad; we just hope she's not in a lot of pain. Is a epsom bath worth considering at this point or cage isolation to try and get her to rest it more? Or any advice? I'm reluctant to go to a vet, not sure how good my local vet will be with poultry.

  10. When my chicken had a leg injury, my vet was going to prescribe "Meloxicam .5mg" an anti inflammatory/pain releif, but he said baby Ibuprofen will work the same. So i went to CVS and got it. We gave .2ml twice a day for 7 days, while she was in a limited walking space to reduce usage. No egg withdrawals. And she was in less pain and was back out in the yard at the end of 7days doing great. This was based on a 2lb body weight 15714842218838752155971968035913.jpg
    BarredRockMom and glassdragonfly like this.

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