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Lame hen with a warm foot (no swelling)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Ketaped, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. Ketaped

    Ketaped Chirping

    May 8, 2013
    1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.)

    4.5 month old Speckled Sussex, average weight compared to the others

    2) What is the behavior, exactly.

    She's limping and favoring one foot. She's been like this, to a greater or lesser extent, for a couple weeks now. Some days it's better than others, but today I noticed she was hopping rather than walking, to avoid putting any real weight on the hurt foot/leg. Aside from the limping and the fact that the foot/leg she's favoring is significantly warmer than the other, there doesn't seem to be anything really wrong with her. She's active, eating, free ranging during the day and following the rest of the flock around but spending more time plopped down 'nesting' until the other girls start to move out of sight, she's also going back to the coop to roost about 30 minutes before the rest of the girls, which is unusual for her. Her legs have a bit more bright pink to them along with the pale pink, but it seems to be both legs, so I don't know if that's just her coloration. It's the fact that one foot is now clearly warm to the touch and the other is 'room temperature' that has me concerned it may be more than a sprain.

    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?

    2-3 weeks.

    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?


    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.

    Nothing. Both her feet and legs look identical to each other and the other chickens. She'll let me pick her up and move all the joints without making any sign that it's causing more pain, there's no obvious broken bones, she's still roosting on the top roost at night and scratching in the yard (though perhaps less than normal, hard to tell)

    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.

    No idea.

    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.

    Not sure during the day when I'm at work, but her appetite seems to be pretty good when I come out of the house with a bit of scratch or some other treat for the girls. They're all going after that about the same.

    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.

    I haven't seen any abnormal poop in the coop, run or yard.

    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?

    They've been confined to their coop/run for the last 4 days, (and for most normal weekdays when we're at work), but aside from that, I've just let her be.

    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?

    Just need to know if she needs further treatment or if it's probably something minor that will resolve itself. If she needs minor treatment, I can handle that, otherwise, there's a vet that handles avians and exotics who's not tooooo far away.

    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.

    I can take some and post them, but it just looks like normal chicken feet from what I can see.

    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use

    6x12 run with sand as a base, 4x6 raised coop with aspen shavings over vinyl flooring.

    Any thoughts? She's probably my favorite of the girls we've got ... dumber than your average chicken, but I've got a soft spot for her, and if she's hurt, I'd like to do what I can to help.

    Thank you.

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    The warmth indicates inflammation. This can be from infection, or from another cause such as arthritis or a sprain. The lack of redness makes me think inflammation without infection -- but obviously this is just a guess.

    One thing, you don't mention checking for bumblefoot, a common cause of foot problems. In case some info on it would help:


  3. Ketaped

    Ketaped Chirping

    May 8, 2013
    Everything I've read about bumblefoot suggests massive swelling due to pus and infection. In this case she's been limping for a couple weeks without any sign of swelling at all. I'm certainly not an expert, but it seems like if it was bumblefoot, she'd have some sign of the infection by now?

    4.5 months seems pretty young for arthritis? It seems like it may just be a sprain then? Is there anything I can/should be doing for her? Just keep an eye on it?

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