Lame leg, otherwise 100% healthy

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mkolarik, May 4, 2017.

  1. mkolarik

    mkolarik New Egg

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    May 4, 2017
    Welcoming suggestions! I found my nearly 5 year old Polish hen with a lame leg almost two weeks ago. There were no obvious injuries, no marks, nothing swollen. There is a small bump on the injured leg, but it's not hot or red, it doesn't wiggle/bend like it's broken, and it's a little hard to tell if it's normal - chicken legs look so weird! She just wouldn't put any weight on it. She didn't stick it straight out, or at an angle like some posts I've seen. Her toes weren't curled tight, but wouldn't really grip my hand either. Eating and drinking fine (if bowls are within reach), and seeming to be mentally normal. (ie - once early on when I was tending to her in the coop, one of the cats got in and kind of charged towards her and she immediately scuttled out of the way). We didn't isolate her at first because we wanted to keep her socializing with her three "sisters" - but I would have to bring her from the hen house to the outside part of the coop every morning, and then back again every night because she wouldn't move herself. The other hens seem to leave her alone for the first few days, but just recently one of them has started picking on her pretty violently, so we put a dog crate in the coop so she could stay with them, but still be protected. We're at a loss for what to do because she seems entirely too healthy to cull (and she's our favorite!) but she doesn't seem to be getting any better (or worse). She is trying to stand up more, but wobbles backwards, gets caught up on her tail feathers and then settles back down. Any advice???
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Hi [​IMG] Welcome To BYC

    If you have a vet that can see her, that would be best.

    Bottoms of the feet look ok?
    Does she still lay eggs? Any swelling of the abdomen?

    Keeping her separated in the cage is a good idea. Injuries can take a while to heal, but the lump on the leg - do you find any more hidden under the feathers? Offer her some poultry vitamins that contains B2(riboflavin) or crush a human B-Complex tab and add it to her food. The wobbling backwards - if she was pecked in the head(?) Make sure she is drinking well.

    Let us know how she's doing.
     
  3. mkolarik

    mkolarik New Egg

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    May 4, 2017
    Thank you! Unfortunately, no vets in the area that will see chickens. Feet look great, no eggs, but not egg bound either. They're pretty finicky layers anyway. I will look for more lumps under feathers and try to find some poultry vitamins. Yesterday she was standing a lot more and even walking some (with a limp). She is very alert, eating and drinking well. We let her out of the cage some last night in the backyard and she had a great time hobbling a little bit to get some greens and ants. But didn't want her to stress her injury too much. I feel much more hopeful about the situation after yesterday. I am a little worried about reintroducing her to the others when she finally is healed. I'm really hoping the one that was picking on her won't be too aggressive now.
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I'm glad she seems to be doing better.

    She may have injured her leg somehow (jumping/fell) chickens can be clumsy. You may want to place her cage in or near the run so the other chickens can still see her and be familiar with her. Sometimes this make re-introducing easier. Chickens do sense when another is weak or something is wrong and take advantage of that or they may view the weakness as a threat to the well-being of the flock, so they attack. Just the way they operate.

    I hope she recovers soon.
     

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