laying hen broke leg, do we wait to see if it heals?


7 Years
Sep 10, 2012
Yesterday morning, one of my hens flew down and hit the nesting boxes, she now has a break in her upper leg/lower leg. She cannot put much weight on it. She will use her wing to balance herself when she walks. I don't want to let her lay there and suffer. Do we go ahead and cull for the meat or do we wait to she if she will heal? If we do wait how long does it usually take for a break to heal. She is one of the more skiddish hens so every time I go to feed and water her she flops around in the kennel, what should I do.
It will never heal unless you put her in a pen where she has limited movement. How do you know it's broken? Just like people, a broken bone on a chicken is going to take six to eight weeks to heal, maybe longer. Broken or not, she needs to be in a pen where she can't move around as much, and where she can hide if she wants to., and be out of the weather and relatively warm. You can give her baby aspirin for the pain, one in a treat like a small piece of peanut butter and bread, three times a day. I have cured lame chickens before, and other birds too..but the average recovery rate(and this is if the bone is not broken) is three to six weeks and more. Also, her flopping around like that is going to attract predators (like hawks) that you don't want, and will stress out the rest of the flock and maybe cause further damage to her and some others too,. She needs to be in a separate pen asap. Even a rabbit cage or a big dog crate will do.
On rre-reading this, it sounds like you do have her in a kennel, sorry. Try the aspirin. How do you know the leg is broken? She will calm down and be easier to manage after a few days, and maybe then you can look at her more closely and make an informed decision then about whether to cull her or not. Give her lots of goodies to eat, special things like oatmeal or fruit, scrambled eggs or yogurt...that she normally wouldn't get. She will learn to associate your presence with goodies and that will help to calm her down too. Our sick and injured birds love the hospital food! Also, it's important that she keeps on eating.

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