leg issues - is she suffering?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by oesdog, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    My beautiful Bertha had an accident about 4 weeks ago. She hurt her leg really badly. We think she fell off the roost bar. She was unable to weight bare but we couldn't see an injury. It was not obviously broken. So we seperated her out she lay for a good few days and we didn't encourage her to stand at all. About a week after the accident she would stand and then go back down again. She really didn't look too well at all. The foot seemed swollen but still no sign of anything injured in a broken kind of way. It looked more soft tissue injury. We hoped the rest would help. Bertha seemed a bit depressed so we put her baby from last year in with her. Little Betty. She was good company and Bertha started to stand up more and was starting to preen herself. But every time we went to feed her she threw it to the ground for her chick ( Who is now over a year old and is no longer a chick!) So we moved the "hospital pen" back into the big girl run so Bertha could see the other girls and still feel part of goings on. Now she stands up a good while but she can't walk without hobbling. This is a big worry for us. Will it ever get any better? She has been eating fine and is able to move herself in and out of the coop. She is eating and drinking ok and is preening her feathers. She stands and wanders about a bit but always hobbles and never stands for any good length of time. We figure rest is probably good for her. The foot still looks swollen though she does not have anything sticking in it or cuts or other injury. If she tries to walk on it she sometimes stand on her own foot and trips over it. I wonder if the injury was further up like the hip as the foot seems to be a bit turned inward when she walks or it may just be sore so she walks funny to compensate? I thought maybe a ligament injury? How long do you think it will take for this to heal? Do you think she is in pain???? It is significantly better than when she first hurt it. She has not laid an egg since the injury occured and I am reluctant to put her with the others until she has done that.

    Is there anything I can do to help her????? I often think should I put her to sleep but then she got up on the roost bar in the big girl coop the other day when they were out in the yard. I was so scared of her hurting her leg when she tried to get off it I lifted her down and shut the door to stop her getting in.

    Anyhow bit of advice would be good. Am I being cruel - or is this a tempory thing and she will improve over time. She is my best Hen and a wonderful broody and mother.
    I really don;t want to lose her like this.

    Oesdog [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    I am sorry about your baby. [​IMG] Chickens can heal up sometimes if given the right opportunity. You could try isolating her to a very small cage. Just large enough to get her food and water and not be able to do much moving around. If she just rests off that leg for a while, she may heal up. The more she uses it, the longer it is going to take.

    Just a suggestion. I have never dealt with such an injury, however others have been told this about their chickens with similar problems.

    Good luck with your beautiful Bertha.
  3. the1honeycomb

    the1honeycomb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2010
    Yadkinville NC-3yrs
    She still goes up on the roost but she hobbles around alot. Very worried she is not going to make it~~ What to do I wish I had the answers.
    Good luck and I will follow this thread for advise
  4. kyrose

    kyrose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2009
    pretty much the same thing here.i think the dh maybe hurt her by accident when he pulled her out of the nesting box.i tried resting her but it got no better.she gets around where ever she wants to go but i dont know how much pain,if any shes in.so i will also be watching this thread...[​IMG]
  5. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    Thanks - Bertha is already seperated out - she is in a very small pen that has a tiny run attached ( More like a rabbit cage) So she doesn;t have opportunity to walk about alot on the leg. The only reason she managed to get up on the big girl Roost bar was because we had lifted the coop out of the big girl run to clean it out and do some work on it and remove the big shed coop that Bertha got injured in and Eleanor was killed in. Bertha was sunning herself "watching" on the grass. When I looked again she had taken herself off to check out the coop! She was up on the roost bar in it but it was low. - I didn;t want her damaging the foot anymore so lifted her down. Now she is back in the Rabbit hutch / coop - it is small enough to sit inside the big girl run so she can be with the other girls but is protected. She does a lot of stretching of the foot and leg in the mornings when she gets up. It must get stiff. This morning she was using the toes to grip the side of the bowl her food is in and was feeding fine as were the others the other side of the wire around her pen. She seems more happier that she is with the others. But I am sure she doesn;t understand her sore foot and why she can;t play with her friends? It seems so sad really but while there is a chance I don;t want to give up. If she was still off her feet at this stage I certainly would have done a cull by now. As its been about 3 weeks or more. I am hoping the rest will help she doesn;t really move much only to get her food and water get out of the coop and back in again. Nothing more than that. We did have a rain cover over it so she didn;t need to move if it rained or got too hot. But now she is in the big run we can;t do that as the other girls will think the cover a new toy! They are sometimes very bad when they are not in check. While Bertha was away and Gerty was "trying to brood then decided to kill her babies!" the others lost the two head hens - so Isobella and Caroline decided they would take an adventure and ended up on the conservatory roof pecking at my study window on the first floor of the house! Order has returned since Gerty is back but Bertha is going to take a longtime to get better.

    Oesdog [​IMG] I hope your girls improve I guess its just a case of wait and see?
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  6. jfaith51

    jfaith51 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am sorry that your chicken got hurt. I have a hen with a similar story. Skippy, a Blue Copper Maran, was about a year old at the time. I was going to go close up the girls for the night when I found her hiding in a clump of weeds. She couldn't walk. Her leg was injured somehow. She held it up and wasn't putting any weight on it. I put a splint on it and wrapped it up. It didn't look broken but I figured it couldn't hurt. I isolated her for about a week or so. I kept changing the bandage as needed. I think that she damaged the tendon in that leg. I was contemplating putting her down. I didn't want her to waste away or have the other chickens brutalize her. But I couldn't do it. ( Not that I do the actual putting down. My husband does that for me, bless his heart.) Well, fast forward. Skippy is still with us. It has been over a year since the accident. She has never gained the use of that leg but she doesn't seem particularly bothered by it. She mostly hops on her good leg to get around. She kind of throws her bad leg forward then hops with her good one. Thus, her name, Skippy. The top part of the leg moves but the toes and ankle don't . She is in a pen that doesn't have any standard size roosters. She is in with some Silkies and chicks. The Silkie roosters don't mess with her. In fact, no one messes with Skippy. She mostly stays in or near the coop. She will sometimes hop out about 10 feet or so to get extra treats. I alway make sure that she gets her treats first but she sometimes want to see if someone else got something different. She doesn't roost. She sleeps on the floor with the rest of the gang, chicks, Silkies, shy hens that don't do well in the main coop. Mainly I didn't want her to have to deal with a rooster. She has adjusted well. Oh, and she does still lay. She gives me 3-4 eggs a week. I hope that this is helpful in evaluating your hens outcome. If she isn't in pain,if she's eating and drinking, if she isn't getting picked on, my advise is to just wait and see how she does, day to day. Animals are amazing. They can adjust to situations that seem too hard by human standards. Good luck with Bertha.

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