Limping but otherwise healthy hen- any ideas?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by liz_s, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. liz_s

    liz_s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2010
    Washington State
    Hi!

    So, my 3 and 1/2 year old chicken started limping yesterday. She favors her foot/leg, but will still put weight on it to walk around, and even runs in a sort of skipping way. She is acting like herself, and I inspected her foot/leg and there are no obvious injuries. No sores or cracks, the skin looks good... She also doesn't really react to me poking and prodding at the foot/leg, although she doesn't especially like to be held, so it would be hard to say if she was reacting. But no noises of pain or anything. It's hard to say, but it may be more pronounced today.

    I guess my question is: could this just be a sprain? Has anyone had experience with breaks? The girls roam the backyard, which isn't very big. Maybe she tripped on something? I don't know. I guess that's more than one question ;).

    If anyone has any experience with a limping bird and what the outcome was, I would appreciate hearing about it! I'm not sure if I should wait it out or take her to the vet for some x-rays (she's my pet more than anything). I don't think a vet could necessarily do much- I'd just prefer to know what I'm dealing with. I'm mainly concerned that if I let it go too long it might get worse- if it's something weirder than a sprain or a break. I also don't know if I should confine her to keep her from moving around and making it worse. Not that I'm sure how to do that anyway.

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    It is very common for chickens to sprain their legs especially jumping off roosts (I have some that like to roost on my open inner screen door.) My speckled sussex sprained her leg last year, and held it up while hopping on the other foot for almost a month. She is fine now. If your chicken is not roosting or getting a round foraging I would place her in a dog cage to rest for a week or so. Vitamins always help with leg issues. If she is getting around without issues, I would just watch her. Usually with a break there is deformity or they will not get up. Then splinting is helpful.
     
  3. liz_s

    liz_s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2010
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    That is really helpful!! Thanks a ton :). I'll keep an eye on her to make sure she keeps roosting. You have put my mind at ease- I sincerely appreciate it!
     
  4. 7hensandaroo

    7hensandaroo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 27, 2011
    make sure you compare the pads of their feet closely. My chicken was limping and I didn't see anything wrong with her either until a black spot appeared. Even then I thought it was just poop stuck to her. I neglected to compare the feet and see that one was slightly swollen. It turned out to be bumblefoot and just did surgery and don't think I got the infection out.

    Hope she heals soon
     
  5. liz_s

    liz_s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2010
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    I thought I replied 7hens- apparently it didn't make it! Thanks for the advice of comparing feet- I didn't think of that! She has had what looks like junk on her feet, so I'll try to clean it off to make sure. Was your chicken free-ranging? I guess I need to do more research about how they can get bumblefoot. Thanks again for the advice!
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Bumblefoot is quite common, especially if there are rocks around the chickens yard. Bumblefoot is a staph infection caused by tiny cuts to the foot or toes. Many times it doesn't cause a problem, but if it gets very swollen and pink, causing pain, surgery should be done, or Tricide Neo or epsome salts can be used as a soak.Here is some info: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2011/07/bumblefoot-causes-treatment-warning.html
     
  7. 7hensandaroo

    7hensandaroo Out Of The Brooder

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    They free range while I am at home, otherwise in their chicken yard (fenced).
    I think mine got bumble foot from roosting on the edge of her nesting box. She is the lowest in the pecking order and gets treated roughly by the other hens and not allowed to eat until the rest are done.

    I hope yours does well . I ignored the limping thinking it was a Spain because she looked healthy otherwise. I waited too long[​IMG]
     

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