Limping chicken with feather loss


Dec 20, 2019
One of my four hens has started limping a few days ago, and she has also been losing feathers. (None of the others are losing feathers.) She has a bare patch on either side towards the vent, her tail feathers have taken on a slightly bedraggled appearance, and she has a small patch on the back of her neck where there are feathers missing. I have seen the others peck at the back of her neck on occasion, but I rarely see them peck at other areas, my chickens have been a together for over a year, and they continue to be quite civil to each other, at least from what I witness. I don't see any major scabbing where the feathers are missing, and I don't see any new feathers coming in.

The hen sits to rest more often than usual, and favours one foot, but is otherwise acting the same as normal as far as eating, laying, foraging, etc. My hens have a large coop, and they spend the day roaming our backyard.

I rinsed her foot in water and picked her up to get a better look. It looked as though the pad might be swollen, but it was hard to tell. This particular bird had frostbite on that foot over the winter, which she had recovered from, however she lost the tips of two toes, so that foot always looks a little wonky.

I have only been keeping chickens for a year, so I can definitely use some advice on this one!


5 Years
Dec 27, 2016
Upstate NY
I would confine the hen in a small dog crate of similar cage, and give her 1/2 of a baby aspirin per day for a few days. Once the aspirin masks the pain, many chickens recover very quickly.

If she doesn't want to take the pill, hide it in a spoonful of fish-based wet cat food.

Good luck! :)

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