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Limping hen update Should I keep trying to help or end her suffering?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by undergroundchickens, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. undergroundchickens

    undergroundchickens Songster

    Apr 13, 2010
    UPDATE: 8/11/11

    I wanted to update what is going on with my chicken. I tried wrapping her hurt leg for about 3 weeks in hopes that if it was broken it would heal.

    Good news is the sore that she had in the pictures below has healed up. Bad news is she is in worse shape than she was before.

    The poor girl now never puts weight on the right leg but now also seems to have become very weak on her other leg as well. When she gets up to move (using her wings) she is very wobbly and only seems to be able to hold her weight up for about 5 seconds before plunking back down. She spends most of the day sitting/laying on the lawn moving only about 15 feet in a day. She still eats and drinks ok though I think she has lost a little weight even though I continue to move a bowl of food and water around with her throughout the day. Upon re-reading the posts I had before I see the vitamin B recommendation. I had not tried the vitamins.

    I purchased some vitamin B complex drops and have started her on them today. On searching the forum it seems that sometimes birds have problems with their legs/standing if they have vitamin deficiencies? I am hoping this is what it could be. My biggest issue is am I doing my hen an injustice not putting her down? She doesn't appear to be in pain when she is laying around BUT she isn't doing much but sitting around all day. I have to move her in and out of the coop. She sleeps in a nest box I place her in. She doesn't get to do the things the other chickens are doing. She just sits alone in one spot all day while the other girls run happy around the yard. Should I keep trying to help her get better or is it a lost cause and not right to keep my hen in this condition? Just not sure what to do. My husband wants to put her down but the kids and I just aren't ready to do that in hopes we can still help her. What to do. [​IMG]



    I have a hen that has been limping for several weeks. I figured she had pulled a muscle or something jumping down from a high place and that it would heal with time. So far it seems to just be staying the same. She is active and eats well. Today I decided to give her a bath to wash her behind and do a close look over to see if I could see any obvious problems with her leg. I checked her foot pad out really well. Tissue looks healthy. No scabs or bumblefoot. Here are some pictures of her leg.




    And here is video of her limp.

    Click here to see video of her limping.

    Her leg looks a bit flat where the sore spot is compared to her other leg. I am not sure if this is what is causing her problems or if this is a result of her laying on her leg funny for several weeks. I have felt up her legs above this spot and both legs feel about the same.

    1) What type of bird , age and weight. Barred Rock, 1 year 4 months.
    2) What is the behavior, exactly. She has been limping on her right leg for several weeks. It is not getting better.
    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? several weeks.
    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? No.
    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. I have pictures of all that I can see that could be wrong.
    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. No idea.
    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. She is eating and drinking as usual. She gets 20% layer mash and lots of extra wheat. She gets lots of kitchen scraps as well. She free ranges daily for a few hours and eats lots of greens in the yard.
    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. Normal.
    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? I soaked her in a bath this morning. She seemed to like the heat on that hurt leg.
    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet? We have discussed taking to the vet but would like to fix on our own if it is obvious what is wrong and is something I can do to help.
    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use. She lives in a coop with run and free ranges in the yard. There are soft wood shavings in the nest boxes.

    Thanks for any help you can give me.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011

  2. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Hmmmm...it's hard to say. Injuries can take several weeks to heal. I would not let her jump up onto or down off off any perches or other lofty places for awhile. This may mean 1) relocating her with a buddy or 2) creating some sort of user friendly step up system to get to a perch and/or 3) lifting her up at bed time and getting to her early a.m. to lift her down before she can jump (no picnic, I know, being at the ready at those times).
    I would put some neosporin on any areas that look wounded (such as in pic) and I would give pain relief (1 baby aspirin [81mg] crushed into one cup drinking water, fresh batch at least daily).
    If she's eating and drinking well, that's very good.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011
  3. undergroundchickens

    undergroundchickens Songster

    Apr 13, 2010
    I can do that. We are usually outside with them in the evenings and I can easily place her on her perch and I wake up about the same time the chickens do. I will try that for a week or so and see how it goes.

  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Quote:you could also give her leg some soaks in warm water and epsom salt. real good for healing . Hope she improves quickly.
  5. ChurkLover

    ChurkLover In the Brooder

    Jul 9, 2010
    St. Louis
    I have a hen that was doing the same thing. It has been about six weeks and she is finally recovering. I did separate her from other birds and used a dog crate to let her sleep in our garage at night and free range around the house rather than with the chickens by the chicken cook (we have 13 acres). She went from almost hopping due to her injury to walking pretty much normal now. It has been about a week of isolation from the pack for her and I have been giving her some electrolyte water as well. She actually started laying eggs again about four days ago-her first since she was injured. I also noticed her comb is now red instead of pink. Maybe you could try isolating her from any other chickens and some electrolyte water may work for you too...no promises but I will keep my fingers crossed! Good luck!
  6. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I've had the same thing happen with one or two of my Barred Rocks over time. Heavy breed birds have a worse chance of injuring themselves jumping down from high roosts than lighter breeds. Soaking in warm epsom salts helps as Miss Lydia stated. It's best to seperate her in a cage or crate and try keeping her as still and quiet as possible....rest and relaxation is what she needs for the injury to heal, not running around and so on to make the injury worse. I dont recommend giving her aspirin for pain with this type of injury unless she's going to be caged for a period of time. The reason is because if she doesnt feel the pain from the injury, she WILL injure it worse by running around, jumping about, scratching etc... You can purchase vitamin B complex tablets at a pharmacy, crush a few of them and sprinkle it into her feed. It might help her injury heal sooner. Do this for about 5 days then stop, check her out to see if there is improvement. If not, continue for another 5 days then stop the vitamin B complex in her feed.
    I recommend you lower your roosts as I have, it eliminates these type injuries. Also, these injuries take time to heal. My BR's healed in one weeks time with plenty of rest and relaxation and it gave me the chance to spoil them with some scrambled egg and buttermilk along with the vitamin B complex. Just to let you know, sometimes these injuries take months or never heal at all. I had a Black Star caged for 1 month because of a leg injury, it never healed. She was able to hobble on one leg just fine. I let her out during the day in the side yard pen away from the others and she was just a happy as she could be. If I placed had her with the others, they would have picked on her relentlessly. Good luck.
  7. Has she been sitting alot? If so I'd say that raw/woundish red area is just like a 'bedsore' type issue, where shes putting undue pressure on the bottom of the hock and created the wound. It looks to fresh to be an old injury, I also see a tiny spot on her toe that looks the same.

    What is that scab looking area on the middle toe of that foot? if it were swollen I'd suggest bumble but theres no swelling...so my best guess honestly is she probably strained the muscle in her leg or something.

  8. undergroundchickens

    undergroundchickens Songster

    Apr 13, 2010
    Thanks for all of the replys. I will try soaking her legs in epsomsalt baths and keep her from jumping. I will also try the vitamin B mentioned. I sure appreciate your guidance. Hope she gets better.
  9. undergroundchickens

    undergroundchickens Songster

    Apr 13, 2010
  10. GA_in_GA

    GA_in_GA Songster

    Jul 2, 2011
    Southwest Georgia
    How is your hen doing?

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