Limping hen

Peepchirpquack

Songster
5 Years
Mar 28, 2014
159
40
101
Earth
Today I noticed that my 1 year old white leghorn hen has started limping. She seems to be trying not to walk a lot. She is eating and drinking normally, she layed a healthy egg today.
Does anyone know what this might be?
 

MrsBrooke

Songster
5 Years
Aug 11, 2014
2,658
309
246
Magnolia, Texas
Check underneath her foot pad, is it swollen and red, with a black scab in the center? If so, she has bumblefoot (a type of staph infection.) Here's an article on bumblefoot: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2011/07/bumblefoot-causes-treatment-warning.html

X2

Have you examined her for evidence of injury? If you can't see any swelling around the ankle, hock, or hip, I would gently manipulate her leg/foot to see if you can get a reaction. Don't twist it off, but exercise a GENTLE range of motion. You'll be able to tell if she's got tenderness going on.

Sometimes, hopping off the roost wrong is enough for a chicken to sprain something. If you don't see anything externally and there is no evidence of bumblefoot, you could sprinkle a little turmeric (the yellow spice) over their food... It's nature's most powerful anti-inflammatory, and there's no danger of overdosing. So long as she is up, active, and being chicken-like, I'd let her heal on her own... If you see her getting picked on or starting to hunch up and puff her feathers, separate her, and we can discuss further treatment. :)

If it IS bumblefoot, and you see the little black scab, there are copious amounts of articles on BYC and a few great videos that show how to treat the infection.

Keep us posted!!

MrsB
 
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Peepchirpquack

Songster
5 Years
Mar 28, 2014
159
40
101
Earth
She does have a small black scab on the bottom of her foot, but she has had it for a couple of months and it never seemed to bother her nor has it got any worse. Is it possible that it is a sprain?
I also read somewhere that limping could be a sign of marek's disease. I really hope that's not the case.
 

MrsBrooke

Songster
5 Years
Aug 11, 2014
2,658
309
246
Magnolia, Texas
If you saw a black scab, I'd be willing to bet that it's bumblefoot.

She may not have limped up to this point if the kernel inside her foot wasn't big enough to bother her.... But it looks like it's bothering her now. Bumblefoot is a very serious infection that will require your intervention.

If taking her to a vet is an option, I would start there.... A simple surgical procedure will remove the kernel and a round of anti-biotics will keep any further infection at bay.

If you can't take her to a vet, you can perform the surgery yourself. Just make sure you have gloves!!! Bumblefoot is caused by staph, and staph is NO JOKE. You do NOT want to come into contact with it!

Check out the link posted by beetandsteet... The Chicken Chick has a video of the surgery.

MrsB
 

MrsBrooke

Songster
5 Years
Aug 11, 2014
2,658
309
246
Magnolia, Texas
Thanks for the info. I will probably take her to a vet to have it taken care of.

I feel it's best to let the professionals handle the scalpel, if you can swing it. :)

Kudos to you for doing all you can for you girls!! <3

Let us know how she does.

MrsB

PS- Some of the antibiotics your vet can prescribe will make your chicken "useless" for utility purposes. Be sure you have this conversation with your vet and ask what type of antibiotics she will get and what the withdrawal time is before you can eat her eggs (or meat, if you're planning on making soup any time soon). Good luck!!
 

beetandsteet

Songster
Aug 21, 2015
847
109
151
Texas!
Thanks for the info. I will probably take her to a vet to have it taken care of.
That is probably the best option! Home surgery is cheaper than a vet, and I do it on all my chickens with bumblefootr, but secondary infections are possible and the surgery is difficult, not always successful and taxing on both me and the bird. Glad you have a vet that takes care of chickens.
 

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