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Limping, Stopped Laying, and Losing Feathers

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SierraCorbin, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. SierraCorbin

    SierraCorbin In the Brooder

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    Dec 6, 2017
    Hello all,

    I have a Dominique who is 36 weeks old, it is now December and she stopped laying eggs about 1-2 ago. Around that same time, I thought I noticed a slight limp when she ran, but didn't see it when she walked, so didn't think much of it. She is my most adventurous lady, always escaping through fences in our yard and flying up onto things like the bird bath. I have also noticed over the past week or so that she has been losing feathers, there aren't any bald spots, but I figured she was starting to molt for the first time (is that normal for December?). The other three chickens don't seem like they are plucking the feathers out, because I see her shake her body and a feather will come out.

    So, today I noticed she really was limping and favoring her other leg. Horrified, I took her inside and kept her in for an hour or so, debating what to do. I can't see anything unusual about the leg/foot, but I am also a new chicken owner and don't have much experience. I already saw another chicken try to intimidate her today, so I really didn't want to keep her away from the flock as she is small and am worried about reintegration issues. So, I put her out in the run, so at least she was around the others, then I lowered the roosting bar and took out the other things they fly up on so she wouldn't be tempted. I put them all in, watched, no bulling, and closed them in the coop for the night.

    What do I do? She is losing feathers, stopped laying, and now has a significant limp. She hated being on her own in the house, and I also don't want her to be in pain. She is my absolute favorite chicken. Could it just be a sprain?

    Thank you!
     
  2. NikAndHerChicks

    NikAndHerChicks Songster

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    Could you please post pics of her legs and feet? Or even a video of her walking? It will be much easier to help if we can see what's going on. :) Also, how high is the roosting bar? The feathers could definitely be just her going through a molt although she is pretty young for that. What type of feed is she on? She may need more protein.
     
  3. NikAndHerChicks

    NikAndHerChicks Songster

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    Sorry! I hate answering a question with a question. Just need a little more info to properly help! ;)
     
  4. SierraCorbin

    SierraCorbin In the Brooder

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    Hello!

    Thank you so much for your reply. I took her to the vet yesterday, who said that it looked like the beginnings of Bumblefoot. That being said, I did not have her do an x-ray. I also can't tell the difference, but she reports she saw and felt tenderness, some swelling on that foot.

    So, she gave me Meloxicam, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and said to lower the roosts down, do Epsom salt soaks, and try to limit her adventuring for a while. What I hate, though, is that if I give her this medicine, we can't eat her eggs! We only have four chickens for this one purpose. Do you have experience with this? I thought I read people give baby aspirin to their chickens. Maybe I should add a new post asking about this medicine. Ugh!

    Thank you!
     
  5. NikAndHerChicks

    NikAndHerChicks Songster

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    I don't have experience with that medicine, but I do have a little experience with bumblefoot. I have been treating one of my ducks for bumblefoot for a couple of weeks now... without antibiotics! There are several threads on this site that give you specific step-by-step instructions on how to treat this yourself. It is, of course, up to you whether you want to try to do the bumble removal yourself, or use the meds. I personally chose to remove the bumble myself & skip the antibiotic. How large is the bumble? You said it was just forming? Do you have a pic?
     
  6. NikAndHerChicks

    NikAndHerChicks Songster

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    If you choose to try to remove it yourself, it is definitely a time commitment. You will have to remove the hen from the rest of your flock & set up a "sick bay" for her so she can recuperate in a safe, clean environment. You will need to soak her foot & change bandages every day to ensure the infection doesn't set in again. Depending on how large the bumble is this could be a long recovery, or if it truly is just forming & is small, it could be super fast & easy! The "surgery" part is easier than you might think it is. I recommend having more than one set of hands if at all possible. It goes easier & faster if you can have one person holding your chicken & another person performing the surgery. Also, I strongly recommend doing the Epsom Salt soaks, whether you do the surgery of the meds. The soaks seem to really relax the birds & there is much to be said about the ability of Epsom Salts to draw out toxins. Let me know if you have any other questions. I will try my best to help! :D And if I can't I'll call in reinforcements!
     

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