Limping, swollen hock joint


Sep 19, 2017
N. Texas
I have a 5 month old Marans pullet who has been limping for a little over a week now. She will put her foot down to take a step, but only the toes. When standing still, she holds the foot in front of her with just the tips of the toes touching the ground. She will eventually lay down and stick her foot out to the side.

I've separated her, had her soak in a Epson salt bath a few times, sprayed the legs with Vetercyn, but she continues to have problems. I keep her indoors in a plastic dog crate at night and most days because I don't want her trying to roost and hurting herself further getting up or down. I do let her outside with the other chickens when I'm home so she can get some exercise and socialize. However, she is generally ready to come back in the house at night (follows me around and doesn't go in to roost with the others).

Up until now, I've had a hard time trying to get a good look at her legs, but she is finally getting used to all the handling, and I was able to hold her on her back (like a baby) to get a look at her legs. The toes and feet look fine - both look the same, no wounds, etc. However the hock joint is swollen on the affected leg. Also, if I feel above the hock joint, I can feel much more (tendon, tissue?) in the affected leg than the unaffected leg. It appears to me to be a soft tissue injury, perhaps inflamed or injured tendon, but then I don't know for sure.

Anyone experienced anything like this or have any ideas?
It could be a leg bone deformity that can affect the hock tendon as the chicken grows. Varus valgus deformity, and tibial dyschondroplasia are some common ones that you can Ggogle for more information. Those are not usually able to be successfully treated, but each case is different. An injury could also be possible, and a vet could help. Chicken vitamins may be good to try.
I'm having the same problem with 1 of my Amerucana hens. Also has a blood clot on the top of the middle toes. Any & all suggestions on treating & healing her foot would be greatly appreciated!!
If it is an injury I suggest asking your vet for .1 metacam injectable and .5 of penicillin. That dosage was for my hen that is 5 lbs. I find the injectable is way better than the oral metacam. Metacam will be for pain inflammation. My hen broke her leg bad after a few doses she’s doing so much better hope this helps and good luck

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