My hen has a broken toe...What do I do?

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


12 Years
Sep 26, 2007
My hen, Delilah, has a broken toe. She started limping a couple of weeks ago, so I put her in a cage in the garage by herself for a few days. She improved from sitting most of the time to limping a little, but was able to get around ok.

I returned her to the coop with her flock-mates (12 of them) and she did ok for several days. I then noticed that she was sitting down again to eat and such, so I again have her caged in the garage.

I had been inspecting her feet for sore areas, and couldn't find any, so I thought she may have landed wrong and just had a bad sprain. Tonight when I was feeding her, I picked her up and held her and one of her front toes on her right foot is "detatched". The skin is good and unblemished, but it seems as if the toe is "free floating" and she has no control over it.

She is eating and drinking well and still laying eggs. She is also standing more a taking a few steps. I put another hen in with her a few days ago so she wouldn't be lonely. What can I do for her? Do you think it could be a disease process instead of a physical injury? Sorry for this long post, but I need BYC help.
Can you make a little cast out of cardboard? Maybe use two little piece of cardboard, sandwich her foot in between them and tape shut? If you do that, you may want to seperate her and keep her in clean shavings to keep the cast from getting nasty.
I think I will try to splint it. Also, I read about making a gauze ball to put on the pad of the foot for extra support and padding.
She is separated from the flock in a lage dog crate with a companion hen, Jane. They are so funny! When I clean it out they practically roll in the shavings and fluff around in them like a dust bath. I had an unused soft cat bed which I put in there and filled it with shavings too. They love sitting in it like little princesses! I think I'm going to get another one, they like it so well. That way I can launder it every couple of days.

I just had a thought. Since you mentioned keeping her splint clean, I have read on BYC about chicken diapers, and laughed my "you know what" off. I wonder if I could use them to keep the cage clean while she is bandaged. What do you think? Are they hard to make? Does anyone on the site currently have any for sale that would fit my EE?
Regarding your desire for chicken diapers, try The nice lady who has the business does a good job. All sizes, with choices of fabrics, colors and patterns. I got one for my bantam, who also lost a toenail (just the little meat piece remained) and spent 2 months recovering away from the others, indoors. She adapted nicely to living with us in the house and was a real kick to watch. It was harder to integrate her into the coop with her sisters because she wanted back in the house. Just like kids leaving home, I guess....

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