My hen hurt her leg/ankle and I don't know what to do.

EagleSkyFarms

In the Brooder
Nov 19, 2018
26
38
39
Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Recently I was out taking care of my hens and I noticed a hen unable to move. We brought her inside thinking it might clear up in a day or so and it hasn't. I've really grown to love this chicken and I want to do anything I can to fix her. Its seems that her foot, where it bends is hurting her and when we get her to try to walk she puts all her wait on her elbow and her wing. She seems to hold it forward and up in front of her and off of the ground. What do I do? She is eating and drinking fine, she is also very aware and content with her surroundings other than being uncomfortable.
 

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townchicks

Free Ranging
Dec 1, 2016
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Start by checking her leg for swelling, check her foot for Bumblefoot too. Can she use her toes if you hold her up, or does the leg seem paralyzed? Does the foot or leg feel hot? A chicken sling can be helpful to take the weight off her leg while it heals, and aspirin can help with pain and inflammation. There are several threads on here about how to build a chicken sling, but I don't know how to do a link. If you use the search and enter chicken sling, you'll find it.
 

rebrascora

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Feb 14, 2014
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How old is she and was she vaccinated for Marek's Disease? If she is under a year old and there is no sign of obvious injury or infection, then the commonest cause of such lameness would be Marek's Disease. Even if she has been vaccinated for it, it is still possible.
I give my Marek's birds a good quality vitamin supplement, keep them well fed and give them access to sunshine and grass in a safe environment whenever possible. If it is Marek's she will be actively shedding the virus whilst she is symptomatic. Your remaining flock have almost certainly already been exposed (there is a minimum 3 week period of incubation for the virus before symptoms can exhibit) but it is probably wise to keep her isolated from them to reduce the build up of infected material in their environment.

You may find that she recovers quite miraculously and as suddenly as she became lame but if it is Marek's she will be prone to future outbreaks, weeks, months or even years later. She is not infectious during the dormant phases of the disease in the same way as people with the cold sore virus are not infectious when they don't have a cold sore..... both are caused by Herpes viruses, so she can return to the flock then. Keeping her happy and stress free and well fed will be key to helping her fight it. I try to ensure they can see the flock (downwind as the virus is shed via dander dust which is inhaled to infect other birds) for at least part of the day, but in her own safe enclosure. There is hope as long as she remains bright eyed and alert like that and keen to eat.
Good luck with her.
 

EagleSkyFarms

In the Brooder
Nov 19, 2018
26
38
39
Rio Rancho, New Mexico
How old is she and was she vaccinated for Marek's Disease? If she is under a year old and there is no sign of obvious injury or infection, then the commonest cause of such lameness would be Marek's Disease. Even if she has been vaccinated for it, it is still possible.
I give my Marek's birds a good quality vitamin supplement, keep them well fed and give them access to sunshine and grass in a safe environment whenever possible. If it is Marek's she will be actively shedding the virus whilst she is symptomatic. Your remaining flock have almost certainly already been exposed (there is a minimum 3 week period of incubation for the virus before symptoms can exhibit) but it is probably wise to keep her isolated from them to reduce the build up of infected material in their environment.

You may find that she recovers quite miraculously and as suddenly as she became lame but if it is Marek's she will be prone to future outbreaks, weeks, months or even years later. She is not infectious during the dormant phases of the disease in the same way as people with the cold sore virus are not infectious when they don't have a cold sore..... both are caused by Herpes viruses, so she can return to the flock then. Keeping her happy and stress free and well fed will be key to helping her fight it. I try to ensure they can see the flock (downwind as the virus is shed via dander dust which is inhaled to infect other birds) for at least part of the day, but in her own safe enclosure. There is hope as long as she remains bright eyed and alert like that and keen to eat.
Good luck with her.
Thank you for the impute but we do not think it is marek's, she is at least 4 years old and we've not had new introduction to the flock.
 

EagleSkyFarms

In the Brooder
Nov 19, 2018
26
38
39
Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Start by checking her leg for swelling, check her foot for Bumblefoot too. Can she use her toes if you hold her up, or does the leg seem paralyzed? Does the foot or leg feel hot? A chicken sling can be helpful to take the weight off her leg while it heals, and aspirin can help with pain and inflammation. There are several threads on here about how to build a chicken sling, but I don't know how to do a link. If you use the search and enter chicken sling, you'll find it.
The leg does not seem paralyzed and there is no sign of bumble foot but there is swelling where her foot connects to the leg which is where it hurts her the most. Thank you, I will try the sling
 

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
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Southern N.C. Mountains
The leg does not seem paralyzed and there is no sign of bumble foot but there is swelling where her foot connects to the leg which is where it hurts her the most. Thank you, I will try the sling
Can you post a photo of the foot?
Hopefully with limiting her activity and trying out the sling she will heal, hopefully it's just sprained and not broken.

If she does not tolerate the sling and she's not moving around a lot, you can try bolstering her up with rolled up thick towels.
 

EagleSkyFarms

In the Brooder
Nov 19, 2018
26
38
39
Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Can you post a photo of the foot?
Hopefully with limiting her activity and trying out the sling she will heal, hopefully it's just sprained and not broken.

If she does not tolerate the sling and she's not moving around a lot, you can try bolstering her up with rolled up thick towels.
I did post a photo, it was attached to the original post.
 

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