My hen wont use her leg.


In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 18, 2013
About a week ago we noticed her babying her leg. she hops around holding it up. If she puts it to the ground, she immediately pulls it up and out comes the wing to take the weight off of her leg and regain balance. Almost how we would treat a sprained ankle. There is nothing obvious, no wounds and when I hold her she lets me rub it, squeeze it up in the thigh, even move it and she does not complain. Anyone?
Have you looked at the pad/bottom of the foot? Bumblefoot, which is an infection caused by Staphylococcus bacteria, appears as swelling. Sometimes there'll be a black scab in the swelling, too.

If not bumblefoot, I'm not sure what could be wrong with your hen. I would isolate her in a deeply bedded cage with food and water nearby. Let her rest for a week or two and then see if there is any improvement.
Isolate her in a cage with some deep bedding and a low roost. Its possible that she has just sprained/strained her leg. In this case, I don't think there is anything you can do except wait for it to heal. She might have injured her leg by jumping down from too high a perch, or could have gotten into a fight with another bird.

As Bantamlover21 stated, it could be bumblefoot. Look for any swelling or black spots on the foot. Sometimes, bumblefoot sneaks up on you and you don't notice that its there until it is a problem. Your bird might just have a mild case that isn't very apparent yet.

Check her leg and see if there is anything wrapped around it and digging into it. Sometimes chickens get pieces of wire or string wrapped around their leg, which causes pain.

Hope this helps! Good luck with your hen.
I'd check her ASAP to see if she might have a slipped Achilles tendon in her hock joint. There is info on that on the Poultry Podiatry page on the site linked in my sig.
Best wishes!

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