New Chicken Owner


9 Years
Oct 5, 2010
Hi, I'm new to this site and I'd like some advice on care taking. I have one chicken that I've raised since June of 2010. She's been doing fine up until now...? I keep her in a box with bedding, food and water and take her out everyday to play. She usually follows me around when I walk, but now she doesn't want to get up or move. I noticed that her left leg is slanted. It isn't supposed to be like that is it? It doesn't seem right. She eats and drinks, but doesn't move much now. Her droppings are green, does that mean diarrhea? She lives indoors, so I don't know if she can still get diseases. Am I taking care of her right? Is she sick? I might be overreacting, but maybe she has gape worm. I checked her neck and didn't see anything red. Could someone help me? I'm only fifteen and I really need help because I don't want give up on her.
Hi Kanna-

Here are a few questions for you:

What are you feeding her? Do you keep her in a box in the house or garage--could she be cold now that it's getting late in the year?

What makes you think she could have gape worm?
Also, can you possibly get pictures of the leg? Has it always been slanted or is it perhaps injured? Check her chest to see if her breast is missing feathers, too. What breed is she?
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Chickens need to get a fair amount of activity to be healthy. You say she is in a box. What size is her box? Is there adequate room for her to scratch around and move during the time she is confined? How much time does she spend out? Is she your only chicken?

How old is she? 5 months or so? If so, she it approaching the time to lay eggs. What is she getting to eat?

I think we need more information. It sounds like you care a lot about your chicken.

The box my chicken is in is about 1x2ft. She's my only chicken. I think she is about 5 months. I don't know exactly because I bought her as a chick. I don't know what kind of chicken she is, but she's not missing any feathers. Her leg was not always slanted. I noticed it when I moved and she had to walk in the garage. I read that slippery floors aren't good for their feet. The garage floor is cement. Now I only take her outside on the grass and I've moved her into the house where it's warmer for the fall and winter. I thought that she might have gape worm because I was reading about different chicken diseases and noticed that she had some symptoms like stretching and shaking the neck or body, or not moving around like paralysis. She eats cracked corn. I will try to get a picture up as soon as I can. Tank you for trying to help! I'm trying to upload pictures but it won't work. I did everything the directions said but it keeps saying there is no path. Can someone help?
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First things first, it sounds like you love your chicken very much and that's great...we like that. Please don't take anything I say as criticism. Your chicken should have a minimum of 4 sq ft-double what she is in now. I like a little more when I can. If i read this correctly she eats only cracked corn? Cracked corn is ok as a treat but will not provide enough nutrition for your bird alone. With the lack of room to move and poor nutrition she may have developed splayed leg from her weight. Room restricted meat birds frequently do this. I personally have no experience correcting this in older birds. I understand it can be corrected early on by wrapping the leg with a hobble at the joint area to keep is straight and still allow her to walk. If you can or try this I would recommend higher protein food, possibly poly vi sol infant drop without iron. She needs to strengthen the muscles but will need your help to do it.

Can you get some regular chicken food? At 5 months, maybe flock raiser. The leg issue could be caused by nutritional deficiencies. It isn't very expensive, and they have it at most farm supply stores. When she starts laying eggs, you need to get her some layer food -- Layena, or Egg Maker -- something for laying hens. It has extra calcium for her to make the egg shells.

You might try to get her a bit larger quarters. As an adult, she will need room to move around when she isn't outside, and winter is coming.

It's good she gets lots of attention from you since you are her "flock."

Thank you for the help! I'm going to get something larger to put her in and buy new food better suited to help her. I've tried putting on a hock but it's not showing any results so I took it off. She walks a little, but has difficulty. It would be a lot of help to get tips from veterans, so please feel free to tell me if I'm doing things wrong. I do need advice like the ones you all already gave me!
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