Possible broken foot/leg; Update: maybe it's Marek's

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by NHchicks, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    538
    3
    141
    May 13, 2010
    One of my 16 mo. old hens came out of the coop hopping on one leg this morning. I'm thinking she may have gotten pecked off a perch last night and fell and hurt it.

    What's the prognosis for a broken leg/foot? She hops without putting pressure on it. She's sitting in a protected area and we'll make sure she has access to water/food. Is this something they recover from or do we have to think about culling? She's one of my favorites...
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011
  2. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    739
    6
    121
    Sep 7, 2010
    First you need to check the leg out and assess what the real issue is. Sometimes they can just strain or bruise something getting down off the roost and it clears up in a couple days. Bumble foot is another fairly common problem where they get a staph infection on the pad of the foot, this will cause lamness and might look like a broken foot.

    Get ahold of the chicken and check the leg and foot out, compare it to the other leg, look for discoloration, feel for hot spots, check out range of motion and feel for any breaks or dislocations, once that is done you will have a much better idea on what treatment is needed and what the expected outcome will be.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  3. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    538
    3
    141
    May 13, 2010
    Thank you for that info. Going to check her over carefully now.
     
  4. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    538
    3
    141
    May 13, 2010
    Okay, I checked her more closely. It does not appear to be a foot issue - there are no lesions, coloring is the same on both legs, the leg bone itself feels straight and sturdy. When my daughter was holding her, that leg completely was trembling. When she put the hen back down, there was absolutely no movement of that leg.

    I am thinking the issue is in the thigh, above the feather line. That would indicate to me a possible fracture/break.

    Is there any hope or not? (I can take a photo if I need to, of the way she's not bearing weight on it)

    I am fearing the worst for this hen.

    I think what I'll do for now is enclose her in the dog pen with food and water and let her rest and see what happens for a couple days. I do NOT like the idea that she is in pain though. I'd rather cull than watch her suffer.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  5. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    739
    6
    121
    Sep 7, 2010
    Maybe feel around further up the leg, lifting feather upwards you will be able to look at the skin for discoloration or local swelling.

    Moving the leg around you might be able to determine where the problem is. Sounds like a good idea to keep her by her self as other chickens would likely go after the injured bird.

    Before I culled I would want to check the leg out well to determine it was a serious injury that was unlikely to heal. Often they do bounce right back surprisingly quickly from minor injuries. If it did happen to be a stable fracture or one that could be splinted to get it in place bird bones heal quickly. Otherwise as you pointed out culling her to avoid suffering may be the best.
     
  6. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

    29,256
    6,363
    596
    May 11, 2010
    Among many things (viral/bacterial infections) Lumbar injuries can cause the symptoms you describe. Many of these birds when radiographed reveal either a dislocation of the hip or partial displacement of the lower spine causing the nerve to be compromised resulting in a lame bird. Keep her protected from the others, and if she's not up and about in one week, I'd recommend culling.
     
  7. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    538
    3
    141
    May 13, 2010
    Thank you, you have been so helpful.

    I will isolate her and let her rest and see if she improves. If there is no improvement in a couple days, then I will put her out of her misery. Right now she does not appear to be eating, and I don't see that as a good sign. But one good thing is hearing that their bones heal quickly. (If it is a bone issue; maybe she pulled a muscle.)

    Hopefully 2 days will be long enough to see which direction this is going to swing.

    edit: Now I see your post, theoldchick. I'm thinking it was a hip dislocation. Thank you for your reply.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  8. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    739
    6
    121
    Sep 7, 2010
    Yes good point on other potential problems. It can be difficult to sort out with chickens if they are limping due to pain, mechanical problems or nerve/neuro issues. I have not done it myself, but many here will give a part of a baby asprin if they are concerned for pain. Might be no harm in trying.

    A couple days should give some idea in which way it is going to go.
     
  9. Avalon1984

    Avalon1984 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2010
    Muskegon
    If it makes you feel better, I bought chickens off a guy some 16 months ago. He had so many that he caught them with nets. When I came home one of the chickens was lame. I thought it’d clear up after a while but she is still lame and her leg is sticking out funny. She is a great chicken though and handling herself well. She is even laying eggs and I use here for raising my baby chickens. Her name is Pearly and she handles her disability well. Don’t give up on your chicken yet.
     
  10. The Red Rooster

    The Red Rooster Poultry Observer

    [​IMG] I hope she gets better.

    Try putting a little pressure on her thigh. If she can move it at all, then you know that there's pain in it. Sorry I don't have much experience with broken legs. I just want to help people the best I can.

    I did have a Guinea that looked like he had a broken leg (or thigh). He wouldn't put pressure on it. I put him him in a little pen, but he could still see his buddy's. I got some vet wrap, and wrapped it tight around his leg. He got better and better until he could limp around. Time went by, and his leg was normal.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by