rooster hanging upside-down by leg for many hours. Anything to look for in leg?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Freia, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. Freia

    Freia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2012
    I've been out of the country for a couple of weeks. While gone, my husband found my rooster one evening stuck. He had somehow gotten his toe caught in something in our lumber-shed, lost his balance, and ended up hanging upside-down for who-knows how long. He weighs a good 8 pounds, and was hanging by the last joint of his toe.

    When my husband found him, he thought he was dead. After flipping him right-side-up, he started coming back to life, but couldn't walk. His leg got a good massage, and he was placed on a roost for the night,. The next morning, he barely had a slight limp.

    This was a week ago.

    There were no cuts or lacerations on his toe. He does not have gangrene. All toes have correct color and are warm.
    He doesn't really limp. Rather, it's an odd walk. Instead of rotating his leg in a fluid motion when he walks, that leg kind of jerks out straight, his toes flare out in mid-air, then he seats the foot down on the ground. That sound bad, but it's really not real obvious. I've been really watching for signs of injury, so I'm able to notice it.

    Now if I were hanging upside down by my toe for many hours, I'd be walking funny too. I assume he has both ligament, tendon, and muscle-strain. Now that I've eliminated cuts/infection/gangrene, are there any other things I should be on the lookout for? Is there anything else that can go terribly wrong for him? Is there anything I can do to help him regain his normal gait faster? I'm a little worried that he might have some nerve-damage. It almost looks like he's feeling the air trying to feel where the ground is. He might be numb.
  2. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    I found one of my hens twice hanging upside down with her leg caught in the fence. Both times she was fine. I think if all else is fine with your rooster, he may have pulled a tendon, which will take longer to heal.
  3. Freia

    Freia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2012
    Would Arnica or a comfrey poultice help? Or is it best just to leave it alone and let nature deal with it? He is getting around and doing his rooster-duties. It's not like he's sulking in a corner or anything. He just walks funny.

    Tough tough birds. It's amazing they can survive hanging. You'd think their lungs airsacs would fill with fluid or just collapse. Chickens are fascinating. Sometimes they can survive the most incredible things. Other times it seems like the tiniest thing just pushes them off the deep end.
  4. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    Yes, I'm sure some sort of poultice would help. But other than that, really the only thing you can do is try to restrain him from exerting the leg and wait. Leg injuries take a long time to heal, or at least that is what I've heard and am currently experiencing with on of my own cockerels. He turned up with a bad leg one day, and began walking on the top of his toes. That was about a month ago. A week or so ago, he suddenly began walking right, and I thought he had finally healed. Of course, like all males, he began using the leg too much, and even tried to mate a hen by jumping on her. [​IMG] Needless to say, I think the leg's muscle/tendon got re-injured, and now he is limping/walking wrong again. Disappointing, but if the injury heal once, I just have to hope it can do it again.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by