Sudden limp in two hens


11 Years
Jan 30, 2008
Middletown, NJ
Hi - I have two hens that suddenly came up limp. The first is a 5-6 month old orp pullet of good size. I have just brought her home from Chickenstock. I assumed she had banged it in transit. She has not been running free with the others yet. The second is a five-year-old hen. She may have injured her leg jumping from the top of the nest box - about 2 feet, but I can't think of any other reason. She was fine as of Tuesday, although I may have missed the pullet because she was in a cage with her sisters. Both seem able to put a tiny bit of weight on the leg - enough to balance, but they each stumble when they walk. The hen is eating - slightly less, but acceptable. She is in the coop still, as she would rather die than be removed from it. It's the pullet that has not been eating at all. I have given her Nutri-drench directly, and she nibbled at a scrambled egg. I have her in a cage in the house. Her two sisters show no signs of illness, not any of the other established birds, so I am reluctant to think this is Marek's. I have read several posts and sites about treatment, but I'd like some opinions. There are no other symptoms of anything. Thank you, Mary Hussey, NJ


10 Years
Mar 31, 2009
SouthEast Texas
I would check the bottoms of their feet for bumble foot; that can cause a limp.

And if there are no other symptoms, sometimes they really do just get a slight injury that has them limping for a bit. In that case, i just isolate them with food and water close by so they don't need to do much walking, and they can rest.

As to your pullet, it worries me that she doesn't want to eat. That is a symptom of something besides an injury or bumblefoot. I would feel her lower abdomen to see if you feel a stuck egg by any chance and maybe give her a warm bath and see if anything is released. Sometimes if an egg gets stuck in the right spot, it can make them walk a little funny or limp.

How long ago did you bring the pullet home?

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