Toes of chicken sudden curling unable to walk

dapple25February 14, 2009

I would be grateful for any advice for my poor chicken who is an ex-battery hen and we have had for a couple of months and has done really well through the winter so far, but this am she came out of her house with the others unable to put her weight on one foot with the toes curling up but it does not appear broken. So I put her back in her house with straw all around her but have now brought her into the my house in the warm and snuggled up as the other foot seemed to be doing the same. She is eating and drinking and her cone seems fine. Thank you for any help.

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Could be too much prtein in food.Theres a percentage of protein on bag.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 7:44AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Check the bottoms of her foot pads for wounds--signs of Bumblefoot. Bumblefoot is basically an open wound or abcess that can't heal properly due to being packed with dirt all of the time. If you Google it you'll see pictures. It's treatable but it's a pain in the neck, since you have to keep the wounds clean and free of dirt--not easy for a chicken! It could be that she stepped on something sharp or she has a thorn in there--being an ex-battery hen she would be unaccustomed to walking on open ground and would need time to build up normal callousing on her foot pads.

Check her leg for injuries by gently squeezing her leg between your thumb and forefinger, starting at the top and working your way down, doing each toe as well. If she jumps, pulls back or otherwise reacts, you've found a sore spot. I know you said she isn't using the foot, but if you hold her up and put your hand under that foot, does she attempt to grasp with it? Any possibility that she injured herself jumping down from a roost, or got injured by an over-amorous rooster?

You can also offer her supportive therapy by keeping her warm and quiet. I've got a chicken info site here that might help further, this is the 'health' section:

What has her normal diet and housing situation been like up to now?

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 7:28PM
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