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Chick with broken leg

Laurel, DE(Zone 7a)

Hi all,

I need some advice.

I tripped and fell getting into the chicken pen this morning and dropped a large plastic chicken crate on 2 of my 3-week old Plymouth Barred Rock chicks. Unfortunately, the first one was crushed and died in minutes. The second seems to have a broken leg. It's lacerated and hanging totally limp.

I'm not sure what to do now. I have him separated from the rest. He's still eating and drinking. Occasionally he tries hopping on one leg and tries to test the bad leg out. But, mostly he's just lying on the ground and seems to be in a lot of pain. I don't know if there's a chance for him to survive or if I should go ahead and put him down. On one hand, I figure that as long as he's still eating and drinking I should give him a chance. On the other hand, letting him suffer seems really cruel, especially since he was bound for the table anyway.

Anyone have any words of wisdom as to how I should treat his injury or what his chances are?

Conroe, TX

Oh no, poor thing, but it was an accident.
Can you tell where it is broken? Or does he just have splat leg? If it is broken where you can put a splint on it you might try that.
We had one that got splat leg when it was small and we kept it seperated for a while and kept picking it back up when it couldn't get up. My husband talked about doing away with it but it was trying so hard we didn't have the heart. It is now a big spoiled totally rotten roo. And it walks just fine.
Hope yours has a happy ending.

Williamsburg, MI(Zone 4b)

If the leg is broken in the lower area you can splint it. I wrap it lightly in gauze, then cut popcicle sticks to the proper legnth to support the weight of the chicken on the sticks. put one on each side and tape securely, but not too tightly with good medical tape or duct tape. The gauze will keep the tape from sticking to the leg and give you a bit of space to cut it off later. (if you are really good, you can bend the back stick to an L shape and tape the bottom to his foot like a kind of boot)
If the break is higher up, it's too complicated to explain here. Don't worry if the bone is not perfectly aligned as calus bone will form to knit it together and lets face it, he's dinner anyway sooner or later. Young birds will heal in a couple of weeks strong enough to remove splints. Keep checking that it doesn't get tight with growth.

On small birds I have made the splints with just the gauze and duct tape like a cast, but they can be a booger to cut off without the extra space that a splint gives.

Laurel, DE(Zone 7a)

Thanks for the responses, guys. I think I'll go ahead and try to splint the leg. I can't tell exactly where the break is, but I think it's somewhere in the lower leg. I haven't seen the little dude eat or drink anything since I brought him inside for the night, though. And he's making very pitiful, faint little chirps. Poor little guy. :-(

Laurel, DE(Zone 7a)

Well, I was wrong. The break is most definitely up high. Seems like it's right above the bend in the leg in the lower hock/drumstick area.

At least I saw him take a drink of water after I was finished inspecting his leg.

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

Kubileya, i don't know what lengths you are willing to take. But when helping soem neighbors look for their losts dogs, i checked in the goat/barred rock barn. and had a four month old PBR cockerel just laying there. turns out liekly when the goat jumped in she landed on his toes and leg. i have helped him along. several times a day i go out and fill a little plastic bowl and watch him drink, then bring him a handful of food. he lost the ends of three toes, and is unable to use one leg. got the name Floppy. anyone, hen or roo, picks on him they get locked up LOL so he is better now, but still flopping around. he can flop all the way outside for sun or shade! be certainthat if they make it the first few days, they are over the worst of the pain and want to live, so just help the little guy make the best of it. PBRs have such sweet natures.

All the other guys have been moved so we won't have any more goat accidents. Good luck with your little one. Being so young he has a better chance i think.

tf

Laurel, DE(Zone 7a)

I just thought I'd post an update on this chick.

I can hardly believe it, but he's made a full recovery! I kept him separated from the other chicks for about 4 days. By that time, he was itching to get out of his 'hospital bed' (a bushel basket I lined with straw). Once he could fly out of it, I figured he was ready to go back. My daughter had made him a splint for his leg, but I guess it was only on for less than a week. Once he was back with the others, he got a little better day by day. He first hopped along on one leg, then tried testing his weight on the bad leg for a few days. Eventually he got so that he could walk on it with a limp. Now, though, I can't even tell he was ever hurt-- he walks and runs fine. I never would have believed it after that first night. He was in a lot pf pain and had that 'sick animal' smell about him. I went to bed that night thinking that if he was no better in the morning, I'd have to put him down. Well, he proved me wrong!

Novinger, MO(Zone 5b)

Wow, that is amazing! Congrats!

Christy

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

doing the happy dance!

my PBR still isn't walking. but he flops around well and the hens know not to peck at him...

tf

Foley, MO

That's terrific news!

Conroe, TX

Amazing how fast they recover.
We had one with splat leg that we kept seperated for a while. We would pick him up everytime he couldn't get up. If we were gone all day we'd come home and he would be in his box all twisted up. My husband would untwist his wings and set him back down. The poor thing tried so hard to stay upright. Then after about a week we were headed out of town for a trip so we put him back in with the mommy hen and other babies and let be what would be. When we came home a week later we could barely tell the difference in him and the others. He was running around like the rest. He had a little bit of a limp but otherwise was fine. He is now a big ol roo almost a year old and completely spoiled.
So glad yours turned out well also.

Novinger, MO(Zone 5b)

It is amazing how resilient and fragile they can be all at the same time!

Christy

Highland, IL

WOW, I can't believe how well they all are now!! I just joined Daves maybe 4-5 weeks ago, and saw this forum. I only have 4 hens, they are pets/eggs. One just started limping yesterday, I looked at the leg and felt it, can't really see or feel anything different. I am assuming they can pull a muscle like us?? They are in a large pen for only 4 hens, and the other 3 are not being aggressive towards her. That was the 1st thing I thought of. I check this morning again, she puts a little weight on it, then holds it up when shes standing still, but is still keeping up with the others. This evening pretty much the same as this morning. It's pouring down rain here right now but will try to get out there to look at her again tonight, if not in the morning. Is is ok to leave her with the others as long as they are not pecking at her or should I remove her from the group?

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

i would leave her if they aren't pecking, or remove her but with her best buddy. if you separate her she will want to pace the fence...

have you rubbed anything on it? arnica montana, menthol stuff, emu oil, even cod liver oil. corona. udder balm.

check for bumblefoot. i am not familiar with it but have herad it mentioned here, something on the pads of her feet... while you are at it, see that her toes are straight, her nails are trimmed, and she doesn't have mudballs on the ends...

btw, i moved floppy to his own cage, to see if being on wire would encourage him to stand. so far nothing... but flopping...

Highland, IL

I have not put anything on the leg, will look on the pads and check it out today.

Poor floppy, what a determined lil thing!!!

IThank you for the input! I really appreciate it. Mine are only a little over a year old, I got them at Rural King, they are not any special breed or anything like the silkies and that I have seen, some are just beautiful! two of mine are mainly black with the darker buff, one is mainly a reddish color and the 4th is sort of 1/2 and 1/2.

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

how is your chicken? floppy may be renamed flappy. since moved temporarily into a wire floor cage, he flaps his wings quite well to get around...

Hamilton, New Zealand

Can someone help me? my dog attacked one of my 2 weeks old chicks and its left leg is dragging I don't know if it is broken or it is a case of the chick being in shock. There is no punctures or anything I can see the chick is tweeting but not is usual self and is only moving a little bit with the other leg and wings are fine. I have looked and felt both legs and I can't tell if there is anything wrong but I am not an expert. The dog did have it in its mouth for a couple of seconds and my parents think it might die.

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