Our old lady hen is limping...

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GemmaEllen
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Our old lady hen is limping...

Post by GemmaEllen »

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful christmas, and are planning an equally wonderful (if a little quiet!) New Year! Over here in Cold and Sunny East Sussex, UK, Our poor Pepper (a 4 year old Black/ Rhode rock) has come through her moult well, and her new feathers glint a lovely blue and gold in the winter sunlight.

Unfortunately, we noticed yesterday that she has a slight limp, seeming to want to keep weight off her left leg. I've checked her over and can't see anything wrong, and she's still eating, drinking and 'chickening' with no problem - but I wanted to post some photos for some better judgement than myself.

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We've never had the dreaded bumblefoot but I can't see any sign of it, nor any swelling, but I am aware it turns up in wet, boggy conditions, which a small part of our garden currently is. Their run is covered with clear tarp so stays mostly dry and wind free, and has a good thick layer of woodchip covering most of the ground.

We are in Chicken lock down at the moment due to Avian flue, but they do get an half hours supervised free ranging here and there (when it's not too cold I head out with a cuppa and let them wander about for a bit - its good for the soul - their's and mine!)

I am hoping that she's just twinged it while out and about, or the cold has turned up some arthiritus or something (she's an old dear!) but if anyone more experienced than me has some suggestions I'm happy to listen!

Thanks all!

Gemma
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Marigold
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Re: Our old lady hen is limping...

Post by Marigold »

Hi Gemma,
In the first photo, is that a trick of the light, just shadow maybe, that looks like a sore place round behind the back claw on the foot to the right side on the pic?
If that’s OK, I think there’s not a lot you can do except examine her legs and feet regularly for any changes. How high is her perch? If it’s more than about 12” (30cms) she could possibly have strained a leg when jumping down awkwardly, or if pushed off it by another bird when asleep, as happened to one of mine earlier this Autumn.
I don’t think her age is very important - many hybrids do keel over round about 4, but usually it’s from egg laying problems such as prolapse, peritonitis or ascites. Many pet hens live on to 6-8+ years if the owners don’t mind that they cant lay eggs any more.
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GemmaEllen
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Re: Our old lady hen is limping...

Post by GemmaEllen »

Thanks Marigold! I cant see where you mean? can you circle it or something and I can double check? she doesn't actually roost, preferring to snuggle into the nesting box, but she did have a bit of a start yesterday when my husband chucked out a bit of salad for them. we wondered if the cold and the quick dash twinged something... ill keep an eye on her!
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rick
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Re: Our old lady hen is limping...

Post by rick »

Happy new year Gemma! I think you may be right about the salad dash. I cant see anything wrong with her feet other than being typically older chickeny! If she is reasonably accepting of being handled, and you are careful, then a gentle leg and foot massage they seem to enjoy and can loosen them up a bit. Other than that just have a think about how they get on and off of perches, ramps etc as Marigold says.
bigyetiman
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Re: Our old lady hen is limping...

Post by bigyetiman »

Can't see anything to obvious, the only time I had a limping chicken she had a tiny thorn in her foot, which we just removed with tweezers.
It may just be a sprain.
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dinosaw
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Re: Our old lady hen is limping...

Post by dinosaw »

If it doesn't clear up, try putting her in a smallish cage with some food and water during the daytime to restrict her movement and help the leg heal.
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GemmaEllen
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Re: Our old lady hen is limping...

Post by GemmaEllen »

Hi All! A long overdue update, but she is fine! it went away, so no issues!
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Marigold
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Re: Our old lady hen is limping...

Post by Marigold »

That’s good. Probably a strain, then. One if mine went a bit lame for a few days recently but I couldn’t see anything wrong, and she got better.
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rick
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Re: Our old lady hen is limping...

Post by rick »

That's really good to hear. Chickens are a lot about legs (and eggs!) Its always worrying when they limp.
bigyetiman
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Re: Our old lady hen is limping...

Post by bigyetiman »

Really glad to hear that and she can go full speed ahead for the salad dash
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