NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Lame hen  (Read 3828 times)

StephB

  • Joined Feb 2010
Lame hen
« on: March 15, 2012, 06:53:17 am »
Hi all,

Somehow one of my hens has really hurt her leg.  She will come out of the coop in the morning but I had to take food and water to her as she didnt seem to be able to put any weight on her leg.

She started to look like she was going downhill abit, so I have put her in a small-ish cage in the barn, on a soft bed with water and food within beaks reach.  I have also been putting a heat lamp on low over her a night in case without her pals she is getting cold. 

My logic was that is she can't move about much but can get to food and water the leg might heal somehow and then (even with a limp) she might be able to rejoin the group.

It has been two days now and even though I know that it will take a long while for her leg to heal, I am worrying that I should just be putting her out of her misery and maybe in my efforts to save her I am being cruel?.

What is standard practice with you guys if you have a lame hen.  She is only a young hybrid that cost me £5 but if i can save her I would like to, I hate killing things unless it is completely unavoidable.

xxx

Living on a 6 acre smallholding in Dorset.
Jersey cow, Aberdeen Angus cattle, small flock of Poll Dorset x sheep, Occasional weaner pigs, Geese, ducks and hens.
Polytunnel / Veg plot.
Voss Electric Fence

Derby_menagerie

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Derby
Re: Lame hen
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2012, 08:16:50 am »
I have the exact same situation, been like it for about a week she was showing signs of recover but then yeaterday was worse again. Wondering what the best thing to do is, mine is a pretty black araucana, so I really want ther to recover but not sure if she will. I've done the same as you in big rabbit hutch, food and water in beak reach. She seems fine with in her self just a bit of a hop along, so I'm loathed to cull her but if she is not running with the other chickens or producing eggs is it really worth keeping her! I've got some Cobbs that I'm doing next week so if she hasn't recovered I'll cull her at the same time.  Not much help I know but I can sympathise, on a plus point the rest of my hens have got into full swing of laying this week!

Sandy

  • Guest
Re: Lame hen
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2012, 08:35:24 am »
I had one like that and to be honest I felt too mean to cull her and hoped she recovered, one day I thought she was dead but she was still moving....I felt awful and should have put her out her misery but could not, saying that, sometimes they do actualy injure themself, when we dug out the pond I found a hen limping but my husband and the man helping did not say anything but I recon they accidently hit her on the foot as hens are soo nosy, anyway, she recovered fine....lets hope its not all doom and gloom and also hope some people are braver than me!!!

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Lame hen
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2012, 11:24:18 am »
You need to establish the cause of lameness Steph. Is it broken ? Is it bumblefoot or is it actually the hip? We have had two twist their hips which takes weeks to mend and some with twisted knees, plenty with bumblefoot. But no breaks fortunately as that's the one you can't really mend. Need to make sure perches are not too high. 18" maximum or 12" for heavy breeds like Orpingtons.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: Lame hen
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2012, 01:47:26 pm »
I've had a limping hen for about 2 weeks =- she gets about fine  and has just started putting a little weight on it today.  It has  never stopped her eating, drinking, or keeping up with the others and at the moment she is foraging around in the front paddock with the others.  the only thing I have to watch is that she gets inside at night as she can't quite mange the step up onto the pophole - I just leave the door open till she's in.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: Lame hen
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2012, 02:22:16 pm »
chrismahon has given good advice, you need to establish the cause of the lameness. Look underneath the foot for bumblefoot as it's a common problem - you are looking for a large swelling.

If she has done something more severe, such as broken a leg, or is in pain and going downhill then she will probably die anyway so culling might be the only option.

I think what you have done to take care of her is fine (maybe the heat lamp isn't necessary), I would put her cage in the henhouse so she can see the others and have their company (otherwise if she does get better she may have to re-establish her place in the pecking order). Keep a watchful eye on her. Offer her nice tidbits, keep her water fresh. You can only do your best, and if she doesn't make it, you will have made her last days as nice as possible.

Best wishes.

 :chook:

StephB

  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: Lame hen
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2012, 10:36:54 pm »
Thanks so much for all your help.

I will pluck up the courage to have a better look at her tomorrow.  I haven't liked to man-handle her too much in case I am causing her alot of pain.  I will check for bumblefoot but other than that there isn't much i can do to help her more than I have already done.

I put the low heat lamp on her at night as I figured a group of hens in a house create abit of heat, but her on her own in a cage might get cold....Yes, I know I am soft  :love:

She seemed to perk up in herself today and was clucking away and eating and drinking, she is still not wanting to put any weight on her bad leg.
Unfortuantely her cage will not fit in any of the hen houses, so not an option.

I will keep an eye on her, I have dosed up her food with poultry spice and a drop of Apple cider vinegar in her water.  She won't eat mashed up egg, but does eat her mixed corn bedtime treat.

Bloomin hens, its one thing after another lately.

Thanks for your help again all, I will let you know how she gets on.

xxx
Living on a 6 acre smallholding in Dorset.
Jersey cow, Aberdeen Angus cattle, small flock of Poll Dorset x sheep, Occasional weaner pigs, Geese, ducks and hens.
Polytunnel / Veg plot.

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Lame hen
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2012, 08:41:59 am »
As long as she appears well in herself, dont give up on her yet. I had a cockerel who recently limped for about 3 weeks with no apparent cause. It was quite bad initially and I even caught him lying down a few times, obviously in discomfort. I left him with the flock because I felt the other cockerels may not have accepted him back if I had removed him to a separate cage. He is now fine and chasing his hens around!

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: Lame hen
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2012, 10:38:08 am »
I just found my Hoppy in with the ducks this morning - she must have gone in their shed before I shut all the gates last night. Bet there's an egg in with theirs but it's raining out so not rushing to find out! ;D
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

fleurky

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: Lame hen
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2012, 05:00:29 pm »
If it makes you feel any less soft, I had a lame battery hen living in my lounge for 2 months. She was walking fine when she came here, but suddenly lost use of one leg.  Amazingly she recovered, grew feathers and is now happily out with the rest of the flock. If you have not been able to diagnose the problem, I'd certainly try to help her! =)

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: Lame hen
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2012, 05:08:46 pm »
I'm wondering about bumble foot as Hoppy isn't improving even after a splint of cotton buds.  What is the treatment for that?

Scrap that - just looked at pictures of bumble foot - no sign of anything similar.  She's perfectly well too - manages to get away from me so difficult to catch.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 05:11:22 pm by doganjo »
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

 

Lame Hen

Started by WoodyBuzz

Replies: 1
Views: 1441
Last post March 30, 2009, 09:07:10 pm
by Rosemary
Help! Lame Hen

Started by minidax

Replies: 6
Views: 2299
Last post April 09, 2009, 10:26:31 am
by Pigtails
Lame hen

Started by chriso

Replies: 4
Views: 1219
Last post May 18, 2010, 02:09:16 pm
by shetlandpaul
Lame Hen

Started by Chris H

Replies: 6
Views: 2020
Last post November 07, 2012, 07:40:37 pm
by in the hills
Lame hen

Started by madchickenlady

Replies: 3
Views: 850
Last post February 19, 2014, 06:31:08 pm
by Marches Farmer

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Little Peckers

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS