Hi everyone. I've got a question. I have a buff orphington that is barely 8 months old and she is limping on one foot. I checked it and there's no obvious break, blood, or swelling. Her hip doesn't look dislocated nor is her eating, drinking, or pooping any different from normal. She's able to get up into the nesting area just fine and her eyes or feathers don't look any different. None of my other hens have any thing wrong with them. I'm hoping she just sprained it jumping down from the coop ladder, but I honestly don't know whats going on. She's able to put some weight on it but when she runs you really can tell something is bothering her. Shes the runt (all the rest of the hens peck her). She seems normal except for that limp. Any ideas what it could be? Thanks

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Do you have dogs?  I have gimpy hens from time to time.  Although I never see it, I suspect that hens sometimes get under the feet of my dogs or get otherwise trampled.

Also, my girls free range all over my backyard so there are plenty of opportunities for them to get themselves in trouble.

Even when they're in a relatively "safe" coop they can get into a jam.  A couple of years ago one of my plymouth rock chicks, safe and secure in the baby coop with two other plymouth rock chicks, managed to lose one of her toes.  I came home to find blood in the baby coop and a chick missing a toe.  I have no idea what happened as there was no clear indication of where or how she got her foot or toe caught in the coop.  To make matters worse, there was no severed toe left behind either.  It seems that one of victim's sisters probably cleaned up the "remains" for her.  The story has a happy ending though because the chick that lost the toe has grown into the biggest and meanest girl (although not the matriarch) in our little north valley flock.  Don't ever disturb her while she's in the nest box unless you want to lose chunks of skin (or fingers)!

Thanks Jim. I have dogs but they are not allowed anywere near my hens; I don't trust them at all. I think she got caught in something or like you said a jam or crevous somewhere. When I let them out to free range (towards the end of the day) I normally sit out with them and watch them so I think If anything did happen to her it was in her coop. She's dealling with it so I'm thinking she strained something. If it doesn't get better in a week than I'll have to see what I can do to get her checked.

Thanks for the advice!  

Do you feed them vitamin B?  Mine get it sprinkled on their food once a week, and even more when I notice weird gaits.  It does the trick.  I get my v.B in the way of Nutritional Yeast from the vitamin cottage here in Abq.  They go nuts and want to eat it straight from the serving cup lol.  I learned about vitamin B when I lost a few chicks last year to this weird limping gait that would become partial paralysis and then, because they couldn't keep their bodies in a sitting position they'd get real skinny and dehydrated and be picked on by the other yard animals (even when I had them quarantined away the other animals would find a way to pick on them).  It was heartbreaking having to euthanize so many babies that year.  Vitamin B stopped this stupid illness in it's tracks.  Look vitamin B up on backyardchicken forums and see there's a lot of talk about it and chicken limping and paralysis.  :)  It works wonders.
Do you have a brand name for what you use?  I have Lovely Limpy Loretta who has been down for a long time, maybe that would help her.

My suggestion to you would be to watch her closely and possibly quarantine her to minimize her jumping and getting picked on until she is fully healed.  My rooster hurt his leg this year but could still stand on it and had normal functions, etc. as you describe.  He was getting stronger in a few weeks, but re-injured his leg again when I was at work.  This time it was worse and he was barely able to move.  He quickly gave up, stopped eating and drinking, and died.  I think if you put her by herself she'll be able to heal faster and prevent the possibility of a re-injury before she's fully healed. 

Have you heard of bumblefoot?  It is like a wart, because there is a "kernal" that you have to get out..... might wanna give it a google and see if you see some similarities.  It is treatable....  but it is not fun.


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