November 2016
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Taking Care of an Injured Hen

Previously I talked about how I nursed an injured hen back to health when I was a kid. You can read about it in this post: Which came first – the chicken or the egg.

About a week ago, I discovered one of our young hens hanging from a roost. She had gotten her leg caught in the roost because of my poor design. I have fixed that so it won’t happen again. Her foot was blue and cold and the toes were curled up. She couldn’t stand up at all. She just sat there on the floor with both legs sticking straight out to the side.

The Injured Hen Can't Straighten Her Log

The Injured Hen Can’t Straighten Her Log

I kept an eye of her for the next couple days but she didn’t seem to get better. The only improvement I saw was that her foot was getting some of its natural color back. She continued to lie on the floor of the coop with her legs unable to bend. I knew if she didn’t drink she would die quickly, so I kept water and food next to her.

I would go check on her and find her unable to reach the water, so I would move it close to her again and she would drink a lot. By the 3rd day, I decided to move her inside and keep her in a cardboard box. That way I could prevent her from getting too far away from the water and food because the box was small.

By day 4, her foot had its normal color again. This was a good sign. I could bend her legs for her but she couldn’t do it herself. I periodically exercised her legs for her to improve her flexibility.

On day 5, she could sit with her legs under her and started trying to stand up. She was unable to stand for more than a few seconds but she continued to try.

On day 6, she was standing up on her own so I moved her back to the coop with the other chickens. That night we actually found her outside when the door closed. We had to move her inside but it was a good sign that she was moving around that much. Then last night she made her way back in to the coop before the door shut for the night.

Now a week later here she is walking with a limp but walking nonetheless. She seems to be on her way to recovery.

We actually thought about putting her down when we first discovered her hanging upside down. We’re so glad we didn’t.

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1 comment to Taking Care of an Injured Hen

  • Jack Mitchell

    I wanted to post an update on the injured hen. As far as I can tell, she has made a full recovery. For awhile she was easy to pick out from the others because her limp was noticeable. Now it is very difficult to spot her. She is getting around fine, scratching, and I think she has started laying eggs.

    I thought she was hurt so bad when I first found her that I considered culling her. I’m so glad I didn’t.

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