by Jim
(Southampton, New Jersey)

How do I treat a leg that is swollen from the leg joint to the foot. The bird gets around but with difficulty.


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by: Sharon

I like to relate chicken ailments to human ailments, when I'm trying to figure out what to do.

Short of making an expensive trip to the vet, we can do quite a bit to assess a health issue and figure out the best way to help the chicken.

One of the best things I find is to isolate a chicken with a problem. In part, this is for the protection of that chicken. Other flock members can be brutal to one that isn't up to par.

I believe this is a flock survival mechanism. A sick or injured flock member attracts the attention of predators, so the flock naturally doesn't want that kind of attraction around.

It's extra work, it can make extra work introducing the chicken back to the flock, when well, but if you want to help the chicken, isolation is the best solution.

Depending on the problem, you just set up the hospital cage or pen to make life more comfortable, safe and conducive to healing.

We don't know if the leg is fractured, a ligament torn, a bee or wasp sting...could be any number of things causing this problem. If it were you or me, we'd probably set ourselves up in a good recliner, TV remote, something to read, something to eat and drink & kick back as much as possible waiting for relief and healing.

I'll bet this chicken would prefer a similar life until it feels better. Good soft bedding, food and water close, possibly a heat lamp at one end for comfort, no drafts & just some good old fashioned peace and quiet.

If you haven't I'd asses if you think this is a bone injury, or something else. A bit of aspirin daily (dosing available on line) can make the chicken more comfortable. With a few days of rest you will be able to see if there is any improvement. Hopefully the chicken will be eating and drinking and pooing normally, but mostly resting, which sounds like what it needs.

If you suspect a sting or bite, that would certainly heal more quickly than a fractured bone or torn tendon. Chickens don't feel sorry for themselves, they just try to survive and stay comfortable. Competing in a flock is stressful for an injured or sick chicken & can slow or prevent healing.

Hoping this chicken gets better. I'm sure there is hope.

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