Chicken Has A Broken Ankle (5 Steps To Helping The Bird)

Breaking bones is very traumatic and very painful. This is true for animals and humans.

If your chicken has a broken ankle there are steps you can take to help the bird recover. This article explores what to do if your chicken has a broken ankle 

Chicken broken ankle:

A chicken can break its ankle if it falls from a high height, or, if an excessive amount of force is applied to the ankle making the bones break.

How to know if the ankle is broken:

Signs that a bird’s ankle is broken include excessive swelling in the area, red skin at the ankle, and an ankle that is hot to the touch.

The ankle will also be very sensitive so touching the ankle will likely make the bird chirp and cry loudly. A bird with a broken ankle will also keep its weight off the broken ankle. 

What to do:

Splint the ankle:

Splinting the ankle will minimize movement in the area and keep weight off the ankle. Keeping weight off the ankle will allow the bird to heal. Do this as soon as you realize that the bird’s ankle is broken.  

Use a popsicle stick, or a tongue depressor to create a splint for your bird’s ankle. Cut the splint, and size it to the bird’s ankle.

Cover the sharp ends of the splint with tape or file them down and cover them with tape to keep the sharp ends from digging into the bird.

Use a clean gauze to pad between the chicken’s skin and the splint to keep pressure sores from developing. 

Place a splint at the sides of the ankle making sure that the leg is positioned correctly.

Wrap the splints, and the leg, with a soft adhesive wrap to keep everything in place.

Wrap the adhesive wrap well enough to secure the ankle but don’t wrap it so tightly that you cut the bird’s blood circulation off.

Wrap ace wrap over the first layer of adhesive wrap and then wrap masking tape over the ace wrap. 

Isolate the bird:

Too much activity and interaction with other birds will not be good for the injured bird. If a bird were to stay in the coop while injured it will likely injure the ankle even more.

Keeping the bird isolated will help the ankle heal better. Create an enclosure just for the bird and allow it to heal in there. A chicken carrier can be used as an enclosure.

Keeping the bird in the enclosure will also be of help to you as you’ll have an easier time keeping an eye on the bird and monitoring its recovery.

Make sure that the bird’s enclosure is kept in a warm and quiet space. The quiet space will keep your bird calm and relaxed allowing it to heal better than it would in a loud space which would otherwise stress the bird. 

Once the bird has fully recovered, you can reintroduce her back into the flock. Don’t reintroduce the bird too early, the bird will reinjure its ankle and cause more damage to it if introduced too early. 

Feed the bird: 

Feeding your bird the correct foods will help with the healing process. The bird needs access to high-quality food and water at all times.

Give your chicken added protein in the form of scrambled eggs, mashed-up boiled eggs, or mealworms. The added protein will help with recovery.

Giving the bird a vitamin B complex in its food will also help to speed up the healing process. 

Help with the pain:  

A broken ankle will be very painful. Your chicken won’t show too many signs of being in pain but the bird will most certainly be in pain.

Animals, chickens included, avoid showing that they are in pain or are injured because showing signs of being injured, in pain, or weak makes them bigger targets to predators.

For this reason, the bird will keep from letting on that it is in pain. 

You can help the bird and take some of its pain away by offering the bird pain medication.

The recommended dosage of aspirin for chickens is 325mg of aspirin crushed and diluted into a gallon of water.

That being said, don’t give the bird too much pain medication to where it can’t feel the broken ankle and starts to move around too much.

Visiting a vet:

You can assume that your bird’s ankle is broken but the only way to truly tell whether your bird’s ankle is broken is to take the bird to the vet to have it examined and have the vet do an x-ray on the bird.

You can take your bird to the vet if you’re not sure if the bird’s ankle is broken or not.

If the bird has an open fracture (where the fractured bone pokes through the skin or where the wound is deep enough where you can see the bone) then you’d need to take the bird to the vet to be treated.

An open fracture can become infected if not addressed 

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other chicken related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Chicken Walking On HocksChick Walking On HocksChicken Has A Broken Knee JointChicken Limping And Has DiarrheaRooster Has A Broken Leg 

Chicken Has A Broken Ankle (5 Steps To Helping The Bird)
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