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Broken toe treatment?

 
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Baby chick has a broken toe according to my wife.  No pictures right now.  What's the best way to treat that?
 
pollinator
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IMO same way I'd treat a broken toe on myself; take it easy and let it heal.  Hard to say if I would risk setting it on such a tiny fragile animal.  It will heal no problem if it's not crushed or mangled, and a crooked toe won't affect the chicken much.  Birds can heal broken bones in a matter of days, it's really no big deal as long as the injury is not infected (like I said; a crush, mangle, or maiming rather than a simple break).
 
Andrew Mayflower
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Jen Fan wrote:IMO same way I'd treat a broken toe on myself; take it easy and let it heal.  Hard to say if I would risk setting it on such a tiny fragile animal.  It will heal no problem if it's not crushed or mangled, and a crooked toe won't affect the chicken much.  Birds can heal broken bones in a matter of days, it's really no big deal as long as the injury is not infected (like I said; a crush, mangle, or maiming rather than a simple break).



I should probably clarify that this isn't a really new chick.  She (well, hopefully she) is probably 3 months old.

From my wife's description over the phone it sounds like a fairly simple break.  Should we try to wrap it or anything?
 
pollinator
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I'd trust the animal to deal with it naturally.  Broken feet happen in nature all the time.  It will heal, but it may not be pretty.  But by putting a splint on it or doing something heroic, you may actually make the issue worse.

I'd try to isolate the animal and decrease any stress she's dealing with.  She shouldn't have to fight for food or for a spot on the roost -- just let her hobble around and let it heal naturally without having to compete with the other birds.  Clean bedding, plentiful food and water, and perhaps only one other bird with her to minimize loneliness and competition.
 
Jen Fan
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I've had 2 turkeys with broken legs, both were totally healed within 7 days.  1 I set and wrapped and she lived many happy years.  The other I did not get to immediately (he was a violent killer jake and not on the priority list), and within just a few days his leg healed itself... backward... because I didn't set/wrap it.  He was on the whack list, so I wasn't too pissed at myself.
I had a hen this year get her foot stepped on by an 800lb pig.  Her ankle was MUSH.  I had to repeatedly lance and drain the joint but it eventually healed after like a month.  That was a really gnarly injury that repeatedly got infected since the bones were destroyed.  She's fine and laying happily now!

They do heal rapidly.  Oxidative stress triggers allantoin production in their bodies.  Allantoin is the compound in comfrey that mends bones and wounds rapidly when we use it on ourselves.  Our bodies do not produce allantoin, unlike most animals.

If the toe isn't in a gnarly or problematic position, just leave it.  Better than breaking more bones or tearing a ligament/tendon or something trying to set it if you're not sure what to do.    Just my $.02
 
Andrew Mayflower
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Found that chicken yesterday.  She seems to be doing fine on her own.  We'll just leave her be as I think by now it would do more harm than good to do anything.
 
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