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Toe Fracture

Toe Fracture

Broken toes in chickens are usually the result of trauma or injury to the foot or toe. Examples of incidences where this injury is more likely to occur include:
  • Having a heavy object dropped or fall on their foot or toe.
  • Getting their foot stepped on by a human or a horse, cow, or other large animal.
  • Getting chased by another flock member, an ignorant human, domestic dog or cat, or predator---causing them to stub or fall on their toe.
  • Having an existing toe deformity such as a crooked toe.
  • Getting their toe caught in something
Depending on which toe is injured, a chicken may or may not have difficulty walking. The only way to confirm whether a toe is broken is through radiographs.

Treatment for a broken toe depends on the severity and location of the break. The fracture may need to be put back into the place it normally is, and splinted for support. If there is an open wound or a nail injury, then these will need to be treated accordingly as well.

Clinical Signs

Deformed toe
Swelling
Bleeding
Difficulty walking
Frequently sitting
Stiffness

Diagnosis

  • History
  • Physical exam
  • Radiographs

Treatment

NameSummary
Supportive careIsolate the bird from the flock and place in a safe, comfortable, warm location (your own chicken "intensive care unit") with easy access to water and food. Limit stress. Call your veterinarian.
Stabilization, rest and physical therapyMay be all that is needed only in very mild cases.
Wound management
Splinting

Prevention

  • Design chicken enclosures to minimize risk of injury by ensuring there are no spaces that they could potentially get a toe caught in
  • Be mindful where you step when interacting with your chickens.
  • Predator-proof enclosures

Scientific References

Risk Factors

  • Tying chickens' legs together - NEVER NEVER do!
  • Chickens with an existing toe deformity such as a crooked toe.

Case Stories

Also Consider