Can a Chicken Break a Toe?

Chickens are pretty resilient animals. 

But they’re far from indestructible.

You’ve probably seen birds with wing or neck injuries before. 

But what about those little chicken feet and toes?

Chickens can break toes, and this usually occurs when larger animals or people step on a bird’s foot or when a heavy object is dropped on it. If the skin is split when your bird breaks a toe, they risk developing an infection. It’s important to examine and take care of their injury quickly.

A broken toe doesn’t always need very much care. 

But you need to look closely at any foot injury your chicken has so it doesn’t get any worse.

Look ahead in this article for tips on knowing your chicken has broken their toe, how to treat them once they have, and how to prevent these kinds of injuries.

can a chicken break a toe

How Do You Know Your Chicken Has Broken a Toe?

As a chicken owner, you’ve probably noticed this animal doesn’t get hurt very often.

However, when they get hurt, especially when the injury happens in their feet, you must take care of it as soon as possible.

If one of your birdies has broken a toe, here are some signs you’ll probably notice:

  • One of their toes is crooked or bent awkwardly
  • They are limping or are less active than usual
  • They develop bumblefoot

The most obvious sign something is wrong with your animal’s toe is if it is visibly damaged.

With fractures resulting from your chicken getting tangled in something or landing awkwardly on their toe, you’ll probably be able to see they’re hurt.

With crush injuries, though, you’ll have a harder time seeing the damage. 

If your chicken’s toe isn’t crooked or bent, your next step is to look for signs they might be in pain.

A bird who starts limping or is laying around more than usual may be suffering from injury. 

If you see either of these signs or have any other reason to believe your chicken might have a foot injury, you must examine their foot more closely.

Check for broken skin, first and foremost. 

If you find any, wash out the wound with clean water and antiseptic.

If you don’t take these steps, your animal will be more likely to develop an infection.

One of the most common infections you’ll see in these guys is bumblefoot. 

This kind of staph infection develops in chicken feet, and it can grow serious.

It causes problems walking, leading to birds putting little or no weight on their injured foot. 

You might see one of your chickens limping or even hopping. 

Or maybe you’ll notice one of them isn’t walking around at all.

You’ll also see clear signs of skin infection in your animal’s foot. 

Once they develop bumblefoot, chicken feet start to swell up and develop an abscess.

You’re also likely to see some discoloration over the swollen area.

If you notice any of these problems in a chicken, you must take immediate action. 

Bumblefoot can make your feathered friend sick if left untreated.

Treating Your Chicken’s Broken Toe

Let’s talk about broken toe treatment.

Again, the first step when you determine your friend’s toe is fractured is to take care of any broken skin. 

Clean it out with fresh water and use antiseptic to prevent infection.

Some animal keepers recommend splinting your bird’s broken toe. 

You might do this with very small, flat pieces of wood and a strong tape. 

However, if your bird’s toe is bent in an abnormal position, you may want to bring them to a veterinarian. 

Otherwise, know their toe is going to heal crooked.

By stabilizing it, you will still minimize their pain while they heal from the break.

In the end, we always want to keep our animals comfortable and safe.

So, once you’ve splinted their toe, set them up so they’ll have access to food and water without having to move. 

This way, they will be unlikely to aggravate their injury anymore.

Keep an eye out for signs of bumblefoot or other infection.

If your chicken is showing signs of bumblefoot already, immediately start implementing a bumblefoot treatment plan. 

You’ll probably need to either bring your chicken to a veterinarian or be prepared to sanitize and perform minor surgery on their little foot so it can heal.

Just be careful throughout this process. 

Remember, with any kind of foot injury, your chicken will benefit from a clean environment and body.

Preventing Foot Injuries in Chickens

These kinds of wounds commonly happen when your bird’s toe or foot is stepped on, crushed by an object, landed on awkwardly, or caught in wire or plastic.

So, let’s think about how we might avoid each of these problems.

The most likely way your birdie will get their foot stepped on is by other, larger animals like horses. 

It’s best not to leave your birds in a pasture with bigger animals.

We also might accidentally drop objects on our chicken’s feet from time to time.

Consider changing water and filling feeders outside of the coop or pasture to prevent this from happening. 

This way, you won’t be as likely to drop a bucket or feeder on one of your birds’ feet.

If you have any birds who love flapping up and down off roosts or over fences, they might end up landing badly and hurting a foot. 

There isn’t much to do here by means of prevention.

However, check these hens’ feet frequently for fractures, splinters, or infections.

Finally, to lower the chances of your birds getting caught in plastic or wire, be mindful anytime you open grain bags or other products.

Don’t leave stray pieces of plastic or wire around for your friends to get caught in.

Remember, though, accidents happen! As any chicken owner will tell you, foot problems are rather common in these guys.

If your chicken hurts their foot, don’t beat yourself up. Just begin treatment promptly.

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Growing up amidst the sprawling farms of the South, Wesley developed a profound connection with farm animals from a young age. His childhood experiences instilled in him a deep respect for sustainable and humane farming practices. Today, through, Wesley shares his rich knowledge, aiming to inspire and educate others about the joys and intricacies of rural life.

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