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6-day-old limping

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Completely new to chickens (much less babies). 16 littles arrived here last Thursday via usmail. We've had a couple issues, but to date everybody seemed to be making it okay.

Today, though, one of the Buff Orpingtons looks wrong to me. She's laying kind of splayed out, with her feet out to the side. She wasn't getting up much (and then only to adjust when somebody walked on her), so I picked her up to have a better look.

She just lay there, pretty limp. I couldn't see anything obvious, though. Put her back into the brooder, and I watched her limp very awkwardly a few paces, then lay down again.

Not sure what's up with this? Could she have gotten squashed somehow by her (15) brooder-mates?
Edited by Polimom - 4/18/16 at 1:31pm
post #2 of 9

It's called splay leg, it may have a number of causes, bullying could be one, vitamin deficiency is another, often it occurs when they try to stand on a slippery surface and do the splits. There are braces you can buy or make to help, but they'll need time away from the rest.  i've recently posted about something similar (my little guy is has splay leg and is pecking his talons) maybe we can benefit from subscribing to each others posts, good luck!

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your reply Rinnley! I looked at the images of splay legs and realized I wasn't as clear as I should have been.

Her feet aren't out to opposite sides. They're just kind of out from under her body -- sometimes to the back, sometimes one is out to the side. And she doesn't seem to be able to hold her wings all the way into her body.

I isolated her, hoping she wouldn't take further damage with her rowdy jumpy running fluttering broodermates, but she cried so piteously that I finally put her back (and she stopped crying immediately).

Sigh.... sad.png
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
She sometimes looks like this:

If she gets up to move, she kind of waddles very awkwardly for a step or two, then down again.
post #5 of 9

maybe is a vitamin deficiency is making her legs soft. you may still need to bind her legs so they harden in position as you give her vitamin supplements. (some people have had luck with drugstore vitamin water, im using chew-able vitamin b12) but you say she didn't arrive like this? id still check forums on splay leg, my guess is splay/spraddle leg has similar causes to "face-plant leg" but as i said i have almost no experience. whatever the cause of leg problems, binding them in some way seems to be the solution. are her toes curled up or misshapen? hard to tell from the photo, but i've been told that is a sign of a lack of vitamins.

Edited by Rinnley - 4/18/16 at 4:59pm
post #6 of 9

How have things gone with your little chickie? did s/he make it? I hope so!

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi Rinnley!

Yes, she made it. She's a fair amount smaller than the others now, but walking around more and more every day. Even caught her roosting at one point yesterday.

How has your 'little' done?
post #8 of 9

Sounds like your babe is doing great! I just wanted to add I had a very similar situation with one of my week old Ameraucana chicks. It started with limping and then she stopped using her leg all together, and used her wings to balance herself as she hopped around. I seperated her with a little buddy and made a brooder out of our bath tub. For about a week, she still wouldn't use the leg and her toes seemed completely limp and curled, almost like she couldn't feel them. I started stretching her leg out and spreading her toes for her once a day. I also read that PolyVisol in their water can help so I bought some (baby section at WalMart). She gradually started to use the leg again, and about 3 weeks later she is completely back to normal! You can't even tell she was ever having issues.  She's back in with the big girls now and doing great :) Glad yours is too!

post #9 of 9

she doing just fine! we had good luck with the braces and "physical therapy" putting her on my hand and rotating it, tilting it side to side and finally working up to little bounces that strengthened her legs on the way up and her wings on the way down. My boyfriend was all about doing the little bounces in three foot drops!, i thought for sure he was torturing the poor thing but i guess i was wrong bc she's well recovered and likes to ride on your shoulder all day. she's forgotten she's a chicken and wont go back to mama so she's going off today to be a pet for a 10 year old until she's big enough to join their flock. Glad your chickie pulled through!

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