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weak legs/walks on backs of legs

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have an incubator hatched week old chick (the blue).  She is in a brooder with the other chick that hatched (the splash).
The blue hatched out half a day earlier than the splash, but is now only about half the size of the splash.  She also is having leg trouble.  He feet are turned the appropriate direction and she can walk (quite fast!) when she wants to.  But most of the time she seems to prefer scooching along on the backs of her legs instead of standing up.  I know she can stand up on her feet as she runs when I open the brooder.  She just seems weak.

I know she is eating, drinking and pooping.  She isn't making the distressed cheeping that unhappy chicks make.  She just isn't growing very fast and seems to sleep a lot.  Definitely more than the splash.

What should I do?  Vitamins?  Splints on her legs?  I'm at a loss.  It doesn't seem to be spraddle leg and nothing is swollen.  She just seems to have week legs and not be very zippy.

Breeder of B/B/S ameraucanas, easter eggers, olive eggers and buff silkies
NPIP
For more chicken pictures than you can stand, check out my blog- www.farmeranne.blogspot.com
Web page-  http://teacherhousefarm.webs.com/
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Breeder of B/B/S ameraucanas, easter eggers, olive eggers and buff silkies
NPIP
For more chicken pictures than you can stand, check out my blog- www.farmeranne.blogspot.com
Web page-  http://teacherhousefarm.webs.com/
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post #2 of 10

I would give vitamins, either in the water or the infant drops without iron. If she is able to use them then I wouldn't splint. Sometimes they just have trouble absorbing nutrients at first and need a little help. A little crumbled egg yolk or scrambled eggs could be good too.

Wife to wonderful enabling hubby, Mom to DD and DS with 7 of his own. Leader/mommy of 2 Ameraucanas, 5 EE, 2 Austrolorps, 2 dominique, 1 orpington, 1 production red, & bantams-2 Sebrights, jap, modern, rir, orpington, wyandotte. 5+4+3 silkies. 2 mut banty roos
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Wife to wonderful enabling hubby, Mom to DD and DS with 7 of his own. Leader/mommy of 2 Ameraucanas, 5 EE, 2 Austrolorps, 2 dominique, 1 orpington, 1 production red, & bantams-2 Sebrights, jap, modern, rir, orpington, wyandotte. 5+4+3 silkies. 2 mut banty roos
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post #3 of 10

We had chicks with similar symptoms that came from a hatchery last year.  They had Avian Encephalomyelitis.  Some lived, some became paralyzed and euthanized.  But if you hatched your own, not sure if they could pick this up...? I think it is viral.

The ones that survived really did well with fresh spinach bits.  We also gave bird vitamins, small amounts of cod liver oil which is supposed to be good for weak legs, and also echinacea in their water. 

Hope she recovers for you.

~Shauna
(Wife to 1, Mama to 6, Living in the Wild West with 2 Horses, 6 Dogs, 5 Cats, Chickens, Parrots and Quail)

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~Shauna
(Wife to 1, Mama to 6, Living in the Wild West with 2 Horses, 6 Dogs, 5 Cats, Chickens, Parrots and Quail)

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post #4 of 10

Poly-vi-sol liquid baby vitamins, Enfamil brand if possible..no iron..
give 2 drops on beak for 5 days then 1 drop for a week..


sounds like slipped tendon..

http://www.voy.com/194762/

she's probably not getting enough to eat and drink because she can't compete with the others...
a little egg yolk and plain yogurt won't hurt.
you might want to help her out with water..drops on beak...or hold water to her so she can more easily drink.

are you giving chick vitamins?
describe her droppings..color and consistency.

Hope you have  a Happy Hen House
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Hope you have  a Happy Hen House
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post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies all.

The link on slipped tendons was great.  I'm not sure that's what's going on as she clearly CAN walk on it.  She just chooses to not.  She can jump and climb.  She likes to sleep up on top of the stuffed animal I put in there with them and it's at least 4" high.  smile

There are only two of them in there (long story- failed hatch- didn't transition outside to broody hen well).  They both are eating and drinking well.  Their poop just looks like chick poop.  Dunno. 
I will try some scrambled egg.  I tried yogurt and they acted like I was trying to poison them.  I haven't started the vitamins, but hopefully will find them tomorrow and start dosing her up.

Again, I know she can stand up.  I sat in there for a while this evening and she was up and toddling about.  It kind of looks like she is slightly extending her wings as if for balance.  Of course, I'm worried about her so I could totally just be imagining things now.  She is definitely smaller than the other one though.

They are still on papertowels over shavings.  I have the shavings uncovered at one end and they have played in them.  I've hesitated about taking the papertowels up since the shavings will be harder to navigate.

I'll get the vitamins tomorrow.  Hopefully that will help.  idunno

Breeder of B/B/S ameraucanas, easter eggers, olive eggers and buff silkies
NPIP
For more chicken pictures than you can stand, check out my blog- www.farmeranne.blogspot.com
Web page-  http://teacherhousefarm.webs.com/
Reply
Breeder of B/B/S ameraucanas, easter eggers, olive eggers and buff silkies
NPIP
For more chicken pictures than you can stand, check out my blog- www.farmeranne.blogspot.com
Web page-  http://teacherhousefarm.webs.com/
Reply
post #6 of 10

better to remove the shavings and just use newspaper with ribbed paper towels on top..
they need the "grip" to help with the legs..and should be a flat surface at this age..

the Poly-vi-sol is available at any pharmacy, including Walmart with the vitamin display.

are you able to post a pic?
would you she is walking on her hocks?

might be a good idea to check her crop..could be she has eaten some bedding and is impacted..
did you say she is eating good? or just pecking?
does she feel thin compared to the other?

droppings..color and consistency..
what color is it?..is it thick or runny?
is her vent clean and clear?


Edited by sammi - 6/1/09 at 8:22pm
Hope you have  a Happy Hen House
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Hope you have  a Happy Hen House
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post #7 of 10

not sure if this will help you, but here is a quote from DCT on the site:

"
I am not certain what you mean by "elbow" because no such
thing exists on poultry leg. There is a hip joint at top end
of femur. On lower end of femur is a stifle joint connecting
the femur to the tibia. At lower end of tibia is the hock
joint connecting tibia to the tarsus. The tarsus is covered
with scales and the lower end of that is where the toes
begin.
Perhaps you mean hock when you say "elbow". If this joint is
loose and going wrong way a brace can be cut from the handle
of a plastic half gallon milk jug and taped on to prevent
joint from going wrong way"

me..
since the chick seems to choose to walk this way..I'm thinking it could be nutritional..
but the splint mentioned in DCT's quote might also help.

Hope you have  a Happy Hen House
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Hope you have  a Happy Hen House
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post #8 of 10

One way to slip in the yogurt is to mix it with a little starter, mine loved moist starter and would actually kick food into the water and eat if off of the top.

Wife to wonderful enabling hubby, Mom to DD and DS with 7 of his own. Leader/mommy of 2 Ameraucanas, 5 EE, 2 Austrolorps, 2 dominique, 1 orpington, 1 production red, & bantams-2 Sebrights, jap, modern, rir, orpington, wyandotte. 5+4+3 silkies. 2 mut banty roos
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Wife to wonderful enabling hubby, Mom to DD and DS with 7 of his own. Leader/mommy of 2 Ameraucanas, 5 EE, 2 Austrolorps, 2 dominique, 1 orpington, 1 production red, & bantams-2 Sebrights, jap, modern, rir, orpington, wyandotte. 5+4+3 silkies. 2 mut banty roos
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post #9 of 10

I am having a similar problem-I ordered mail order assorted heavies (this is only my second batch of chickens-I have 6 hens purchased from local feed store)- they are about 3 weeks old and I noticed one chick apart from the group and moving slow i.e. hard to get up, staggering. The legs are not sraddled but they look a bit bowed forward. Also, I noticed that some of the chicks have "floppy" toes - I don't remember this from when my hen chicks were young - is this normal for three week old chicks?

post #10 of 10

We have five six day old chicks and one of ours is doing the same exact thing. We've noticed irritation on the backs of her legs from sitting and as you say scooching. Today we took her out of the brooder which is lined with pine shavings and covered with paper towels and practiced walking with her on a harder surface covered with paper towels. We held her up and straightened her legs and just as you say, she can walk, she just walks a bit funny and prefers to lean back and sit. I read these posts and will go in search of vitamins ASAP. But, your original post is a couple of years old now. Did you ever manage to fix the problem?

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