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2 month old rooster with possible straddle leg

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hi, I have a rooster named Geronimo who is a little over 2 months old.  We used to have him in the pen with the other 7 chicks from his batch (we only had one batch this year but I guess that's good since we only have one hen old enough to be a mom).  Not sure on the breed, he's kind of a mix...I think he's part RIR.  There's pics if anyone wants to try and identify the breed smile

Anyway, Mr. Geronimo was fine until about a week ago.  One of his feet was curled up and he was kind of limping around on it.  The other foot was fine.  Since he couldn't get around too well he laid on his foot and now it looks kind of smushed.  I decided to let him be and see if it would heal on it's own, but he's only gotten worse.  The other foot curled up too, and then the day before yesterday I found him with his legs pointing opposite directions.  I looked it up online and it seems like straddle leg, but I could only find straddle leg on new chicks, not 2 month olds.  So yesterday I found something online that mentioned making a hobble brace for him, which I tried but it didn't seem to work.  I tried the hobble brace along with chick shoes, and that at least straightened his feet and legs out, but he couldn't stand up.  I tried gently exercising his legs so the muscles wouldn't get stuck in the painful-looking position, not strenuous exercise but just bending his hock and hip like from sitting position to standing position.  Today I made a concoction for him to maybe give him some extra vitamins or something, he loved it.  It was:

2.5 tbsp layer pellets
2 tbsp plain yogurt with active bacillus
2 tbsp grated apples/carrots
1 tsp honey
1 boiled egg (yolk only)
the recipe also called for multi vitamin powder but I didn't have any.  I don't remember where I found it online, but they said it was something good for all sick chickens.

Um, lets see, what else might be good to know...the pen in the barn that he used to be in with the other chicks is about 6x5 feet, and it's all covered in chicken wire so they can't get out.  There's a hole in the wall of the barn inside the pen where they can get outside in a larger enclosed pen.  I'd say the outside pen is about 7x14.  They all have fresh food and water at all times.  I give them chick starter in a bowl and layer mash mixed with cracked corn in a feeder.  In the inside pen, there's a bunch of perches on the walls for them which leads to a roost about 6 feet high.  It's possible that Geronimo could've jumped directly from the roost to the ground and hurt his foot instead of jumping down the perches to get to the ground.  The other chicks are fine as of now.

So now, we took Geronimo out of the pen and put him in a cat carrier box lined with hay and brought him inside so we could keep an eye on him.  He has food, water, fresh grass, and the concoction I made.

Yesterday I was exercising his legs and got the leg that used to stick out in front of him to curl up under him, which I think is an improvment.  As of now, he has the one foot curled under him and the other foot sticking out and behind him.  The hip on the leg that sticks out seems odd, like it's pulled out of its socket or something, I hope the pics can give you an idea...when I handle him I try to pay attention to see if he's in pain, but for the most part he seems like he's not in pain.  Sometimes he chirps or something but then I stop doing whatever it was I was doing.

His comb is going a little dull, poop seems normal, he's eating and drinking normally...

So, what should I do with him?  Keep trying to do physical therapy (gently exercising his legs so they don't stiffen)?  I guess I'll keep feeding him the concoction since he likes that, extra vitamins are always a help...should I try the hobble brace again?  Any advice on that would be great.

Sorry I wrote a novel, I'm just trying to explain the details so you guys can help me better, thanks.

Hope these pics will come up:

post #2 of 3

I'll offer a response, since no one else has jumped in yet. You are right, he seems to be abit old to have suddenly come up with spraddle leg, that's mainly with the much younger chickens. Perhaps a stroke? Or an injury which caused his legs to go at odd angles from the body? Don't know. Strange for sure. I've not seen this before other than one of my older hens who had a broken leg up at the hip joint. Her leg stuck out at an odd angle because of where it was broken. Had to wrap it close up to her body at the correct angle. Took awhile, but she is moble, hobbling to be sure but alive and moving around. Don't know an answer for you, but wanted to offer some type of response. Great pictures BTW, had good view of angles. Best of luck

Jan in NW Ga
Jan in NW Ga
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hi, thanks for responding.  Maybe if I wrap his leg close to his body it'll heal a little better?  Either way, it should be better than having it stick out behind him like that.  And daily I can take off the bandage and stretch it out a little so it doesn't stick like that, I guess...

So, how do I wrap a chicken leg?  Do I wrap under his wings, or would the bandage chafe the base of the wing?  Or do I wrap over the wings?  Thanks.

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