New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Splayed leg, EDIT: twisted tibia

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

My wife and I took in a chick with splayed legs (from a local kindergarten classroom hatch) to see if we could help get her going. We found out about her on day 2 after hatching. Her toes on one leg were mostly curled under. The toes on the other leg were mostly "normal." Her legs were of course spread eagle and she could not walk or stand well. She was just constantly being run over by the other active chicks... So we brought her home and started sorting through all of the great splayed leg info here and on the net. We started with a tape-sandle on her bad foot to get the toes out flat; we also used a cut bandaid as a hobble.


The first day with the hobble was rough - she wasn't able to stand much at all. We stuck with it though and on the second day of having the hobble, she was beginning to stand on her own and take a few steps before tumbling. We removed the bandaid on day 2 with the hobble to replace it with coban tape. Good thing we did, because after taking the bandaid off, we could see that it was beginning to irritate the skin on her legs. On day 3 with a hobble (5 days after hatching), she was beginning to walk for 6-7 steps without falling. However, we noticed that the hobble had loosened a bit (or we had just done it too loose to begin with) and her toes were still pointing out substantially. We shortened the gap in the hobble and also tried to keep the knees more separated as we wrapped the coban for the center gap - hoping that it would encourage the toes inward. 


She is resting now, but was able to stand and take a few steps with the new coban wrap. 


We are having to give food and water while helping her stand. She is starting to make her way to the food and water on her own from time to time, but clearly still needs assistance. We also brought a second healthy chick home with her in the beginning to keep her company. We quickly realized that it was not a good idea to keep them together. Now we have their containers side by side, but separated with a window of wire mesh - so they can interact at least to some degree. We are contemplating taking the healthy chick back so she can socialize with the others - not sure about that yet. 


So, the chick with splayed leg is eating and drinking fine with help. She seems active enough, though is always tired (rightfully so!). Her crop feels hard and full most of the time, and poop seems normal as far as we can tell. So, other than the splayed legs struggle, she seems fine. The teacher in the classroom helped her hatch, which we have read isn't always a great idea - but she is here now, so we are doing what we can to help her along. 


Here is a picture of the set up. The vitamin water is in a green water bottle lid with a marble to prevent drowning. Her buddy is on the other side of the wire window. We had the red cloth rolled up and circled around her when she was constantly falling, but now it just serves as some extra cushion when she tumbles around :/ We put a grippy drawer liner on the bottom of the box. The paper towel on top seems to work great as well and keeps her nails from hanging up in the small holes of the liner. 





This is the newest coban hobble from the front:



Here it is from the back - showing a good view of the angle of the knees/legs. 



Here is a short clip of her first few steps with the newest coban hobble (5 days after hatching and day 3 with a hobble):



I think we are doing everything we can. We would love any additional input though if we are perhaps missing anything. Our main concern at this point is that her legs and knees might be still be at a bad angle. 


Any thoughts, input, or additional advice would be greatly appreciated. Many Thanks!

Edited by A and J - 4/25/13 at 8:19am
post #2 of 16
Thread Starter 

I should add that her foot that did not have the tape-sandal looks a bit off. Her inside toe is in and close to the middle toe and the back toe is folder under her foot. I can't get a good picture of the feet, but it looks roughly like the drawing below. I'm thinking we need to make another sandal for it. Any thoughts if the sandal would be worth it?



post #3 of 16
Unfortunately (but also fortunately) I have never had to work through a case of splayed leg. Therefore I don't have much great advice for you. I mostly just wanted to say that it looks like you guys are doing a beyond awesome job for this little chick. Had it not been for your care from day one and still now, she certainly wouldn't have made it. I've got a chick now with what I'm guessing to be a vitamin deficiency. She could barely walk herself and would just tumble over every couple steps. It's been overwhelming (first time with chicks) but after a lot of TLC, vitamins, and other supplements she seems to be improving. Its amazing how attached you can get to these little things smile.png I wish the two of you the best and hopefully you'll get some great advice here.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the encouragement Nicole. It helps :) 


We went ahead and put another sandal on the foot. I was wrong, it is the same foot that was originally curled under. The sandal seems to be working good so far. The chick is standing, but is having to readjust now with the sandal - so not walking yet. This is day 5 after hatching, so I hope the foot will settle into place without too much trouble. 


Advice and input are always welcome. I'll keep posting updates for the future reference of others. 

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

The sandal seems to be working to keep her foot in the correct position and the hobble is still on. She can stand on her own, but not for very long. 


We are giving her food and water pretty much every 2 hours or so - we listen for her and use the other healthy chick as a loose guide. She will eat while standing with some success, but we have to have her surrounded by fingers in case of a tumble. She has taken drinks on her own a few times, but now seems more interested in just the food (and she really goes for it with the food). If she won't drink from the small bottle cap that we have been using, we either lift it and touch the water to her beak or we will give a drop at a time with a small syringe. 


Any idea how much water we should offer, and how often? She just isn't stable enough to do it alone yet. Thanks for any input. 

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

Just an update for the future reference of others and in case anybody has any input that can help us along :)


Our chick is 8 days old now and todays was the 6th day with a hobble. There has been very little, if any, improvement. Below are pictures taken today (after 6 days in a hobble).






The chick is still unable to walk for more than a few steps. After searching around more today we ended up at D.C. Townsend's bulletin board ( D.C. suggested that the condition was not actually splayed leg but rather twisted tibia:





this chick has twisted tibia which is a treatable condition

in birds as young as this one.
Tibia is the bone often called "drum stick" by sellers of
fried chicken. Twisted tibia can be mistaken for straddle
Treatment takes around five or seven days and often 
brings a complete cure. One leg is wrapped in sponge to
keep the hock joints from pressing each other as the 
lower legs are taped together from ankle up to hock joints.
This is to be for half of each day --twelve hours taped
and twelve hours free of tape. I prefer to do the taping
at night while chick rests so chick can be up in daytime
If you have any questions just ask


D.C. has been great in providing us with info and help. We left off with a few questions that we are hoping will be answered in the morning. For tonight, this is our set up (images below). Our primary question now is how closely the legs should be taped together for the 12 hour spans and if the chick should be immobilized during that 12 hours. Obviously we will take her out and help her eat and drink during those 12 hours. Hopefully we will hear from D.C. in the morning. 


This is the set up based on D.C.'s advice. We just need to find out how close the legs should be. The band aid seems to work better at getting the toes to actually point forward in comparison to the coban wrap. The adhesive seems to help hold the legs in place and prevent them from twisting out again - as they likely do inside of the coban wrap. 



Because the legs are taped a bit closer together with this set up, the chick is unable to stand on her own... again. So, we set up this bowl and elastic bandage for her to sleep and rest in. We have a hole cut in the bandage material for her legs to fit through and a nice grippy surface at the bottom of the bowl. There is enough height so that she can stand and make adjustments, while at the same time not go falling and tumbling all over. We used a glass bowl so we could peek in to see if her legs are in a decent position. 







That's it for now. I try and scratch around her neck and head so she doesn't go bonkers. Hopefully D.C. will have an opportunity to share more info with us tomorrow. 


She has tried to flap her way out once, but didn't get very far. Looking at it again now, I think a larger piece of foam would prevent her from getting her lower body out through the hole... or perhaps even safety pinning the foam to the bandage. 

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

We received a reply from DCT. Sounds like I misunderstood the leg taping. I am waiting to hear back with more info later, but it sounds like the lower legs are actually taped so that they are right next to each other and the foam extends past either side of the hock to prevent the legs from rubbing each other and causing bruising etc. 


It sounds like the muscle movement when the chick tries to move her taped legs is what helps to rotate the tibia into the correct position. It would seem that time in the bowl sling (while legs taped) would also get the muscles working - as apposed to leaving the chick to struggle on the ground for 12 hours a day. Anyway, we are still hopeful at this point - not very well rested, but hopeful :)

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

Here is a video of the chick during her 12 hour shift with no foam/tape. She is still having trouble keeping her balance, but is doing better. She is beginning to pick up on the idea to lift her feet as apposed to waddling. She has perked up a great deal since we put her with two of the other smaller chicks. Luckily they are pretty mellow. When she has her legs taped, she is next door to the two other little ones, in her own area.

post #9 of 16
Hi A & J... Newbie on this board...

Did you figure out how to splint the legs properly? I'm not sure but I may be dealing with a twisted tibia and I'm having a hard time finding help. I've found no real photos of how to do it and I'm worried about my chickie. It's a little over 5 weeks old and while we already fixed another with spraddle legs a few weeks ago (it's great now!)... No others seemed to have any issues. This chick we noticed a few days ago. It looked like it's walking with its legs outwards and we thought it might be the spraddle legs, but we have had the same type of splint on it that we used on the other a few weeks back and no luck so far.

If you have any more info on your splint and how your chick is now that wild be great!

post #10 of 16
I have the same problem with my chick it is 2 days old and he has straddle/splayed leg (don't know difference) I put him in a bandaid brace like in your pictures but he still is not standing up, should I keep going with the brace wrap treatment? Or should I just humanity put him down and stop the suffering?
Edited by cktomczik - 6/1/13 at 7:24am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home