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