1 week old chick "walking on toes"

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Lady of McCamley, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 19, 2011
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    Hi Everyone,
    I just did my first broody hatch of eggs I got from a friend. They are 9 days old today.

    Of the three "mutt" chicks that hatched, two are very vigorous but one looks healthy, is running around, eating/drinking, but I've noticed today it seems to be walking on its toes...ie, it's hock is fine, it's toes are not curled, both feet look completely healthy, it simply is not walking on the metatarsal pad on either foot...it looks like it's "tip-toeing" rather than putting it's full foot down.

    Other than looking a bit stiff walking this way, it appears healthy other than some pasty butt which I've cleaned off. I have them on commercial (forgot brand but probably Purina) chick starter medicated feed and plain water.

    It has to be way too early for Marek's (which I did not vaccinate these 3 chicks for as I could not find the vaccine for sale in feed stores in my area, especially for that small a batch)...the rest of my hens are all hatchery or feed store hens that were vaccinated for Marek's to my knowledge, and I did always ask (although I know they could still be carriers).

    The chicks are being lovingly taken care of by the broody Banty in a back nest box that we partitioned off from the rest of the coop so the other hens can't get to the brood...so they have reasonable space to roam, enough for 1 banty with 3 young chicks, but it is darker most of the time as there is no direct lighting. I plan to move them to bigger quarters once they get a big bigger and need less time under momma.

    I have them on straw, but the Banty keeps showing them how to scratch and a good portion of the floor is now cleared from straw and down to bare wood (painted, acrylic, no chipping), so I don't know if the hard surface is now causing foot problems that way????

    Any ideas and suggestions?

    Thanks
    Lady of McCamley
     
  2. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    ...Oh and the floor is not slippery...it is white washed wood so the texture of the wood still resembles wood.

    If that helps.
    LofM
     
  3. TeamChaos

    TeamChaos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    Hmmm, I would just keep an eye on it. When I hear of foot/toe stuff in babies, I think of nutritional deficiencies first (before disease)- if they are eating a complete feed and everyone else is doing well, that's pretty unlikely but you could add some vitamins to be sure. I know anecdotes don't always help but we had two little chicks in our last barn yard hatch that would run around on tip toe and we joked that it was so they could be faster than the other chicks- fortunately, as they put on weight and made a habit of scratching, everything evened out. Best of luck!
     
  4. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks Team Choas,

    I added some vitamins/electrolytes in the water and after about a week, the chick looks better. I can barely see the "toe walking" any more.

    I am guessing that one chick just might have been deficient from the beginning if the hen that laid the egg was deficient, maybe that one chick was deficient since this was a 'natural hatching' from fertile eggs set under a broody...from different hens and cocks...so who knows?

    Anyway, either time or the vitamins helped. I suspicion vitamins as that chick really liked the vitamin water and showed improvement in a couple of days.

    Thanks again.
    Lady of McCamley
     
  5. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    Thought I would update this for future readers who stumble upon this thread with a similar issue.

    After using the chick nutritional electrolyte-vitamin formula in their water for several week, I saw no more toe walking.

    At 10 weeks of age, the chick is completely normal now.

    I blame the problem on a nutritional deficiency possibly caused by having the chicks on the medicated chick start. If you read the medication amprolin (sp?) used in the medicated feeds, it works by interrupting the vitamin B cycle to kill the cocci bacteria. A vitamin B deficiency could explain the odd toe walking. Adding significant Vit B back into the diet may have been the cure then.

    Why only 1 chick was showing symptoms may have been due to the mother egg layer's deficiency, or for some reason that chick was more sensitive to the medicated feed?

    All of that is pure speculation other than it appears to have been a nutritional deficiency

    Lady of McCamley
     
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  6. Harrys chick

    Harrys chick New Egg

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    Jun 15, 2013
    I have had two of 12 with this problem. At first I thought a chick had something wrong with its legs and it was culled, but now a second of the same breed is showing the same (now 4 weeks) is walking on tiptoe. Thank you for posting. I will try adding vitamins to water for a few days. They have been on a medicated chick crumb (starter) with lasalocid sodim in it. I don't know how that works - not the same as amprolium though, I am pretty sure. It occurs to me that if there is a low level cocci infection this might cause it - cocci use an awful lot of thiamine so I suppose it could cause a thiamine deficiency in the chick .......just a thought.
     

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