18 hour old chick holds leg straight behind it...HELP!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ryleesmom, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. ryleesmom

    ryleesmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 12, 2011
    While I have raised chickens for 8 years, yesterday was the first time we actually hatched any ourselves. When the chick was hatching, its foot or leg appeared to be stuck inside the shell. It rolled around for 15 minutes and finally dislodged the shell. It seemed to fumble around more than the other chicks, and when it rests, its leg is extended straight behind it. It isn't able to "walk" in the way most chicks do, although it can get around, but it tends to clumsily hop. Has anyone ever experienced this? Does it have a name? Is there anything I can do to help the chick, or is it destined to live with a bum leg or be culled? Chick does not appear to be in pain, however it does seem frustrated that it cannot move right. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer:)
     
  2. Jerseycoop

    Jerseycoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2011
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    I know I saw threads on here regarding this using a bandaid I think to make a splint. I'm sure someone will help soon
     
  3. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh my, leg issues can be very problematic. Can you take a picture? That might help bring some more responses. Are you able to move the leg to a straight down position? From what it sounds like, were it me i would treat it as though it was splayed leg. If you search for splayed leg on this forum you will get lots of advice and even pictures on how to splint the bad leg to the good leg using a bandaid. But be prepared to put the little one down if it can't be fixed. i've had chicks hatch with bad legs. From experience, it seems that if it can't be corrected quickly, like within a week, then there is something else going on that can't be fixed. It's heartbreaking to treat a bad leg for weeks and weeks, only to come to the realization that the little chick won't ever get better, or that there are other deformities that did not initially show up.

    i hope you can get her leg back into the right position and it heals correctly.
     
  4. ryleesmom

    ryleesmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you both! I will look under "splayed leg" and see if I can splint it. As for a picture, my understanding is that since I'm new to backyardhickens, I am not allowed to post pics. If/when that changes I will def post a pic.

    I truly hope I don't have to cull the chick...it would just break my heart. Even if I knew it needed to be done, I just don't know if I could. I wouldn't honestly even know how to do it! It seems like there may not be any harm in trying the splints and giving the chick some time to heal, right? I've heard of chicks that have leg issues and grow out of them, or continue on as adults with leg issues but they seem to get along fine. I've also heard stories of the chicks lingering a bit, but eventually dying or needing to be culled because their issues were to great to overcome. Big sigh....I LOVE raising chickens, but this is the hard part, when they are "broken" and you just don't know how to fix them!
     
  5. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    i know, i just hate having to euthanize any animal. i could never do it myself. When i've had chicks with overwhelming health issues, i take them to my vet.

    i always give my pets every chance possible. So definitely try the splint and see if that helps. If she can have any quality of life, then it's worth the effort. i have several handicapped chickens. It's only when they aren't able to stand at all that i would consider culling. But . . . one of my former vets has a rooster in a wheel chair. So there are options even in extreme cases.

    Oh, and i'm not positive, but i think you only need to have 10 posts before you can put up a picture.
     
  6. juliemealy

    juliemealy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2011
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    Quote:Just wondering what happend to your deformed chick? I have one also and I'm trying to find her a buddy.
     
  7. ryleesmom

    ryleesmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Sadly, the chick died. It lived about 5 days. Each day it seemed significantly better than the day before until it was only limping, but could get around pretty well (much better than the lurching and flopping it did the first day or two!). On day 5 it seemed normal in the morning. That evening it seemed extremely lethargic. Within just a few minutes it was gone. So sad that our "Gimpy", as we affectionately named her, was gone. Of that first batch that we hatched, 8 chicks were born, but only the two that were born on day 22 made it. All the others were born later and were just too weak or sick to live. We figured out that although our temp appeared normal, the thermometer was at the top of the incubator, right near the heating element. We speculated that the reason for our late hatch was that the eggs themselves were several degrees cooler than the temp was reading. I also had been hesitant to pull out any eggs that didn't seem fertilized and growing as it was my first time candling. My mistake. With our second batch, we experimented and ran the incubator a bit "hot", seemingly and also pulled any eggs not developing. It worked beautifully! That time around we hatched 18 chicks. The last 3 to hatch didn't make it, but we now have 15 healthy chicks that are now about a month old. Thanks for asking how things turn out. I hope your chick makes it. How old is it?
     

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