2-3 week old goslings with curled/contracted legs

Discussion in 'Geese' started by Ebarnes-21, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. Ebarnes-21

    Ebarnes-21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok I have 7 goslings ranging from 2-3 weeks old. Two now have foot/leg problems and I need to know why it is happening.

    I thought of Niacin deficiency but that doesn't really fit as both have shown up very suddenly, eg. at bedtime the gosling is fine, in the morning it is crippled. Symptoms as follows:

    A week ago one little goose suddenly had a bad foot one morning.
    Her toes on that foot were curled up, so the foot was a fist.
    She's one of the smallest and we thought someone had probably sat on her leg all night and strained it.
    She couldn't walk on it, and it seemed as if the back tendons were contracted and tight, and it was a little painful to straighten.
    I worked it and massaged it, and straightened it a little at a time over a few hours until I could splint it and hold her foot out flat.
    I kept her separate from the other goslings in a hutch with 3 young chickens who wouldn't bully her.
    After a few days her foot seemed much better, and I took the splint off.
    Her center toenail was still curled down, but with the splint off that corrected itself within a few hours.
    She is now walking on a normal foot.

    This morning I found another gosling in similar trouble, but much worse.
    This little gander is another small one.
    He has one foot curled into a fist like the first one, and both hocks stiffened in the bent position.
    He cannot stand at all, he sits on his bent hocks with his feet sticking up.
    I've got him in a basket inside now ... (yes I know I need to get him some better non-slip bedding as he is currently on a newspaper for the photo).

    I'm not sure how to splint this one as if I splint his hocks he won't be able to sit down, and probably not walk either.
    The way his hocks are looks like niacin ... but it happened overnight, which doesn't fit.
    Also the first girl corrected without change of diet.

    They are on commercial chick starter feed.
    It appears unlike the "spraddle leg" caused by physical flooring issues, as the legs are contracted, not slipping out sideways.
    They are on an ark on the lawn, they climb a short ramp into their box which has a wooden floor.
    They have not been seen having any problems with the flooring, in fact they seem to have good grip.

    We wondered if they were getting too cold at night ... although they always seem nice and warm and comfortable when checked on. I cannot find any suggestion of cold causing leg trouble anyway.

    We wondered whether something (Rat?) was bothering them at night. The hutch by all accounts should be rodent proof.
    It must be said I heard some cheeping at one time last night, but it didn't seem alarmed or upset, and there is no sign of injuries which I would expect if they had been attacked.
    Also if a predator was coming by I would think the 3 week old chickens next to them would be attacked.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    @Ebarnes-21 Welcome to BYC

    Your goslings are at the perfect age for a niacin deficieny and even though you don't thing they fit the criteria i would get them on Niacin supplements in the form of Brewers yeast or plain niacin 1Tablespoon of Brewers yeast of 1 cup of feed or 125 mgs of niacin crushed and added daily to 1 gal. of water till 10 weeks of age. Please give this a try, get them on shavings or some kind of good footing and what are your temps where you live day and night, goslings at 2-3 weeks of age need heat at 2 weeks they should have heat at 80* at 3 weeks at 75* they can get cold and stressed very easy. They should be in a brooder where they are kept safe and stress free. Of course when it sunny and warm they can be outside as long as they are secure from predators. and out of strong cool wind. I'd make a shoe for this little one out of card board or plastic, wrap the shoe in vet wrap or some kind of tape to protect the feet then lay the foot at normal angle and wrap the foot and shoe making sure not to wrap too tight and cut off circulation. I'll get you the link on Poultry pedia about leg and foot problems But please get your goslings started on niacin asap. and see if @casportpony can help out here since she has had some experience with cooked toes etc.

    https://sites.google.com/a/poultrypedia.com/poultrypedia/
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015
  3. Ebarnes-21

    Ebarnes-21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't have immediate access to brewers yeast or niacin, not until I go to town, but I've temporarily added some yeast spread to their feed and water (worked out the dosage based on niacin content and requirements of goslings) which will look after that for a couple of days.

    An alarming quantity of yeast spread is required though!

    I have splinted his leg like we did with the other ... it is holding his foot right, but he's not taking to it quite as well ... the first little girl immediately used it to walk on ... this one is tripping over it and falling over ... interesting behavior ... time will tell.

    A little while ago they just stopped using their brooder light, (which was inside the box) and in fact started voluntarily sleeping outside, so we turned it off. I will turn it back on again tonight and see what they do ... I'm not sure if they'll all fit around it now ... they're getting pretty massive.

    Daytime temperatures right now are about 75*, nighttime is 65* outside, which is where they are sleeping. It sounds like they should still need it but why would they have just left it all by themselves?

    It could be that it is the bigger ones choosing to sleep out there and the smaller have no say in the matter ... would low night temperatures be likely to cause leg problems?
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Please don't say baking yeast. It will not work and can cause them to have gastric distress.
    The thing is you give them heat and let them decide if they need it. Put you lamp at one end of this thing your keeping them in so they can either get under if chilled or move to the other end if too warm. They may be getting warmed some by their own body heat when sleeping close together but some maybe still be getting chilled.. I don't think the temps are causing the leg and feet problems but can exasperate it . Get them on niacin or Brewers yeast asap. If it is a nutrient deficiency they usually show improvement with in a weeks time. Remeber it has to be plain niacin not time released or flush free, Can be hard to find to one reason I use brewers or nutritional yeast. And put the BY on their feed not sprinkled around their feet. Please keep me updated

    Another thing you can do is warm water therapy so they use their leg muscle and feet to paddle around take of the splints before hand. if they can float they need constant supervision at this pont with their legs and feet not working properly, massage is another after warm water when muscle are relaxed.
     
  5. Ebarnes-21

    Ebarnes-21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh no not baking yeast, yeast spread, as in for on sandwiches, Vegemite/Marmite, or whatever you call it ... I'm in NZ, very common, and usually the first thing anyone reaches for if something needs B vitamins urgently Lol.
    2.5mg niacin per tsp, from which I've worked out how much it needs adding to make the chick starter up to the waterfowl level.

    I would expect bread yeast to make them very sick, a friend tossed her pet "wild duck" some scraps of raw bread dough once and he spent the next 48 hours throwing up on her floor and lawn [​IMG]... poor guy was in bad shape for a while, but he got better.

    Good thing is they love the flavour of vegemite, and we don't ... although we will have to start on the marmite soon and that is just sad!
    It seems to be doing the most recent cripple a lot of good, I gave him a stronger dose of it than the others and his feet are so much better I took the splints off this morning.
    One slightly curled toe is all that is left, his legs were all straightened out, and it certainly wasn't doing him any good to trip over his splints all the time.
    He responded by marching up and down in his basket (in the house) screaming for his friends and jumping up and down.
    He is now with the chicks, who although older are smaller and won't bully him. His sister who seems back to normal has been returned to the gosling pen.

    I ran their light for them last night ... they were a bit funny about it ... they were sleeping outside, so I pushed them all into the box so they could find it ... they saw and recognized the brooder light and all cuddled around it ... but it wasn't switched on Lol it was stone cold. As soon as I switched it on and it started to warm up they left it. They did sleep inside, but at the opposite end where there's no real difference in temp.

    Nutritional yeast is OK for them too? Which has more Niacin I wonder ... I need to find out when my neighbor is heading into town. I will probably have a choice between brewers or nutritional. Is there a preference? I guess I'll look up what the comparative Niacin levels are and gauge it off that and price.
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I have seen were others have fed vegemite to their water fowl thank you for clarifying I was freaking out all day. I use Nutritional yeast for myself and Animal grade Brewers yeast for my animals. So I think you should do like you said and look up and compare. That is great news about the goslings already showing progress,. You need to keep them on the B3 till they are 10weeks old. I have used Nutritional yeast with my flock when young too. One thing I like about the Nutritional yeast is it's a flake where the Brewers yeast I have is a powder I don't think they would like the powder as much as the flake. I use the powder for my fermented feed I make for them.

    I can only recommend what to do for warmth from my own and others experience and all info says to give them heat source First week after hatch 85* and 5* cooler every week there after. I did this with my 2 goslings last year. Difference being 7 warm bodies compared to 2.LOL

    Thanks for up dating and please keep letting me know how they are.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/raising-and-caring-for-goslings
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2015
  7. Ebarnes-21

    Ebarnes-21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    On precursory research it would appear Nutritional yeast has about 10 times the Niacin content of brewers yeast. Nutritional yeast is rated at 56mg per tablespoon and brewers yeast at 5.

    I wonder though whether different brands vary.

    The goslings appear to be quite happy ... the latest little Mr Legs is still with the chicks, standing and walking just fine.

    They seem to be enjoying their vegemite ... which is a good thing because the car is broken and the neighbour I can go into town with isn't going in for a week. But we have enough to last.
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Thanks for the info. I'd just keep up with the vegemite if it is working that is what is important.
    Keep us updated sounds like you have found the cure!! It is absolutely amazing how fast they bounce back once given the B3 if it's a deficiency .Pics when you can of before and after so if some one else is skeptical about how well the B's work in curing leg and feet issues we have proof in pics.
     
  9. Ebarnes-21

    Ebarnes-21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ha ... easy ... I'll just grab a photo of him now. I didn't get one showing both his legs before, but that one above is the worst leg. He's a perfectly normal walking goose now. He basically was within 24 hours.

    He will probably have to move back with the other goslings soon ... a drawback with keeping a convalescent goose with the chickens has emerged ... it goes like this ... feed is placed in the bowl ... the chickens run over and stand in the bowl to eat ... the goose moves slower and gets there to find 3 bodies in the way ... the goose asks politely for a chicken to step aside ... all chickens ignore him ... a chicken gets plucked.

    It's a "Either you move and let me eat food, or I eat you" deal. The gosling doesn't hurt or bully the chick funnily enough ... he just nibbles the feathers off their back.

    Probably he is strong enough to handle the big goslings anyway, they are nice to each other, I just didn't want him to get his leg squashed for a bit.
     
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  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    [​IMG]Bless it's heart well at least it was plucking nicely. I hope it will be okay moved back with the others. I'd love to see them all actually nothing cuter than babies. Oh and what breed? those B vitamins are amazing aren't they?
     

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