3 month old silkie toe curled and another ?


Jun 25, 2020

So today was a bad day. I had my first socially distanced photoshoot post pandemic with a family that had a small dog in my yard. The chickens are fine with my dogs (they walk right over my one Aussie). However they freaked out in their run when this dog showed up. One of our polish girls actually knocked herself out or passed out in fear (they have a large 12x12x12 run and they were flapping all over but I didn't see her hit anything) I thought she had broke her neck and was dead...on her back not breathing and completely limp. I scooped her up and after 30 seconds she started breathing and coming around. After about 5 minutes inside with my daughter she came around and has acted normal since. I am praying she is ok. However, I also noticed one of my silkies holding a foot up. When I inspected her I noticed one of her toes was curled under her foot..upon further inspection two of our silkie girls have toes like this on one foot each.
They are feed store chicks we raised and I never noticed any curled toes when they were babies. I can't imagine both did this today...but I can't say they didn't either. Does anyone have advice? Should I take them to the vet? Do you think my polish girl that knocked herself out will be ok?

I am so sad. I really didn't want to do this shoot but they have been great clients and I felt that I could do their shoot safely outside with the pandemic. However I am hoping we don't pay for it by losing some chickens due to the stress. Any advice is appreciated.


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Sorry that you have to deal with this after a try at 'normalcy'. My gut instinct is that the silkies have probably had the toe problem and that yesterday they may have aggravated them. Since the Polish recovered so rapidly, I think that she may also be fine. Sometimes when panicked chickens will go into a 'frozen' trance sort of an instinctive since much predator drive is inspired by the movement of the prey. Good luck with them.
I agree with the previous poster, the toes were probably like this all along and you just didn't notice it. I have two hens with feet like this. One is actually more severe, it is like her foot is balled into a fist shape. Both of them get along just fine, are able to roost in the coop, and keep up with the other hens. Unless you looked at their feet, you wouldn't be able to tell anything was the matter.
Thank you both so much for your comments. Our polish pullet seems to be fine....though that entire episode was awful and scary. She is our family favorite hen...and spends a quarter of the day inside of the house sitting on my daughters lap (on paper towels) 😂

Do you think there is anything we can do for the Silkies toes? I can't believe we never realized that they had this issue. They are our flightiest chickens (much opposed to what we read about them before we picked up the chicks at the feed store). They are handled but they do not enjoy it and are a pain to catch and will shake and stress while we are holding them so they are not handled as much as our Polish girls and Cochin girls. We do have one silkie rooster that also seems to have some kind of nuerological tic in his neck that he does as well. We also recieved the Polish that had the episode from this feed store at the same time. (The rest of our chickens were hatched by a friend from her flock and all are healthy and friendly). I am wondering if all of them are just not well bred and have issues. I am willing to try anything to get them all healthy though. Any advice is much appreciated!!
There is another active thread happening who's OP is dealing with curled toes on her young Silkie. You may want to check it out~


I'm glad your birds turned out to be no worse for the wear after their blind panic. It's a shame the little dog got them so upset but great that they are responding to the 'calm after the storm'. I have a hot wire around my run and our dogs have learned that it 'bites' and those chickens cause it to happen so they stay away. That doesn't mean that the chickens aren't idiots and don't go up to the fence when the dogs are out because they do and it also doesn't mean that the dogs still don't charge the fence and come up to the hot wire...yeah, they do. The birds panic but then realize that there is a fence between them and the dogs and settle down. I imagine your birds will do the same thing and learn to stay away from the fence if there are dogs around.

Hope you find some help for your bird's toes.

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