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4 week old chick with leg/foot issues

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by austinclarksf, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. austinclarksf

    austinclarksf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 17, 2012
    Hey folks,

    One week ago I bought some 3 week old silkie/frizzle/sizzle chicks from a breeder. She threw one in for free that had curled toes from an issue with her incubator. Before she gave it to us, she duct-taped it's feet so they were flat, and told us to take them off in about a week. I have raised chicks two or three times in a farm setting with 100+ chicks, this is my first hand-raised batch.

    We gently took the tape off today and were careful not to pull feather quills out or tear skin. One foot looks pretty darn good, while the other foot is still curled badly because it looks like the toes slipped inside the tape. We let the chick be for a few hours, and did some reading. Looks like duct tape was not the best idea, and we should have been checking it every other day.

    Long story short, it won't put weight on it's funny foot, and it's beginning to look like it's splaying it's leg. I put a new 'shoe' on it's funny foot just now with some athletic tape and a milk carton triangle for the 'sole'. Still not putting any weight on it, and the foot looks crooked. I'm sure this chick will have issues to a certain extent for the rest of it's life, but I'm wondering if there's anything I can do to help. Are hobbles an option?

    Couldnt figure out how to post my video of it's activity. Here you can see how it's standing, and that it's foot is pretty crooked. It stands a lot lifting it's bad leg up and down like it wants to stand on it, but never really rests on it.
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  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    There are a lot of chicks born with leg issues, such as slipped tendon, leg bone deformities such as varus valgus deformity, and others. I would start poultry vitamins in the water, and look for Poultry Pedia Podiatry either by Googling or do a search on BYC. Look up slipped tendon at the top of this page for many good threads.
     
  3. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree with Eggcessive to start the vitamins as foot curl and leg problems can be from vitamin B deficiency.

    You can even edge the dose up a bit for the first couple of days then drop back with the Chick Saver.

    If it is vitamin deficiency, it will respond pretty quickly.

    Otherwise you are battling poor hatching conditions, or worse, poor genetics.

    I personally have come to the decision that if it doesn't clear within the first few days with minor treatment, I will simply cull as in kill.

    I have had splay and leg problems come back when the chick grows older and the weaker tendons simply cannot support the growing weight. It is hard to watch them stumble about on their hocks.

    With a sizzle/frizzle/sizzle you are battling some risky genetics as the frizzle to frizzle genetics causes problems.... her line may be too close for good health...which may be a warning in this chick.

    Anyway, read through as Eggcessive has stated but be prepared that even with your best efforts the outcome may go south later. Do not plan to breed from this chick as you don't know if it was poor hatching conditions or the poor genetics from Sizzle/Frizzle/Sizzle.

    Good luck with the little one.

    LofMc
     
  4. austinclarksf

    austinclarksf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's hard for me to tell if anything is severely wrong with it's leg, it doesn't chirp any louder out of pain, as far as I can tell. Hard for me to notice anything popping tendon-wise, but I can't find too detailed of info on how to tell. It just won't rest on the foot, and it's about the same as yesterday. I'll try a supplement, and re-doing the 'cast' every two days. Should I cast the good foot, so it doesn't freak out about the cast being on one foot?

    The breeder told me that she's been having issues with one of her incubators and eggs in a specific spot hatching chicks with curled toes. That's why she gave it to me for free, and I am considering culling if I can't treat this so it can at least walk on it's leg. It can hobble on it's leg, but stands awkwardly lifting the foot up and down. It's got mobility of the leg, but the foot is quite crooked, which didnt seem to hinder it's walking too much before. I have seen the chick stretch the bad leg when it stretches its wing.
     
  5. austinclarksf

    austinclarksf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I found an adult formula B vitamin complex with no added minerals (iron or calcium), and I will start with 2 drops per day, going off of the dosage on the poultry podiatry website.

    The leg just seems twisted at or below the hock. It's like the ankle itself is turned inward, and it won't correct by hand as I try to cast it, it's resistant past a certain point. I've had mature birds live somewhat quality lives with twisted feet, but none of them acted like this chick. Hoping in a day or two he'll put some weight on his foot.
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    There are several good articles to read about tibial dyschondroplasia, twisted tibia, varus valgus deformity, slipped tendons and other problems. Some of the articles require downloading a text to see the labeled pictures well.There are also a few threads to check out with other people's experiences with some of those disorders.
    https://www.researchgate.net/public..._of_the_intertarsal_joint_in_broiler_chickens
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/1051/leg-health-in-large-broilers/
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...chick-anyone-ever-try-to-fix-this-experiences
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/771162/splayed-leg-edit-twisted-tibia
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/941037/twisted-tibia
     
  7. austinclarksf

    austinclarksf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know it's been a while, but I thought I would let you know the little chick is doing pretty well! I could not identify any of the chronic conditions in the chick from the info you folks shared with me. So I kept up with the Vitamin B, hobbling, and casting because it seemed like an incubator deformity. After about almost two weeks, the little one is keeping up with it's brothers and sisters! For awhile there doubt was creeping in... but now I'm hopeful.

    It's evident this bird will never be 100%, and will probably have issues or a shorter life because of the leg problem. I won't breed with it, but I'm glad I can give it some quality of life.

    Thanks for the support and information!
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    That sure is good news. I hope that the chick has a good life.
     
  9. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    Good to hear. Thanks for the update.

    LofMc
     

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