Baby Chick leg injury - NEED ADVICE

TJAnonymous

Crowing
Feb 29, 2020
1,763
8,465
411
Central Arkansas
I have a week old baby chick with an unknown leg injury. I have no idea what happened. Yesterday I went out to the coop to find this little one unable to walk. She was hopping on one leg and holding the other foot under her, close to her body. I separated her from the others because I was concerned her mama (a game hen) might peck her to death.

I thought maybe her leg was dislocated but I carefully felt both hip joints simultaneously and they felt the same.

I moved down to her knee joint and it quite clearly causes her pain. She began chirping in distress.

Even when she lays on the ground, her foot is curled under her. She does not bear weight on it at all or even unfurl her toes. I gently unfurled her toes and they feel like the same body temperature as her other foot. Not overly cold or hot. She doesn't seem to move her toes on the injured foot.

So I'm not sure what to do to help her heal? I have her in an indoor brooder currently. But there's a dilemma....

There's 3 other orphan chicks in the brooder too. Two of them are close to the same age as the injured chick. Maybe a day or two difference. But the 3rd chick is at least 10 days older. The older chick has bonded with the 2 younger ones but attacks the injured chick. I had them safely separated in the brooder but our rescue bunny managed to find and chew the cord to the heating pad (Mama Hen Pad) so now the injured chick no longer has a way to stay warm.

I have a couple of options but don't know which is the best.

1. I can move the older chick and ONE of the younger chicks into a separate cage. This would mean I have 2 chicks in two separate brooders so they could hopefully keep each other warm until I can fix the heating issue.

2. I can leave the 3 bonded chicks in their current brooder and move the injured chick into a separate brooder with a heat lamp.

Thoughts?
 

TJAnonymous

Crowing
Feb 29, 2020
1,763
8,465
411
Central Arkansas
Could it be a tendon injury

Possible? If I gently touch the knee joint, it is quivering and the chick starts chirping in distress. Without knowing what else to do, I'm just going to wait and see if it improves over the next few days.

As for the brooder situation, I put a 12 hour Hot Hands warming packet in the secure side of the brooder where the 3 chicks can't get to the injured one. I don't know if the chick will use it but at least it's there. Since they can all see each other, I'm hoping that will help with the chick's social and mental state.
 

TJAnonymous

Crowing
Feb 29, 2020
1,763
8,465
411
Central Arkansas
OK, I swiped another chick from mama hen... This would be a sibling to the injured chick. I figured she needs a buddy whom she already knows.

Now I just need to figure out what is causing her to be unable to put weight on her leg and treatment options.

Side note but relevant and potentially serious. I noticed last night that the oldest chick was sneezing and a little snotty. This morning one of the smaller chicks had some bloody poop. They are all eating and drinking fine. Running around so no one looks lethargic but naturally I'm concerned about coccidiosis. I've never had an outbreak of it but I know bloody poop in chicks can be a sign. They ARE on medicated feed which I thought prevented that?
 

TJAnonymous

Crowing
Feb 29, 2020
1,763
8,465
411
Central Arkansas
Update on the injured chick. Still is unable to put weight on the leg BUT she is putting her toes down occasionally to help her balance. She is only doing this while standing still. When moving around, she still hops on one foot. I still feel like it's progress and hope she will eventually start putting weight on it again.
 

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