Baby Chicken with weak feet

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sue17, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. Sue17

    Sue17 New Egg

    Feb 3, 2013
    Hi, my chickens have hatched some chicks for a petting zoo (whose chickens weren't broody) They are believed to be silkie bantams. The one I am concerned about is at least half the size of the others. Its possible it is a mix of old english game/silkie, which could account for its smallness.
    It is quite a vocal wee thing. It is very unsteady on its feet, eats slowly and takes many breaks in between eating and nods off. It spends a lot of time sitting and at times its toes will be curled up underneath it. It will lay in my hand on its side and go to sleep. Its almost 6 wks old now and I have been giving it extra food for the last two weeks when it became really apparent it wasn't thriving. Its getting scrambled egg, meal worms, a chick food high in protein, worms and various other bugs I can find.
    On the plus side - it is growing, has a great appetite for meal worms/live critters and at times is quite mobile on its feet. It seems determined and not unhappy.Fourtunately the 7 chicks are being raised between two mothers and its kept with its Mother and one sibling. Not too much competition, but enough that I don't think it would make it at this point without extra feeding. Many times I have questioned whether or not to get it put down, then it will start walking around, seeming stronger and my hope will be renewed....I'm not quite ready to give up, but it is very time consuming, with a family and every day life etc....
    I can keep going, in the hope it will catch up and become stronger, but am also questioning whether I am fighting a losing battle here and its issues are way beyond something fixable with the extra help its getting. I have a few theories listed below. Anyone had similar experiences or advice? Help.

    A) its a weak bird (runt) and needs extra help (or)
    B) it has a deformity in its feet/legs (or)
    C) It has mareks (or)
    D) a vitamin defiency (or)
    Several of the above?......
  2. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    Sometimes you get a runt, or one with scoliosis (Kinky back). People who raise lots of poultry generally cull them. Where they are all God's creatures, and we can cull or nurse them along as respectfully as we can, I ask myself," Is it possible for this animal to have a quality life without suffrage?" I was soft hearted in the past with a particular hen I had that was born with scoliosis. I always paid extra attention to her, she got around on her own without showing signs of pain, and the other hens didn't pick on her. That was fortunate because chickens sense weakness in the flock and can be very brutal to the weaker ones. She only made it to about a year old but had a good life for that year. It can be much extra work and time, and ultimately it is a very personal choice.
  3. Sue17

    Sue17 New Egg

    Feb 3, 2013
    Hi Michael
    I have asked myself the same question regarding its future and how that may look, as I do not want its future to be an unhappy existence. I guess "where there is a will there is a way" At the moment both parties are showing will. That could change at any given time, so I will continue as I am until it becomes clear what the next step will be. Thankyou for your respectful and caring response.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by