Bizarre posture in new chick


8 Years
Mar 19, 2011
A house surrounded by chickens
Okay, this kid has thrown me a curve ball. This is an EE chick from our own flock, hatched yesterday after a prolonged incubation (hatched on day 25) in an incubator that isn't working very well. Halfway through zipping, it stopped. Twelve hours later, it was alive and peeping, but stuck. I took the top off the egg to find a perky, alert chick with nearly dry down who just didn't seem interested in pushing out of the egg. I put it in the incubator to dry off, and noticed that it was even clumsier than usual for a newborn. That evening, I realized that part of the problem is that it's standing nearly upright:



It looks like a doggone penguin, or a runner duck. When it walks, it's a bizarre little Charlie Chaplin shuffle. There are significant contractures of the muscles running up the backs of the thighs. It gets around OK, is eating and drinking, but I am at a loss as to what caused this. There are several possible factors that I can think of: too low an incubation temperature leading to delayed development, too long in the shell post-pip, congenital (can't rule that one out), nutritional (it's the only one affected though). What else? Has anybody else had a chick like this? Does anybody have a name for this condition, or a cause? I am scratching my head.

Of course I'm going to give it a try with this kid. We're doing physical therapy several times a day. No, really.
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I don't know but I saw a post where someone was having the exact same problem this morning. If I find the link I will add it to this post.

I found the link. Unfortunately, there was no good info posted and the chick passed.
Now that I look at it, I'm not sure if that chick had the exact same issue as yours.
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Thanks for the link. I haven't felt anything abnormal in this chick's abdomen, but you're right, there are similarities in the posture. I think the issue with mine is musculoskeletal, but I've never heard of anything like it--I mean, degenerative joint disease in elderly large-breed roos, yes, but bad hips or knees in a chick? Well, with so many members on this forum, there's a chance somebody will have had the same thing happen, or know someone who did.

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