chick born with crooked feet, time to give up?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mel58, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. mel58

    mel58 In the Brooder

    Dec 8, 2007

    I had a chick hatched with curled toes. as soon as it went into brooder (about 2 days old) I used the bandaid on top and bottom trick. that chick is now almost 2 weeks old. I've taken the bandaids off twice but the toes just curl back under.

    this chick is half the size of the other hatches. its not much bigger than when it was born. the joint of its leg where the feathers start is swollen and raw. I think from sort of scooting around on it's bottom. it keeps that leg sort of stuck off to the side and keeps weight off it.

    I check several times a day and have watched it. it gets around well enough to go to the food and waterer though i also several times a day sprinkle food in front of it. all of the chicks still eat better off the floor than the feeder.

    is it time to give up on this chick and put it down? I wonder if the lack of development indiciates something wrong on the inside of the chick and not just feet. but it is very lively and strong and seems to have a will to live. but if it's going to have deformed legs then the sooner I put it down the better.

    I had a chick a couple of years ago that had curled toes and I didn't know you could fix it then. she had to walk on her knuckles of that foot and died about a year old because she got tangled up in something out in the bushes and I didn't realize she wasn't in the coop and was partly eaten. because of not being able to walk right she wasn't able to get herself uncaught. I'm not going to let that happen again.

    thank you all for your thoughts.
  2. nccatnip

    nccatnip Songster

    Aug 5, 2007
    Piedmont area NC
    I had this happen and did everything I could but the chick obviously was not going to have a decent quality of life. If I ever have it happen again, I will make some attempts but will never let it go so far again. Mine sounds very much like yours, those joints have to be painful.
  3. halo

    halo Got The Blues

    Nov 22, 2007
    My Coop
    That is exactly what just happened to me. I thought he'd be okay, he was eating and drinking, but just scootching along with his bum leg. His hatchmates grew much faster than him, in only 2 days. His leg started going outwards, he'd even sleep with that leg stuck straight out. After a few days, I could see she wasnt doing well, not growing well, and the leg was going to a more extreme angle. I figured the older she got the worse it would get, so I had someone take care of it for me. It was sad, but it was sadder seeing her scramble around.
  4. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    I have one right now that has a bad leg - I call it "Hoppy" - its 3 days old. It hops to food but I've not seen it go to waterer on its own so I'm putting its beak in water a few times a day. It sticks its leg out and won't put it down or put weight on it. Also sometimes sleeps with it straight out. I'm opting to give it a chance. As it is getting stronger it seems to be better able to hop around and manuever itself and sometimes seems to be using the bad leg for balance. I'm hoping it will get strong enough to eventually learn to use the leg even if in a limited capacity. Just don't have the heart to end it's life. But I am already seeing the others pick on it and I'm waiting to make the decision on separating it and having it live a life in solitude or see how it adjusts by staying with the others.

    Hard decisions to make. So sad it breaks my heart. But then Ruth, as a baby, had a crooked neck and could not stand or walk and could only fall over or spin in circles and today she is fine and healthy and runs around the farm with the others so there is always HOPE.
  5. sweetshoplady

    sweetshoplady Songster

    Feb 4, 2008
    Venice, Florida
    I have a chick with the curled toes. Her left foot is moreso than her right - sometimes the right foot has the toes out. I haven't done anything to try to straighten out her toes. So far though, she's keeping up in all ways with her flockmates - except for scratching for feed, she just goes around and picks up what they scratch all over.

    She is 2 1/2 weeks old.

    Good luck with your chick.
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I've had splayed leg chicks and crooked foot chicks. Some were able to be repaired, others not. It is up to you when you think it is time to put it down or let it go. I personally would put down a bird which cannot keep up with the flock or does not thrive.
  7. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Your guy sounds just like the one I had to put down last week.

    She just kept getting worse and worse until even the good leg was either over or under worked, and all she did was sit around. Knowing what I know now (after 2 'hoppy' chicks) I'd go ahead and put her down. It's still hard though when they are healthy otherwise, but it's likely your chick will just continue to deteriorate.

    Here's my thread on my chick...
  8. midoris

    midoris In the Brooder

    Jan 3, 2008
    I'm a real beginner, but my only experience so far went the other way. I have a silkie chick who's about 7 weeks old now. She's missing the outer toes on both feet, had two curled toes and one leg that lagged behind her. I used tape to straighten the crooked toes and a pipe cleaner hobble to pull her legs in line. She's keeping up with the others just fine now. I'd still be willing to cull her if she started having trouble as she gains weight, but there's no sign of a problem now.
  9. mel58

    mel58 In the Brooder

    Dec 8, 2007
    thank you all for the replies. I wasn't thinking about it being two separate issues. one crooked toes and the other splayed leg.

    the one leg with only curled toes is fine now after a week with the bandaid. I have put a pipecleaner on its legs to attempt repair of the splayed leg. I will get some more bandaids though as I can't find a picture of how to do it with pipecleaners. I'll give it a week with splayed leg treatment to see what happens and then decide.

    I'll bet after all this it is a rooster! sigh. thank you all again.
  10. midoris

    midoris In the Brooder

    Jan 3, 2008

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