Chick favoring one leg - what do you think?

Fire Ant Farm

Get off my lawn
May 5, 2015
6,170
2,556
356
South Texas
(I also posted this in the New Members area.)

I am new Mom to a solo one week old cream legbar pullet (her two sisters didn't make it) named Paula with funny markings for a CL pullet (but that's another thread). Now, as of this morning, I am Mom to 3 additional CL chicks (companions for Paula - two pullets and one roo). They are in a divided stock tank brooder - Paula has a red light lamp, the babies have a Brinsea Ecoglow. I'm new to chicks and chickens, but have been reading all I can here.

I have a question about spraddle vs. other one leg disorder and whether to treat.

Background: Bought three CL chicks from My Pet Chicken (1 roo, 2 pullets). New chicks hatched and shipped Monday (from Mansfield, OH, so presumably, from Meyer), picked up at post office today at 8:15am, all look healthy so far, no weaklings/runts (I had one in last batch), no pasty butt. When opening the box, I noticed that the roo was tucked under the wing of one of the pullets and leaning against her. I thought he was just huddling with her, but he came out of the box with one leg slightly off to the side and favoring/putting most of weight on the other. He seemed kind of miserable/uncomfortable and didn't want to drink. Little chickie knees seemed a little reddish, but both knees seem the same degree of pink (see photo below). I went about getting all ready to hobble him per instructions I've read here and elsewhere, and while I'm sure my bandaging wasn't great, I think I got it right. (Could be wrong, maybe the piece was too wide? I didn't get good photos, since I was anxious to get him back to heat.)

He went from being able to get around with a limp to not moving around at all, not drinking and mostly falling over and looking even more miserable. I did leave him hobbled for about an hour - I set him under the Ecoglow upright and made sure he hadn't fallen over. He still refused to move or even drink with the hobble on, and I worried I was overreacting, and even making things worse since it did get a little bit better in the short time before I bandaged. So I decided to take the vet rap back off and watch him. He's getting around ok (maybe a little slower than his sisters) and now drinking on his own and eating like a little pig. Some of the time when he stands and walks (to and from water, standing at feeder), both legs/feet are aligned appropriately under him. But he sometimes favors one leg, and he stands with one slightly to the side. Interestingly, both his knees remain reddish pink. Photos below:

Right out of the box, ~8:30 am (Both knees are similarly reddish-pink, his sisters have no pinkness around the knees)

On his back right before I hobbled him (9:15am) - he did this funny thing: the good leg is out straight, the other is curled against him.


Miserable little boy with hobble on. (Note - hobble is NOT remotely tight around legs, if anything, a little loose.) Photobomb by one of his sisters.

Hobble back off. 10am. Sometimes he stands like this, with most of the weight on one leg, and sometimes both feet are under him appropriately.

Standing straight at the feeder (with those pink knees). 10:40am. It seems that each time I check, it's a 50/50 chance whether he is straight or favoring the leg.

Gratuitous cute photo of the three being little piggies - nice view of the auto sexing features of the CLs.



On one hand, I understand that if significant, these things should be corrected as young as possible. On the other hand, hobbling was really stressing this chick out and keeping him from drinking, and he seems to be able to get around ok right now. Should I just do watchful waiting? Wait to do physical therapy until he's a few days older (and not fresh from shipping stress)? (I already feel bad putting him through that...) They just got unpacked about 3 hours ago...

I'm inclined to watch carefully at first, but I'd be interested if anyone has seen this and/or has opinions.

- Ant Farm
(edited for typo)
 
Last edited:

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium member
8 Years
Apr 3, 2011
49,517
39,662
1,122
southern Ohio
I don't think the chick needs a hobble for splay legs, but it looks like the chick may possibly have a slipped tendon.
 

Fire Ant Farm

Get off my lawn
May 5, 2015
6,170
2,556
356
South Texas
So, in reading and looking at photos/videos of slipped tendon, it does look similar, as if this started like that, but is getting better. Perhaps it corrected itself early somehow and this is lingering soreness/habit? It's not slipped now by my exam of his leg (and his ability to get around). Anyhow, he moves around a little slower than his (very quick) sisters, but he's walking mostly straight, with just the occasional standing in the "old habit" way. I just took him out to recheck, put him on a washcloth, and he immediately took 5 completely straight steps toward me - I felt like I was cheering a human toddler learning to walk!

He's doing fairly ok now mobility-wise. Cries a little more than the others - will have to watch that, if there's something else/additional going on with him. But he can get around and eat and drink. So I'm going to leave him alone now and let the poor guy rest (he's already been handled an awful lot today). Thanks again for the tip, Eggcessive!

- Ant Farm
 

Fire Ant Farm

Get off my lawn
May 5, 2015
6,170
2,556
356
South Texas
Thanks! I actually read that entire podiatry site. OK, so I'm compulsive. But it's a wonderful resource! The chicks already had Nutri-Drench in their water from the start - switched to plain water this evening to give them that option (they liked it), will give them some Nutri-Drench in water again tomorrow morning. He was kind of sluggish/lethargic all afternoon and into the evening (I know they sleep a lot, but this got a little worrisome, not eating/drinking), so I gave him a little bit of sugar water, and he perked up and ate some food and walked around. He's more unsteady than the others, but close to straight when he does walk now. Walking aside, he's not very active (he's crashed out again) - I'll keep checking on him, here's hoping he's just a lot mellower than his sisters (one of them tried to fly to the top of the Ecoglow today - at 3 days old! These are rambunctious girls...)

- Ant Farm
 
Top Bottom