Chick having trouble walking


My Drug of Choice- Chickens
11 Years
Dec 7, 2009
Hesperia, CA
On the last day of incubation, I had one chick push over the mesh basket I had for the third level. Poor baby fell about 12 inches to the floor of the bator. Luckily I saw him almost immediately, but in openning the bator to help him, I apparently was not as vigilant about the humidity as I should have been.

The next morning, another chick hatched, but was stuck by a hardened and sticky membrane. At the beginning of this hatching venture, I had promised myself that I would let nature take it's course, but when I realized the reason he was stuck was because of my intervention to begin with, I intervened and helped him get unstuck from the shell, then placed him back in the bator. After a few hours, he had not dried off, and was sticky. I bathed him and placed him in the brooder with his fellow chicks.

It soon became evident that he had issues. He would eat the crumbles before him, but he was not really walking, only waddling on his elbows. I gave him a few drops of sugar water for energy. He also was getting pasty butt, so once again I had to bathe him, but this time only his bum.

At day 3 he was still not walking, so I decided to do some Chick Therapy. I put his brother on the floor about 3 feet ahead of him, then placed a finger under his bum to support him a bit and he did it! He "walked" over. We did t, his twice, then took a break. A long chick nap was certainly alled for!

At this time, I was searching on info to cull him humanely, but I came to the realization that since I have the space and resources to give him the chance to grow, and it seemed that he only had the orthopedic issue. He does not seem to be in pain, just wobbley. If he was destined to die, he would certainly do it during the night.

The next morning however, he was still alive and waddling, but he would stand tall when he stood still, stretching his legs. A few hours later, he was walking upright, but with a stiff legged limp.

Today is day 6 and have moved all but the little limper and his paratrooper brother (no lasting effects from his fall) to a broody hen outside outside. They have the inside brooder to themselves, and water with vitamins and electrolytes. I figured it would be easier to recouperate with less craziness of running chicks.

He seems to be ok, other than still limping, he even scratches (more therapy) and fights with his brother for the best tasting crumbles!
This is sounding similar to one that I'm dealing with currently. He got stuck in his shell, although he wasn't a sticky chick at all. He got halfway through zipping, and stopped. The next day, when I saw dry down poking out of the crack in the shell, I decided to intervene. I cracked the top off the egg, and was greeted by a folded-up little chick that made no effort to kick free. I tipped him out into a dish, then put him back in the incubator.

Anyway, this is our "penguin" chick. From the start, he's walked with difficulty; he stands bolt upright like a little penguin. I posted pictures here:
I think he's got contractures in his leg muscles. These started to give him contracted toes as well; he's currently wearing plastic shoes to keep his feet flat. So far, no new problems; he's eating and drinking, and getting along great with his sibs. But he sure doesn't walk well.

Good luck with yours! The walking exercises were a great idea! Hopefully he'll be able to keep up with Mum now.
My little guy never really did the penguin walk, he just was having trouble stretching his legs straight. I think he may have tendon problems, because when he does walk, he isn't picking up his feet and placing them... he almost looks like a "peg legged" pirate. Sometimes his left foot looks like it is pointed inward, other times he is straight on. Other times his right leg seems to have the issues.

Anyway, he is currently residing in the guest room, and I am spending time just sitting next to the brooder. He panics every time I walk in... poor baby probably thinks I'm going to dunk him again!

Good luck with your chick.
I have a layer of high end paper towels, so there seems to be decent traction, but I can run to the dollar store tomorrow and try it out, but I am afraid their toenails will get stuck in the holes.

here are the two left inside. The chick on the right is the limping one. (His eyes are open and bright, but his cheeks are so fuzzy they flare up across his field of vision.) His standing angle 90 degrees, is really different than his brother 45 degrees.


In this one you can see his swaying gait.


and here you can see the left foot pointing in somewhat. The normal chick is on the right this time, and you can see the toes pointing out parallel. The left limping chick has his foot angled in somewhat, and their angle of stance is different.


But he is still able to fight over hte best tasting crumble available!


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