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Chick limping...now listless and not eating/drinking

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Jsto, May 18, 2007.

  1. Jsto

    Jsto Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    I wasn't sure whether or not to post this in emergencies, but could find nowhere else. My little Silkie chick (only 5 days old) is favouring her right leg and limping about. I checked and could find no reason for her to be limping. There are no wounds and the leg looks perfectly normal. She's still eating and drinking, but if she loses her balance from limping, she simply lays down and stays for a few minutes, usually near the feeder, which puts her right where she's prone to be trampled. I worry because the leg she is holding up is intriguing to the other chicks and I don't want her to get pecked on badly. She's just so tiny compared to the other chicks and I worry.

    I'll be keeping a close eye on her, but if it doesn't improve, shall I seperate her? I'm not sure if maybe she just got a piece of shaving lodged in her foot or something...it's so hard to tell because her legs and feet are covered in feathers. This may sound silly, but can chickens do the equivalent of stubbing a toe? They've taken to trying to scratch the food out of the feeder, so maybe she nicked herself or just knocked a toe funny, which would be hard for me to see.

    She does seem to be adapting by holding out her wing to balance as she stands.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2007
  2. Jsto

    Jsto Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    Well, I've seperated her so she can have a little R&R. Because all the other chicks are wanting to peck at the leg, I felt uneasy putting a friend in with her, yet I didn't want her to be completely alone. So, I constructed an area within the brooder so she can see and hear them, but no one can get at her leg.

    She's still drinking and eating fine and I still can't find anything. I'm thinking she must have just twisted or possibly sprained her leg. She can put some weight on it and I saw her stretch the leg out perfectly fine, so I don't think she's broken anything, which is good.
     
  3. Newchickenmom&kids

    Newchickenmom&kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What kind of floor are they walking on?? It's not spraddle leg is it??
     
  4. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    It is possible that she just twisted/sprained it. I think you're doing what you can. Just keep an eye on her and the separation is good. Keep us posted if there is a change in her behavior or eating patterns or droppings.

    good luck!
     
  5. Jsto

    Jsto Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    Well, now they are on pine shavings. They were on the papertowels for 2 days at most. I know you can leave the towels on longer, but it was just overly messy and they were having no problem with finding the food. They've been doing great on the shavings, playing, scratching, not eating any of it, but just picking it up and running. Did I take them away too soon? If this happened because of something I've done, I will feel horribly. What does spraddle leg look like? Like I said before, her foot and leg look completely normal.

    I think she either may have twisted it trying to scratch the food out of the feeder...her little legs are not nearly as sturdy as the other chicks. She also may have stood on the brick holding up the waterer and landed funny after hopping down. She really is tiny and hasn't quite gotten used to the 5 toes.

    I've just checked on her again and she was happily munching away. There is poop in her little area, so I know she's gone. It looks very hardy and healthy!

    Other than the limping and tendency to just lie down when standing on one leg is too much, she seems perfectly healthy. She hobbles around quite a bit, but has to rest in between which is quite understandable. Hopping around on one foot must be tiresome. I'm just going to keep my eye on her for the next bit. The way she can move the leg and put a bit of weight on it, plus the fact that she doesn't freak out when I manipulate the leg, leads me to believe that she must have just twisted funny.
     
  6. Newchickenmom&kids

    Newchickenmom&kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2007
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    Here's one site where they talk about it...Just a thought..I believe it usually occurs with both legs but not always...and some on this site have seen or heard of it occuring when paper towels were used...also try searching this site for spraddle leg.
    http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/BRKRaisingChicks.html
     
  7. Jsto

    Jsto Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    Thanks for the link! It really doesn't seem like that's the case, but after dinner I will check her out a bit more. It's strange, though, because the paper towels have been off for a few days now and the leg issues just occured this morning. It's hard for me to tell because she's favouring that leg and holding it up as much as she can when she's standing still. When she walks, it appears the same as it did before except that she's putting as little weight as possible on her foot.

    Here is a good picture of her legs only yesterday. Yes, they look different then the other chicks (and have the whole time), but I figured that was just the breed and the feathers around that area. Does it look 'not right' to you? I just can't tell. I have absolutely no experience with this!!

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Jsto

    Jsto Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    Well, she's taken a pretty big turn for the worse over night. This morning she's listless with extremely shallow breathing and is not eating and drinking on her own. She must have during the night, because she's still pooping a little, but it's not good. I tried to give her a bit of sugar water, but when I dipped her beak it appeared that it was choking her or that she was having problem swallowing. I don't know what else to do. It's kind of ridiculous how upset over this I am. A grown woman bawling like a baby over a 6 day old chick.

    I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for the inevitable passing, but it's hard. I don't deal well with this. I get hugely attached to my pets right away.

    I'm not hopeful, but is there anything else I could be doing??
     
  9. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Is she the only Silkie?
    I'm wondering if hurting the leg got her in the position of being trampled or pecked by someone else...Pure Silkies have a vaulted skull with a hole in the top. Some times if they get pecked on the top of the head, that causes problems because their little brain is right there...
    I'd keep trying to get her to eat and drink. Even if you have to run out to the petshop and get some handfeeding formula for baby birds...
    Make sure to keep her warm.
    Please keep us informed.
    It doesn't matter how old you are or what sex...if you have any compassion whatsoever for another's suffering you'll be emotional over it...
    If she was "choking, can you check her throat and see if maybe she at a piece of the shaving?
     
  10. Jsto

    Jsto Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    I checked her throat after dipping her beak and found nothing, so I'm thinking it might have been a breathing problem.

    She is the only Silkie. As soon as I noticed her limping yesterday, I seperated her within the brooder. I just find it strange that aside from the limping, yesterday she was doing so well. Something changed in the night and I don't know what brought it on.

    I will continue trying to get her to eat and drink and if she isn't responding that way, I will get some handfeeding formula.

    Thank you for your kind words. I'm just not dealing very well with this and since it's my first time dealing with chicks, I start worrying that I've done something wrong. All the other babies are doing so well, though.

    I will update later.
     

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