Chick with ? leg problem

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by coop's chicks, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. coop's chicks

    coop's chicks In the Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2009
    Southeastern Ontario
    Well, 24 hours after 3/9 of my eggs hatched successfully, 2 more decided to hatch much to my surprise! I was so excited, but after several hours of no more movement being seen through the (bloody-looking) hole in the one I decided it hadn't survived. The second one, however, was very active and had quite a good hole pipped, but several hours later hadn't made any progress. This is when I decided I didn't want to lose another one, so I helped him hatch around 2 a.m. The humidity had gone down and I couldn't get it up and the membrane was leathery! Now he is out, peeping away, but he is holding his one leg out, the other one tucked up and doesn't seem to be able to get up at all. Is there any hope for him or should I cull him......[​IMG]
     
  2. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

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    I just asked this question with a pheasant hatched 6 days ago. I never got an answer on what to do but I did get one opinion that said the person didn't think there was anything to do.

    Mine appeared that the hip was dislocated. If you do a search for 'dislocated hip' on this site, you'll get several ideas from 'it may form a false joint' and other similar scenarios. We have tried everything from tape to bandaids to pipe cleaners to cardboard. None of it has been successful in my opinion for making the quality of life for the chick any better. If we hold it, it will drink and eat. It has to manuver on its little tummy with the one good leg in the brooder and we had to separate it from the rest so I'm afraid it must be lonely. It seemed to have such a will to live that we decided to try and save it. All things considered, it probably would have been better to cull from the beginning as I'm afraid that we just don't have enough time to take care of a special needs chick like this. I'm so sorry that you will have to make a decision like this too, but I guess its just part of being a responsible poultry/pet owner.
     
  3. jjparke

    jjparke Songster

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    Apr 20, 2008
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    THis is how I roll- if they can't hatch on their own then they can't survive on their own. That's why I NEVER help chics hatch. Now you are left with a chic that's too weak to survive and the responsible thing to do is put it down immediately. Even if it manages to get up and hobble around is that a life you would want?
     
  4. valreegrl

    valreegrl Songster

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    Quote:I thought the same way....until my Delaware (Chickadee) hen came along.

    At about 16 weeks or so (spring time), I went to let the girls out and she didn't pop out with the rest. After careful observation I noticed she wouldn't stand on her one leg and a couple toes looked to be bent backwards. After some research I splinted the foot and began to give her poly-vi-sol. Weeks went by and there was no difference. Eventually I stopped the splint and a time later the vitamins.

    Come October. She was still laying in the coop the majority of the day, only coming out to drink and going back in. She was losing weight and she looked like hell, and never layed an egg. I said to my husband that we needed to cull her humanely. That I didn't think she would make it through the winter. He headed out with me following and dug the hole first. Just as he went to the coop I yelled, "NO! I can't do it!" and cried. I know....I still can't explain why but for some reason this hen was just special.

    We had a really hard winter this year, lot of snow. But Chickadee pulled through. And believe it or not.....come spring she is out with the other girls, put on weight and even started to lay! She has a funky walk and is mean as hell, but she pulled through.

    So, when I see a question like this and most think to cull, I always like to say, "Take a step back and evaluate the situation. Is the bird in pain? Could you wait and try an alternative method?" Because you just never know.
     
  5. coop's chicks

    coop's chicks In the Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2009
    Southeastern Ontario
    Thanks valreegirl, I'm with you. This baby has tons of energy is still peeping and trying to stand up. I found a post that gives a few possible ideas of what it might be and some solutions. It may be a slipped tendon and there has been success in fixing this, so I'm going to give it a try. I only incubated 9 eggs. Out of those 3 are great, one died after pipping and then there's this one, so I don't mind fighting for it. This is our first hatch (well, first successful one). My kids will be very upset if I don't at least try to help it
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2010
  6. coop's chicks

    coop's chicks In the Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2009
    Southeastern Ontario
    Oh yeah and one more thing just so you don't think I'm a total sap. I told the kids that if she isn't significantly better by tomorrow or so, that she was probably suffering or wouldn't make it anyway and we would have to get rid of her. They are trying to rehabilitate her. It is a good lesson for them, I think, and they'll feel better knowing they tried. With my luck watch it live and turn out to be a roo, which I already have enough of!!!
     
  7. Hollywood Chickens

    Hollywood Chickens Songster

    Mar 12, 2009
    Florida
    I had a hen with a cut artery it her foot, I cared for her for 5 months changing the bandages and trying to keep the artery shut. after 5 months she pecked the bandage off and had lost to much blood by the time I found her, she died 2 hours later. plenty of other people would have culled her, but she wasn't in pain and we enjoyed her presence and eggs for 5 more months, and we knew that we did the best we could to save her.
     
  8. CelticMoon1

    CelticMoon1 Songster

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    Jul 25, 2009
    Have you done a search on "splay chicken" or "splay-legged"? You will find some pictures and descriptions on how to help them, quite easily actually... My favourite method that I found was using a common bandaid, tuck it around each leg with the white part inbetween for distance. Keep on for 3 days. I had one hatch this time that was splay-legged (not heavily though), it was a late hatcher so I suspect it's from being cooped up in the egg. She got the bandaid off one leg after a day and a half (I must have been sloppy when putting it on, it's my first try too), and now you can't tell the difference between her and the others. I've heard success stories on several heavily splayed chicks. I had a link to a great site, but can't seem to find it [​IMG]

    I don't usually help weak chicks out (if it's clear to me they're too weak), but this time around one had trouble getting out (membrane was drying it seemed) so I helped it - it was a very lively chick and it peeped quite vigorously, and it too is indistinguishable from the others now. Had I not helped it, it would probably have had a slow death from starvation.
     
  9. coop's chicks

    coop's chicks In the Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2009
    Southeastern Ontario
    Well here's an update. After looking on here and reading a few helpful links, I called my daughter at home Friday and told her to massage the chicks folded up leg, gently pulling it down into position for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, up to six times a day. By the time I got home the chick was walking! Not well, but wayyyyyy better than before and by the next day you couldn't even tell she ever had anything wrong with her. So, all said, it took very little effort and she is as perfect as the rest.

    If it had seemed sickly or weak I likely would have culled it, but it had so much spunk and spent so long trying to get out of that darn shell, that I had to give her a chance. Glad I did because he/she is perfect. The kids had named it gimpy, but now they are changing its name to something more appropriate!!
     
  10. coop's chicks

    coop's chicks In the Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2009
    Southeastern Ontario
    Quote:I don't think this was splayed legs. It's leg was tucked under and it couldn't keep it down. I'm thinking it may have been a tendon issue and when my daughter worked with the leg it went back into place....anyway thanks so much. The chick is perfect now!
     

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