Chick with severe leg issues

jolenesdad

Free Ranging
Premium member
Apr 12, 2015
2,223
8,057
542
Montgomery, TX
*Updated this first post with gifs*

I'm looking for any advice, links, information anyone has on working with a chick with a leg issue.

Hatched on sep 9, two weeks ago. Three days in transit after being lost in the mail. This chick and one other presented with splay leg issues. I separated them both and splinted them and their curled toes. Lost one after a day.

This chick has progressively improved day by day, but not the leg.

She spent the first two weeks fairly weak, but started standing and moving after about 10 days, right when I thought it best to give up. She has never acted distressed... She is constantly alert and eating, drinking, and pooping. The last two days each day she has eaten more than all previous days combined.

I would say she is drastically improving in the last few days, however, her leg is not. How do I know if I am dealing with a broken hip or something that I am prolonging an awful existence? Would she exhibit any pain symptoms now?

I started this out thinking splay leg, no problem, then continued with curiosity and to learn, but now am very confused. I wouldn't normally work this hard, and, I'm okay with culling. But something keeps tugging at me with this chick and its spirit. But will she / could she ever walk?

For those who will work with a weak chick, how do you determine when the chick has a poor quality of life?

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jolenesdad

Free Ranging
Premium member
Apr 12, 2015
2,223
8,057
542
Montgomery, TX
Yes will get pics and such.

she has been on Nutri drench for the first few days then I was just offering once a day straight and regular water the rest of the time. I haven’t in the last couple of days.

she does stretch her legs. I’ll get a video tomorrow when I change her brace.
 

Willowspirit

Crowing
Premium member
Mar 14, 2019
1,763
4,965
382
Near Portland Oregon at 2Dogs Ranch North
Okay. So I have a little runt GLW pullet named Dolores who has a bad leg. She is from a brood of one day olds I got March 8. She’s always been tiny but she’s now only about one fourth smaller than the rest of her cohort. I believe she has a chronic tendon problem because her knee slips when she walks.

I treasure her life and I think she does too. She eats, drinks, sun and dirt bathes and roosts in the sleeping coop with everyone else. She knows her name and comes when I have treats. She loves scrambled egg yolk and eats everything else they all get. She can get drinks with everyone else too. She rests more than the others and doesn’t get far from the pen but otherwise she seems content.

When my dog got in the pen I was certain she was a goner figuring she might not be able to get in a coop. She surprised me by flying up on top of a run and hiding. She’s a smart chicken.

Sometimes when she seems sore I give her half an aspirin. She does well.

Maybe I am sensitive to her because I have chronic pain and prefer not to be sent to freezer camp myself. ;)
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
Apr 15, 2015
3,420
6,342
592
Idaho
Okay. So I have a little runt GLW pullet named Dolores who has a bad leg. She is from a brood of one day olds I got March 8. She’s always been tiny but she’s now only about one fourth smaller than the rest of her cohort. I believe she has a chronic tendon problem because her knee slips when she walks.

I treasure her life and I think she does too. She eats, drinks, sun and dirt bathes and roosts in the sleeping coop with everyone else. She knows her name and comes when I have treats. She loves scrambled egg yolk and eats everything else they all get. She can get drinks with everyone else too. She rests more than the others and doesn’t get far from the pen but otherwise she seems content.

When my dog got in the pen I was certain she was a goner figuring she might not be able to get in a coop. She surprised me by flying up on top of a run and hiding. She’s a smart chicken.

Sometimes when she seems sore I give her half an aspirin. She does well.

Maybe I am sensitive to her because I have chronic pain and prefer not to be sent to freezer camp myself. ;)
Thats one advantage of a smaller back yard flock we can take time to deal with the ones that need a little extra care. I have one that I have to file on every could of weeks cause of sever scissor beak but she still does pretty good she was number 2 in the pecking order when all was said and done, though I couldn't file it down enough safely to completely get rid of it, she had a good life until her friend was lost, seems like she never recovered from that as her friend was top of the pecking order, She moved to another person though and amazing came back to life and is back to laying which she hadn't done in 4 monthswhere she wasn't reminded of her friend.
 

Robert G

Songster
Jan 23, 2018
412
616
187
South Texas
2 months ago I got 4 silkies from TSC and gave them to a broody hen. I hadn't noticed that one of them had 1 foot with curled toes because it actually behaved normal and ran with the other 3. Well they just left their mom and roam in the run with the entire flock. She of course has a limp but that doesn't stop her. I tried to straighten her toes out but it's too late. They just curl back.
 

Kattnchick

In the Brooder
Sep 26, 2019
8
23
18
My chick was born the same. Now at just about three weeks old she is getting around really well on one leg. The other cannot straighten out at all but she hold it across her chest and uses her knee to catch her balance. She’s a strong hopper and uses her wings a lot to balance and when she wants to move quickly. I made a swing for her to strengthen the good leg more easily and she only really needed it for a couple days before she started getting around on her own. She was the same as your chick as she was always healthy and strong otherwise. So far she’s thriving. Keep working with her and she’ll figure out how to use her body the way it is.
 

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Shezadandy

Crowing
Sep 26, 2015
1,663
1,894
307
Portland OR
My chick was born the same. Now at just about three weeks old she is getting around really well on one leg. The other cannot straighten out at all but she hold it across her chest and uses her knee to catch her balance. She’s a strong hopper and uses her wings a lot to balance and when she wants to move quickly. I made a swing for her to strengthen the good leg more easily and she only really needed it for a couple days before she started getting around on her own. She was the same as your chick as she was always healthy and strong otherwise. So far she’s thriving. Keep working with her and she’ll figure out how to use her body the way it is.
OK that's the best thing I've EVER seen!!! What did you use for the under belly part?
 

Shezadandy

Crowing
Sep 26, 2015
1,663
1,894
307
Portland OR
Yes will get pics and such.

she has been on Nutri drench for the first few days then I was just offering once a day straight and regular water the rest of the time. I haven’t in the last couple of days.

she does stretch her legs. I’ll get a video tomorrow when I change her brace.
They do learn to compensate. Had one that broke its leg in 2 places along with ripping much of the flesh in the 'drumstick' area. (leg slipped into the very small space of the hinge on a little ramp - and he spent however long struggling to get free) It took a LOT of TLC, and he'll never walk right or all that fast, but he goes out with the flock every day, up and down the hill, roosts etc. - through all that pain he kept trying and eating, so he got a chance.
 
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