Chicken with broken leg. Please advice.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by VanSintjan, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. VanSintjan

    VanSintjan Out Of The Brooder

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    I hatched12 chickens out of 13 during Monday and Tuesday but this morning I discovered that one of them couldn't use his left leg. Looking clooser it appears to be broken or the "elbow joint" might be out of soccet. I was adviced by a vet over the phone to tape the leg completely straight with a bit gas, a match and surgery tape. I have done so but he just keeps rolling over on his back. Is it dangerous for a chicken to be left on his back for a while?
    He also doesn't drink or eat yet but he attemts to and I can get some water in to him from the tip of my nail. I had another vet here, a neighbour, who looked at my taping and saif it was ok and he will also come over this evening to show me how to forece feed him with a syringe and with a recepie for fluid food foor small chicks.
    Does anyone here have any experience from something similiar? Can he become ok? He is a real little fighter.
     
  2. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    I am glad you have a vet friend to help you...your chick is probably just unable to balance and is lying prostrate from the either the effort or simply unable to get back up . To keep upright for a period of time to free your hands use a toilet paper roll or similar (it must not be too tight or your bird will be unable to breath)... place a towel around to keep from falling over and then you have your hands free to dribble water along its beak (similarly a watered down mush of feed.) Watch for signs of panting which will indicate it is too warm or the roll or such you are using is too tight.
    If you bird is able to eat on its own a tactical placement of the feeding and watering dish will allow him to peck, eat and drink on its own once stabilized in this manner. Please do allow and evcourage your bird to eat and drink on its own by helping it into a stable position by the above or another method... and place the dishes within easy reach.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2008
  3. VanSintjan

    VanSintjan Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank yoy for the help. By now the hook socket of the other leg begins to do the same so I had to splint that one too. Now he is sitting up with his splinted legs in front of him, leaning to a clot I rolled together with a peace of tape. - And he is eating!
    He also drank a little from the cap of a bottle when I hold it to him. This is gonna be an around o'clock job. Does he have a chance?
     
  4. CUDA

    CUDA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He may live, but he will never be a solid healthy bird. This is most likely a defect in the chick, not an injury. I understand wanting to help, but in my opinion, it is better to cull this type of thing. JMO
     
  5. VanSintjan

    VanSintjan Out Of The Brooder

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    He is now eating and drinking on his own and the vet say it is most likely a lack of calcium in that particular egg that made the joints to weak and that he can get the calcium he needs from a special diet. If he gets calcium now he should be ok in ten days, the vet claims. I will give it a try but if he or she makes it - I will never breed on this bird. Just to make sure.

    I am so releaved that he eats and drinks and seem to have less or none pain.
     
  6. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    is this an avian vet? calcium uptake in birds is not a simple matter of calcium ...in order to be able to absorb it, they need D3... the calcium to phosphorus ratio is very important...
    Has he suggested a Harrison diet or such? If I were you I would ask about giving D3 .
     
  7. VanSintjan

    VanSintjan Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks. No he is not an avian vet. Just interested. What is D3?

    Since the chicken now is eating I am giving him starter and the boild yellow of the egg. The vet suggested the raw yellow of an egg mixed with dry white, mashed bread. I guess the yellow of an egg should give him the correct balance of what he needs.
    I always mix boiled yolk with the start food the first week for all my chickens.
    The vet is just a neighbour. My favorite vet is also not an avian vet but I what he doesn't know - he'll find out and he is realy good with the animals. I will take the chicken to him tomorrow night if If there is more problems or no progress in eating and drinking.

    Anyway - he is more awake and interested in the other chickens now - he can see them through a smal net - and he eats a little and drinks when I give him. He doesn't seem to be in severe pain anymore and that is a releave.
     
  8. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    The proper ratio of calcium to phosphorus ratio including the role of vitamin D3 is discussed here:
    http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/206913.htm
    THE MERCK VETERINARY MANUAL
    "....A deficiency of either calcium or phosphorus in the diet of young growing birds results in abnormal bone development even when the diet contains adequate vitamin D3. This condition, rickets, can also be caused by a dietary deficiency of vitamin D3 ( SEE>Vitamin D3 Deficiency), which is necessary for absorption of calcium. A deficiency of either calcium or phosphorus results in lack of normal skeletal calcification. Rickets is seen mainly in growing birds. Calcium deficiency in adult laying hens usually results in reduced shell quality and osteoporosis. This depletion of bone structure causes a disorder commonly referred to as “cage layer fatigue.” When calcium is mobilized from bone to overcome a dietary deficiency, the cortical bone erodes and is unable to support the weight of the hen. ...."
    IN ADDITION :
    http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/206914.htm
    (Manganese Deficiency) excerpt:
    "....Perosis, which occurs in young chicks, is characterized by enlargement and malformation of the tibiometatarsal joint, twisting and bending of the distal end of the tibia and the proximal end of the tarsometatarsus, thickening and shortening of the leg bones, and slippage of the gastrocnemius or Achilles tendon from its condyles. Higher intakes of calcium or phosphorus will aggravate the condition due to reduced absorption of magnesium by precipitated calcium phosphate in the intestinal tract. In laying hens, reduced egg production, markedly reduced hatchability, and eggshell thinning are often noted....."

    I was concerned as excess calcium (>2%) in the daily feed can be lethal to young chicks... even the form of calcium can be crucial:
    http://www.medscape.com/medline/abstract/7335125
    Leg abnormality associated with dietary excessive calcium carbonate in broiler chicks.
    (small excerpt):
    "When chicks were fed excessive CaCo3, some of them manifested the toes and legs bent in an abnormal direction and final inability to walk in proportion to the dose of calcium. However, chicks fed CaHPO4 containing the same dose of Ca, instead of CaCO3, showed no abnormality of the legs. The leg abnormality of chicks fed excessive CaCO3 resembled the symptom of chicks fed a vitamin D-deficient diet, but there slight differences in serum Ca level and in the findings of the legs by roentgenography between both chick groups....." (Note >Eggshell and oystershell are composed of CaCo3 and though I serious doubt one can overdose on the eggshell , this is why it is always advised to give this FREE CHOICE and not mixed through the feed to laying hens)

    I would add the egg yolk direct through the feed and if your vet friend did not give you specific vitamins to give the bird I would suggest three drops of Polyvisol Enfamil formulation (childrens A-B-D vitamins) direct in beak three drops a day fr a week then taper off the next... this will provide the D3 and B vitamins which may also be playing a role.

    In all truth I am not sure this particular ailment of your chick is possible to "cure" by dietary means... however you can try... it must be said though that if it is a slipped tendon (the leg you have splinted) the outlook is not good and without veterinary treatment in the form of an operation (I know a member here had it performed and said it took only a few minutes and without anathesia >>>however finding a vet acquainted with the procedure and able to perform it might be difficult). I am also unsure by your description if this is a case of simple "splayed leg" (which is treatable) or if it is something else or perhaps a combination of two different things... [​IMG]
    it can certainly not be diagnosed thru a posting here however the nutritional advice is basic support with leg problems ...one never knows till they have tried (splint etc) and if after all is said and done , the chick does not make it or does not respond and you have to put it down, at least you have tried... these little birds can surprise you sometimes .
    However, I hope I have succeeded in supporting with the links above my grave concern over the advice to give a calcium supplement ... the risk that it would harm rather than help is simply too high IMHO.

    eTA: Avia Charge 2000 is one of the few complete
    nutritional and vitamin/micronutrient supplements (which can be given on a daily basis) I know of and is a very good supplement to have on hand when one is unsure of the specfic nutrient deficency or when illness causes malabsorption of nutrients > you can purchase this at McMurry or Strombergs)
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2008
  9. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    oh my...I just saw your location is in Belgium...you certainly have not had much help on my advice on meds ....lol
    I am in The Netherlands (Maastricht).... AVEVE has some supplements... let me see if I can find the info on that and i will get back to you.

    ETA: Ok just looked up the ingredients of the supplement AVEVE carries for poultry...
    You need to get the VOLACRINE FORTE > It also has maganese, the B vitamins etc but it is lacking the D3. I would suggest you get a D3 supplement for babys (it will be a liquid... this should be available at your pharmacist and administer two drops for a week. (follow the instruction on the volacrine).
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2008
  10. VanSintjan

    VanSintjan Out Of The Brooder

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    Belgium
    Thank you for all info. Tonight I will bring him and our ill cat to the vet. He is stil ful of energy and drinks. He is eating but not enough. It is not spalyed legs. With a little support he can stand on his splinted legs without the legs sliding apart.
    I have ten more chicens from the same parents and they are realy healthy. They are big though and they also developed faster then the other chicks already in the egg. At day 11 they seemed to be on day15 in size.
    This is the first one. Born one day earlier then the rest. Maybe he just wasn't ready yet. I don't know if one day more in the egg an make a difference.
    The vet's ive spoken to (three by now) all say they've seen this before and splinting will help in 10 days if we just can keep him eating.
    I am a bit doubtful though. How could a hurt joint be beter of when no muscles are allowed to develop?
    It is difficult to make the choise to put him down though when vet's say that chanses are good.
     

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