curled toes?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Carole AM, Mar 17, 2007.

  1. Carole AM

    Carole AM Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yesterday I had two chicks hatch with curled toes. They seemed weak at the start, but now they are moving around and drinking. Their toes are still curled though. Will it go away in time?

    Is this problem caused by heat, humidity, or both in the bator? [​IMG]
     
  2. chickenboy

    chickenboy Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm sorry to say but curled toes are a natural deformity and I'm sure that they never grow out of it.[​IMG]
     
  3. jimnjay

    jimnjay Chillin' With My Peeps

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  4. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Curled toes are not a natural deformity. It may be common for various reasons, but not natural by any means. There are two primary causes of curled toes:

    Curled toe paralysis - toes curl under causing chick to walk on the tops of its toes. Chicks are affected by a riboflavin deficiency in breeder hens. It's not to say the hens aren't cared for properly, but they are not metabolizing their nutrients properly and thus the embryo or chick may be affected.

    Crooked toes - chick walks on the sides of their feet. Crooked toes can be caused by improper humidity during incubation or if the brooder floor is cold. It can also be hereditary, common in heavy breeds.

    I would recommend a vitamin supplement (baby vitamins) in their water and you could also try the 'boot' to correct them faster. If you don't use the boot in the first few days, the possibility of correction is reduced or they may not be fixed at all if you wait too long.

    Credits for the points I made above go to : The Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow

    Jody
     
  5. prariechiken

    prariechiken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Curled toes can also come from improper humidity/heat in the incubater. I have also seen it in chickens that have been linebred and inbred too closely. If they get around fine, I wouldn't mess with em. If you are breeding for show fowl and don't know where this came from, I'd cull and start over.
     
  6. Carole AM

    Carole AM Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I tried the shoe method, but after a while, they slipped off their feet. The chicks seem to be getting around okay, so I'll just leave them alone.
     
  7. Hi Carole,
    I'm not sure what causes it.
    If the little ones toes are still curled, just keep putting a 'shoe' back on every morning. Be Persistant!
    I think it's worth the effort to at least try to straighten them out.
    I have a beautiful little blue NN that had one foot with curled toes. She kept slipping the 'cardboard shoe' off and I wasn't persistant and now she walks on her 'knuckles' on one foot.

    I think in this case it might be genetic, because once in a while when I hatch from that pen, I get a chick with curled toes. No way to tell which hen is giving me curled toe chicks.

    I hope you don't get any funny toes from my girls, but it's possible.
    Good luck with the little one,
    Lisa
     
  8. Carole AM

    Carole AM Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, we tried the shoes again today. I'll see how long they stay on this time. One chick is definately better, but the first one that hatched is bad! Now its one leg is "bent out" to the side. Its not spayed, but it looks like its bent at the hock joint.

    Should I cull it?

    I opened up the other eggs that were supposed to hatch the same time. A couple were developing, early dead- and one was missing the upper part of its beak!

    I still think it was the temps in the bator. [​IMG]
     
  9. jimnjay

    jimnjay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Carol, that is a tough call. I would probably cull because I would not want to take a chance on haveing a weak link in the gene pool. It may be temps in the incubator and the little one will do fine given time. It is a personal thing based on your situation. Culling is part of raising good quality chickens, not all situations require good quality chickens. They are amazingly resiliant and can manage with handycaps. Verlin's Grace is a great example. It is just a matter of what your goals are in keeping you flock. I would hate to see one that could not fend well for itself.
     

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