Day old chick can't walk-help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickenlovernoteater, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. chickenlovernoteater

    chickenlovernoteater In the Brooder

    Mar 1, 2008
    I have ten light brahma eggs that just hatched. Today is day 22, so the last one is hatching now. However, the first chick that hatched (on day 19 - 10:00pm) cannot stand up like the other chicks. It lays on its stomach and stretches one leg out, and kind of rotates in a circle. The other leg it keeps tucked to its stomach. I tried stretching that one out to see if it would "yelp" in pain, but nothing, just yanks it's leg back into it's body. If I prop the chick up so that it is not putting any weight on it's leg, it looks almost like he is about to attempt to do the splits. I can't keep him with the others because they are stepping on him and pecking him, and he can't get away and I feel so bad to hear him screaming. Has anyone had this happen before???? I got him to drink yesterday a little, and he pecked at some feed but I don't think it ate any. It's 38 hours old now, so what would I possibly do to save it??? I don't want to give up on it, so any help on how to save it and not put it down would be appreciated.
  2. eggchel

    eggchel Crowing

    Dec 26, 2006
    Both Coasts
    "Doing the splits" sounds like spraddle leg, also called splay leg. Here is a link to a really good photo series that shows how to hobble the chick's legs until they strengthen and stay in the correct position. Be sure that he has something non-slippery under foot. No newspaper. Use paper towels or even better, that rubbery shelf liner made by Rubbermaid. If you can section off part of the brooder with a piece of chickenwire to keep the other chicks from picking on him then he can still see the others and wont have problems when reintroduced to the group. If you have to put him in a separate brooder, then find the least aggressive chick to put in with him for company.

    good luck, [​IMG]

  3. chickenlovernoteater

    chickenlovernoteater In the Brooder

    Mar 1, 2008
    Well I put the "splint" on using the band aid like the picture. However, he seems to put all his weight on one side and still can't actually stand. In fact most of the time if he is sitting up at all, he is sitting on his "elbows" and butt, with his feet in the air. Has anyone had this happen?
  4. brooster

    brooster Songster

    Jun 14, 2007
    northwest Ohio
    I have the same thing. he hops arround on one foot, just hatched today. He wont stand on it, he lifts it off the ground like he is in pain.
  5. chickenlovernoteater

    chickenlovernoteater In the Brooder

    Mar 1, 2008
    Well I am hoping that there is something I can do. How long should I keep the splint on before giving up? Ahhh this is so depressing.[​IMG]
  6. tessa123123

    tessa123123 Chirping

    Jul 17, 2010
    I know this is too late for you, but may interest anyone else with a similar problem.
    One of my chicks hatched 3 days ago and its feet were clenched and turned inwards and it was just shuffling along and couldn't stand or weightbear.
    Every day, for about 30 mins at a time, about 6 times a day, I would hold and support it so it was standing on its feet the correct way to get it used to this position.
    Then turn it on its back so it would 'excersise' its leg muscles in trying to right itself.
    It would kick OK in this position stretching its legs and feet out.
    Gradually, it would stand in the correct position for a little longer each time before flopping down in a heap again.
    I rigged up a ramp and it would actually take steps, still with me holding it going downhill.
    I kept perservering until it finally managed to stand up without me holding it up and this evening it actually walked a few wobbly steps.

    I think the standing exercises helped strengthen his muscles until his brain took over to using the much practiced standing position enough for it to actually walk.
    I now believe in miracles, because eveyone who saw him, said he would never walk.

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