Have you ever cured a chick with Spraddle-Leg?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sunny Side Up, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I recently received an order of chicks from a hatchery, an assortment of different standard breeds, mostly pullets to show & sell in Jan at our county fair.

    I had ordered 5 Red Leghorns, a breed that looked interesting, lovely, & unique. 4 of the 5 have Spraddle-Leg!!! One had been trampled into a pancake in the crate during shipping. As soon as I got everyone settled at home I braced their legs with bandaids. Another was extremely weak & frail and had to be culled the next day.

    Now I have 2 still hobbling around with the others, braced with bandaids and getting around the best they can, doing their Charlie Chaplin style of walk. I want to tell them "Run, Forest, run!!!"

    I replaced their bandaid braces today, but it doesn't seem to be making a difference. Is it possible to cure spraddle-leg? Even if it wasn't braced until about 2 days old? If so, how long must the chicks stay in the braces? Is there a better material to use? I'm using fabric bandaids, should I use less stretchy plastic ones, or the white adhesive tape?

    It would be a shame if these birds grow up maimed like this. They won't do well in the show, they may not be sold, and they would attract the hawks' attention with their gimpy gaits.

    Of course I called the hatchery, who refunded my purchase price, but they can't replace my plans for these birds. I told them they should notify the folks who are breeding their Red Leghorns. Is it true that this is something preventable, caused by hatching chicks on a slippery surface? And don't you think they should have noticed this & not have packed chicks like this in my order?

    Thank you for your imput, I do hope to cure these chicks!
  2. cherrychicken

    cherrychicken Songster

    Jul 7, 2008
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    oh sorry what movie is 'run forest run' from and how did you cull your chick? i heard the band aids work nice
  3. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    there are many posts and threads here about spraddle leg..do a search, and you might find some pictures.

    also..what bedding are you using?
    are you giving chick vitamins?

    try and get some Poly-vi-sol liquid baby vitamins, Enfamil brand, no iron..give 2 drops once a day on beaks (so it runs into the mouth)..for a week or so, then taper off for a week..
    also give chick vitamins..
    the Poly-vi-sol is a good source of B Vitamins..
    a deficiency of Riboflavin (a B vitamin) can cause leg problems..such as slipped tendon, etc..

    and continue with the band-aid splint..the search will help you do it correctly.
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    What kind of flooring are they on?

    I have had chicks and a goose with spraddle leg and both of them recovered with treatment and are wonderful now.
  5. How old are they? That makes a difference in terms of the prognosis. And sometimes it can take several weeks or more depending on the age, severity. Please post pics and give more details.
  6. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    YES. I had one hatch with a funny leg, and foot.

    I did the band-aid treatment and the leg was straight within 24 hours - but the chick still took a few days to catch up to its hatch mates.

    She's perfect now - and the name "gimpy" stuck, although her REAL name is Sun.
  7. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Thank you all for the imput, please continue with anything else that might be helpful for these chicks. Now let me try to answer everyone's questions.

    "Run, Forest, run!" is from the movie Forest Gump. When he was a boy he had leg braces and other kids made fun of him. His friend would encourage him to run to get away by saying that. I say that to these chicks when I see them struggling to get around their pen.

    They were shipped on Sat 7/19, so I guess today, 7/27 they're 8-9 days old? I got them on 7/21 & put the bandaids on that morning.

    The chick I culled was put in a paper lunch bag & into the freezer. I learned that method from folks at a pet store, that is how they culled their little birds. I was told they just go to sleep. I only do this with chicks who are beyond all hope of recovery, and seem distressed about it.

    I learned the bandaid method of bracing from this site. I did do a search of "spraddle leg" and got lots & lots of posts to wade through. If you know a particularly helpful post you can give us the link.

    I am already giving all the chicks vitamins & electrolytes in their water, would it help to give the spraddled chicks extra drops in their beaks?

    They are in the baby tractor on grass during the day and in a wire-bottomed brooder cage at night. I put newspaper over the wire and paper towels over the newspaper for traction.

    I confess to ignorance in posting pictures online. That's my next project to learn. But they just look like typical spraddle-legged chicks, with legs that go < instead of =.

    They seem to be eating enough & getting along with everyone so I won't give up on them. I'll try the extra vitamin treatment to see if that helps, and continue to watch & wait. I just wanted to see if anyone had success stories to report, and any other helpful remedies. Thank you!
  8. I did not have luck, but our chick didn't start spraddling until like week 4 and I didn't realize what it was until week 5. We tried everything and hobbled her for 2 months. She is up in heaven as she didn't recover and was really distressed all the time.

    The fact that you got it so early is good. So keep doing the hobble, as much as it is painful to watch. Gosh, I would think the fact that you got it so soon, you should have luck. It appears that some might take 2-4 weeks. So keep it up.

    Pictures are easy. Go open a photobucket account online. They have an easy upload process and you just copy and paste the url to your post here. Takes a few minutes.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
  9. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Spraddle leg at 5 weeks makes me think 2 things -

    1. The floor she was on was too slick. I made a mistake once and lost a beautiful pullet this way.

    2. Vitamin deficiency.
  10. Thanks Miss P. We had papertowels and shavings and fed medicated starter feed. The minute I saw her walking funny we put her on the polyvisol. I can't imagine how she was lacking for anything. Her hatchmates were fine. I wonder if it was some type of hereditary thing. She did start to walk wobbly on the 4th week, it seemed like her weight made the spraddle show itself as we had not noticed it before that. It was a very sad thing. [​IMG]

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