Help a Chick-noob! Chicks have trouble walking:

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mayfieldk, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. mayfieldk

    mayfieldk New Egg

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    Feb 14, 2012
    Hey all. I have adult chickens (rhode island reds), horses, dogs, cats; I can deliver baby goats--but I know NOTHING about baby chicks! I received five for Valentines Day after much hint dropping, and thought I had what I needed. A home for them, a light, starter food, grit, a waterer. But...

    They're apparently from the same hen but are different sizes (and colors!), and the three smallest ones are having difficulty walking. At first I thought it might be splayed/spraddle leg after a bit of research, but my chickens don't really look like that. Their legs are underneath them just fine. But their feet are swollen near the webbing, and almost look a dark pink/purplish color--maybe abscesses? When my SO went to pick them up, the lady who sold them had to chase them to catch them; could they have stepped on something/injured their feet? The starter feed I bought has an antibiotic in it, and I have tetracycline if needed. I'm not sure if it's 'bumblefoot', as I don't think it's on the bottom? Do I have to cut open the feet and treat? I just don't know!

    Pictures to follow so you can see what I'm talking about. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. mayfieldk

    mayfieldk New Egg

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    Feb 14, 2012
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    I hope these work-- you can see how swollen they are though!
     
  3. mayfieldk

    mayfieldk New Egg

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    Feb 14, 2012
    Just decided to update this in case anyone else runs into this problem. We surmised that they'd gotten frostbitten on their feet, and then infected. Most of the infection that had been cut out of the foot was in the webbing and on the top of the feet, not the bottom where bumblefoot usually is.

    I ended up soaking the chicks' legs in warm epson salts twice daily for 20 minutes, cut open their feet and pulled out the infected tissue, placed antibiotic cream on them, and sprayed with Banixx spray. I placed small pieces of gauze on the feet and wrapped with thin-cut pieces of vet wrap to keep them clean. Yes, these chickies were a lot of work! I did this for at least a week--until the feet had healed and there was clearly zero sign of infection.

    Here is a photo of one showing off her bandages in the brooder:

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    I ended up having to put down one chick (feet turned black and shriveled up :( ) but the other four are outside enjoying life as young adult chickens. Two roos and two hens. I'm so glad they made it!
     
  4. lareynadenada

    lareynadenada Chillin' With My Peeps

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    so sorry, poor lil ones!! sounds like you did a great job
     

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