Help!! chick with splayed legs.

jak2002003

Crowing
Oct 24, 2009
3,146
1,269
396
Thailand
I spotted a zebra finch chick on my aviary floor - he left the nest about one week too early. When I picked him up I noticed his legs were sticking out either side of him.. I thought maybe it was because he was still growing and did not yet know how to 'walk'. I put him back in the nest with the other chicks. The next day he was out again. I put him back in.

Everything was OK, all the chicks flew the nest about one week later - and so did he. But I found him half dead in the bird bath. I could not understand why he had not got out - its only a very shallow tray. I picked him out and he was nearly dead - eyes closed and weak and cold. I warmed him up and the next morning he was alert again and mum and dad feeding him. I noticed he was still on the floor and could not get onto the perches like the other chicks.

I got him out to have a close look. It seem he can not use one leg at all - he can also not use both feet - they are clenched tight shut. Both legs stick out either side of him, and one leg sometimes drags behind him.

I can't find any breaks, and the legs look the normal colour and thickness. No swelling anywhere.

I would have put him to sleep, but he seems so happy and fit! He is calling and lively - he is fat and bright eyed and alert.

Is there anything I can do to help him get about more easily? He can get food and water as they are on the aviary floor in shallow pans. He can fly, but cant grab onto anything so falls back to the floor.
 
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jak2002003

Crowing
Oct 24, 2009
3,146
1,269
396
Thailand
It is my first every bird to get this splayed leg thing - and I must have way over 100 different birds. I have not idea how it happened - all the other chicks from that nest are perfect.

Today I managed to use a small piece of tape to tape the 2 legs in a more normal position. I tried a thin piece of string in a loop first, but the chick got that off in minutes. Its not in any pain and now it is able to sit up straight and hop about. Its such a happy little thing. When he is weaned totally I will take him out of the aviary and keep him in a cage in the house with a flat solid floor. My aviary has a wire mesh floor, and he finds it hard not to get his feet slip between the bars.
 

ladybirdb12

Chirping
7 Years
Oct 7, 2012
212
8
73
I had a coctateil baby with the same trouble, grant it its much bigger then a finch, here is what we did.
We got make up wedges sponge the V shape
Writing pen, take out the inside of the pen.
Vet tape.
you might be able to make the sponge small by cutting down to his side.
the pen,make it hollow, this is going to help you, make a tiny hole inside the sponge, use the pen,put the hollow pen inside the small hole,put the baby leg inside the pen that is though the sponge, then pull out the pen from the sponge the leg is now in the sponge, do this for the other leg, it should look like ski shoes use the vet tape on the sponge to keep the legs together and under him, .
grant it if the baby is weaned all you can do try this it might be to late. Also I would keep him in a plastic tub flat, the other birds might pick on him, give it about three weeks and take the sponge off see if it worked if not make another sponge thing and give it a couple of weeks.
call your vet (avain) see if this will work, or it might be to late.
it worked very well on my baby teil, but he was young not weaned.
cover the tub, make it dark so he will sleep and rest, no perch, I use puppy pads inside the tub, I find that they cannot get there claws stuck on it. :D
 

jak2002003

Crowing
Oct 24, 2009
3,146
1,269
396
Thailand
I had a coctateil baby with the same trouble, grant it its much bigger then a finch, here is what we did.
We got make up wedges sponge the V shape
Writing pen, take out the inside of the pen.
Vet tape.
you might be able to make the sponge small by cutting down to his side.
the pen,make it hollow, this is going to help you, make a tiny hole inside the sponge, use the pen,put the hollow pen inside the small hole,put the baby leg inside the pen that is though the sponge, then pull out the pen from the sponge the leg is now in the sponge, do this for the other leg, it should look like ski shoes use the vet tape on the sponge to keep the legs together and under him, .
grant it if the baby is weaned all you can do try this it might be to late. Also I would keep him in a plastic tub flat, the other birds might pick on him, give it about three weeks and take the sponge off see if it worked if not make another sponge thing and give it a couple of weeks.
call your vet (avain) see if this will work, or it might be to late.
it worked very well on my baby teil, but he was young not weaned.
cover the tub, make it dark so he will sleep and rest, no perch, I use puppy pads inside the tub, I find that they cannot get there claws stuck on it.
big_smile.png
Thanks for the great advise.
smile.png


I have to make sure he is eating on his own before I take him out from the rest.

I have been watching the other finches with him - and they are not bullying him. In fact they seem to ignore him (except his mum who feeds him).

I think in about 3 or 4 more days he should be OK to take away from his parents. I may take another of his chick brothers or sisters to keep him company in the house.

He also has problems with his feet. He can not use them at all - they are always curled up tight. I think it must be a birth defect or genetic thing.

I can't believe how happy and lively he is and how good he looks despite not being able to use the legs. I suppose he just thinks its normal for him.

I am going to do the pen and sponge thing tomorrow, it will look nicer than having black tape to hold the legs right.
 

ladybirdb12

Chirping
7 Years
Oct 7, 2012
212
8
73
Make sure its make up wedge, and cut to size for him,
never hand fed a finch, what do the parent eat to give to the baby? Because he still might have be young enough to fix this if he is not weaned, but you will be mommy and its handfeeding him (check with a breeder on how or a vet on feeding them its very hard, utube makes it look easy, but its not) the food temp has to be (on teils 105 temp, it might be different on a finch. And baby food with cockateil, might be different, then its how much to give him, and how many hours do you feed
birdchannel might give you an ideal, but you need hands on either by a vet or a breeder
I hope I helped you let me hows he doing
Take care
sherry :)
Opps my vet told me 103 for temp, not 105 .some will disagree with 103, but my avain vet keep at 103 .
 
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ladybirdb12

Chirping
7 Years
Oct 7, 2012
212
8
73
Lol black tape that's sound ugly, lol they got pink, purple, camouflage, blue, oh heck you can dress him up lol :D
 

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