Help for splay leg chick

jeepgirl13

Crowing
7 Years
Mar 13, 2013
1,055
1,992
316
Colorado
Last night, I had a chick hatch out who just didnt seem to move right. I let him be in the bator for the rest of the night, probably about 6 hrs. He was still a bit wobbly, so I left him longer. He just didnt seem to improve like most chicks. I removed him around 8am this morning and after close inspection, realized he had an issue with his legs. Some research and a few discussions with the wonderful BYC community led me to believe he was suffering from splay leg. He had quite a bit of trouble hatching too.

I decided to make a chick chair, and this being my first time ever dealing with this, I wasnt sure what to do. The contraption I came up with is holding wonderfully, and only time will tell if it helps the little guys legs straighten up.

I took a plastic big gulp cup from 711, and cut in just about in half. Then, I got an old tshirt and cut a large rectangle out of it and folded said rectangle in half. I took the doubled up cloth and put it on top of the upper portion of the cup I just cut in half, and then trimmed away the excess cloth. Next, I grabbed the duct tape and taped everything up so it was good and secure, no sharp edges or sticky tape to be seen.

I then made his little food and water holder out of the bottom half of the plastic cup. I put tape on it to stick it to his chair, then rolled up thin strips of duct tape, sticky side out, and stuck water bottle lids to them to hold the food and water dishes in place for the little guy.

Once he was settled in the chair, I took a thin strip of vetwrap, and made a figure 8 around his legs, drawing them back in line where they should be. Then i took a small section of straw, cut it lengthwise, and slipped it over the center of the vetwrap to add extra support.

Just make sure you supervise them, to be sure they are eating and drinking, as well as so they dont fall asleep and drown in the water, or get picked on by brooder mates.

My little guy tried to escape at first, but soon settled in and is just peeping at me every now and then.
 

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jeepgirl13

Crowing
7 Years
Mar 13, 2013
1,055
1,992
316
Colorado
Well, it's been over 48 hrs since my little trouble chick has been hobbled and chaired. A quick peek at his legs revealed they look a lot straighter! Once I get my human baby down for his morning nap, I'll be going back out to the garage to see how the little guy moves. Fingers crossed the therapy worked!:fl

I know there is a chance he isnt going to improve, that's just how these things go. Does anyone have any knowledge on humanely culling this chick if hes not improving? I've never had to cull a chick, and it's totally different emotionally than processing grown birds. At least when I do older birds I know they're not going to be wasted. With a chick, I feel like it's closer to murder and is wasteful. I know it's for the best though, should it come down to it, so I'd appreciate any input:hit
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
84,693
98,642
1,677
SW Michigan
My Coop
Does anyone have any knowledge on humanely culling this chick if hes not improving? I've never had to cull a chick, and it's totally different emotionally than processing grown birds. At least when I do older birds I know they're not going to be wasted. With a chick, I feel like it's closer to murder and is wasteful.
Yep.
It's hard, no doubt...but better than watching them suffer, IMO.
I have a dedicated pair of bypass pruning shears, very sharp, cut their head off over herby curby. Can wrap it in paper towel, but that might dull your shears.
 

jeepgirl13

Crowing
7 Years
Mar 13, 2013
1,055
1,992
316
Colorado
Yep.
It's hard, no doubt...but better than watching them suffer, IMO.
I have a dedicated pair of bypass pruning shears, very sharp, cut their head off over herby curby. Can wrap it in paper towel, but that might dull your shears.
I think I can do that. I've got poultry shears I use when processing. I was told about a ziploc bag method, but I almost broke out in tears. I couldn't imagine doing that. Sound slike borderline torture to me, no judgement on anyone who prefers this method though. I just prefer to end an animals suffering quickly.
 

jeepgirl13

Crowing
7 Years
Mar 13, 2013
1,055
1,992
316
Colorado
I'll take him to my garden if I have to do it. That way at least the blood can feed the plants and I can bury the little guy out there to further feed the soil. Not a waste then I suppose. Better ending than just the dumpster.:hit

My little man is determined to stay awake this morning. He knows I want to go play with other babies.:D He also slept the whole night last night for maybe the third time in 4.5 month .
 

Maiahr

Songster
Jul 21, 2019
696
1,829
231
Bulgaria, a country in Eastern Europe
Our vets give a medication called Seled, which is Sodium Selenete + vit. E. All my friends who hatch chicken give this and are happy. My very first batch of chicken eggs is now in the incubator and will hatch next month. I have had a splayed legged quail in the past and had no idea what do to and eventually it died.
 

Quackter

Songster
May 15, 2019
374
1,476
188
I had two young turkeys with similar conditions this spring. I didn't really have the heart to do what was needed either, it's one thing to butcher, it's another just to kill. After watching them get stomped on at the feeder too many times, I set them on the grass, set them food and water, and let them calm down to where they weren't scared. One quick chop, and fed to the cat. It sucks, it's the bad side of the home "farm", but it is still better than the best scenarios at the big commercial factories.
 

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