Help please. Need advice on hobbles for splayed chick.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Solsken Farm, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. Solsken Farm

    Solsken Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    I tried to do this last night (well actually from 12-2 this am) with no success. She is a tiny banty, about 4-5 weeks old. She began displaying the spraddling about a week or more ago, but I did not realize what it was.

    I really need help figuring out these splints. When I tried bringing the legs together, she couldn't walk. I also tried a sponge with holes for her legs. No luck there either. I am sure I am doing this all wrong. How do they get around if they can't move their legs apart?

    I did some google searches and haven't found enough info to guide me. I am a lousy nurse....[​IMG]

    I am going to go get the vitamin supplements today for her and try that. Her buddy is fine. I added 7 new chicks last night to the pen and they are all getting along fine, but seeing these new chicks so active really made my poor little banty stand out as struggling.


    (I will try to post a pic of her tonight when I get home from work) She is the sweetest, most gentle little angel.[​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2008
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    It may be her age - 4 wks is pretty old to start trying to fix splayed legs, but it's worth a shot.

    I used a bandaid for my splints - a regular sized one cut lengthwise to the proper length for her legs. I put the legs about 'normal' width apart.

    If she's having trouble getting around, and is not growing well from not being able to compete well for food, separate her several times a day for extra feedings. I separated and fed chick crumbles moistened with warm (not cold, not too hot) water. That way you know she is getting her crop full at least 3-4 times a day.

    Good luck with her. Maybe someone else will have some better advice for ya on the hobbles.
  3. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    arlee - This may be a "dumb" question, but when you use the band-aid on the spraddled-legged chick do you use it to bring the two legs in together (almost like leg irons on the old chain gangs?), or just one bandaid on each leg running down the length of the leg?
  4. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Use the bandaid horizontally to bring the two legs together.

    For very young chicks it works great - the pad part of the bandaid is just about the perfect width apart that the legs need to be. I wrap one sticky side around one leg, and then the other sticky side around the other leg with the pad part in the middle between the two legs.

    It will usually stay on a day or two, then when it falls off you re-evaluate and see if it needs another bandaid.

    I suppose for larger chicks you could use surgical tape, or if you can wrap the leg with something protective first, even duct tape might work... [​IMG]
  5. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    Thanks, that's what I thought. So, does the chick just not walk during that time? I would think it would make walking very hard while the band-aid/split is on....
  6. SusanJoM

    SusanJoM Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've been looking and will go back to looking for a post on the forum that has wonderful pictures of how to affix the bandaid.

    I used it on a tiny fuzzy legged bantam last week.

    The bandaid goes on just above the feet, and the distance apart should be the amount of the gauze part itself.

    Use a 3/4" bandaid cut it in half lengthwise.

    The bandaid is flexible enough that the little guy can walk around. Mostly you're just trying to get the legs positioned UNDER him until they get used to that position.

    Anyway, if you do a search and I do a search, one of us will find that picture-heavy set of instructions.

    Last edited: Jun 2, 2008
  7. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    They don't 'walk' per se - more of a hop hop hop. You are trying to get it up on it's feet more than anything. That helps strenghten the muscles.

    That's why if I have to hobble a chick I will pull out for extra feedings.

    And it's not always succesful. I've had about 50/50 success with hobbling gimpy chicks. If all you are dealing with is true splay legs, then it seems to work pretty well. If there are other issues with leg anatomy, not so good - those are the ones I've had to eventually cull.
  8. Solsken Farm

    Solsken Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank Arlee.

    This is pretty mild. She can get around. Her legs are further apart than all the other chicks, but it is not like what I have seen with really obvious splaying. She leans back alot and wobbles. She is eating and drinking well. Bless her heart, the younger chicks are so active. I may take your advice and pull her and her pal out tonight just to reduce the stress. Gosh, I hope I can figure this out. She is my daughter's chick, and we are dealing with her beloved cat who has been missing for a week. Losing 2 pets will devestate her.
  9. SusanJoM

    SusanJoM Chillin' With My Peeps

  10. Solsken Farm

    Solsken Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you for your advice. I did see that link but it is not working for my older chick. I have had many thoughts about what to do with her and since it is mild, I am going to just keep her as is. I have searched and searched for any help for a 4-5 week chick and cannot find anything other than euthanize.

    So we are going to have a gimpy chicken. [​IMG] My daughter asked what will happen if she gets picked on, and I said that we will just build another pen for her and her other best friend. I feel so guilty that I didn't catch this in time....I wish I had found this site sooner.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2008

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by