keet can't walk, staying on hocks. Help please?


9 Years
Sep 30, 2010
Northern Virginia
We have a 2 day old keet who can't seem to stand up all the way and stays on his hocks. In fact he is paddling around so much with is legs and wings he has mads sore spots on his legs. He lays on his chest most of the time. Seems distressed. Is ther anuthing we can do? It is totally not spraddle leg which I have treated successfully before. If I hold him upright he seems to stand there, but when I let go he falls forward on his face. Please help if you have any idea what we have going on here.
What are you feeding it? I had a turkey and some quail chicks last year that did that. I changed their feed to a higher protein starter and within a few days they were good as new.
we are feeding game bird starter 28% protein I believe. I really hate to cull this little guy.....any other ideas? He just paddles around on his wings. Thanks
we are feeding game bird starter 28% protein I believe. I really hate to cull this little guy.....any other ideas? He just paddles around on his wings. Thanks

Try feeding a regular chick starter if you have it, several people have had problems with different brands of GBS this season. Other than Idk.
It may be a slipped tendon- google for a site about 'poultry podiatry' and look at the plans for the 'chick chair.' You'll need to get the weight off the hocks.

I also made a padded splint to hold the tendon in place using the cushioned ends of Q-tips to sandwich the tendon back in its place with paper medical tape. In this case, you may need it on both legs. Keeping the weight off of the leg while the tendon is held in place for a couple of days (while the bones grow into the length of the tendons) may be all it needs. My pea is a healthy, magnificent yearling now!
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So I am thinking you guys are right and we have a slipped tendon on 2 keets. I am not sure I have the right stuff to hatch and care for keets. We had 24 eggs we PICKED up locally and only 7 hatched, one had spraddle leg (fixed), and one seems to have slipped tendon on both legs and another has slipped tendon on one leg. So, 3 out of 7` with legs issues. Not doing to well with these guys so far. In the same incubator I had 11 SHIPPED silver ameraucanas and had a 100% hatch!! (no can't tell you the breeder....she is ALL mine. LOL) So, don't think it was our incubator. Are keets just more fragile? We are considering a trip to the exotic vet so they can have a look. If they show us once, pretty sure we could do it next time. I am afraid of pulling too hard on the leg.
And I am an anesthetist and can't do it.
Any other suggestions before I rob my saving account for a < 1$ chick at the exotic vet?

Edited to add: ALso nearly got one little guy drowned when I made him little shoes for his twisted feet and I found him this afternoon fallen and wedged against/IN the waterer and the brooder wall saoking wet. He seemed half dead.....rushed him to incubator running at 101 degrees to warm up and probably die. A couple hours later he is peeping his butt off wanting out. took those shoes off though.......
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Did you leave all the keets in the incubator until they were dry, fluffy and running around? Sometimes taking them out too soon can cause leg issues, they need the extra humidity and the traction of the wire floor until their legs and feet get working good. If that wasn't the case, then it sounds genetic to me, maybe too many years of inbreeding within the flock that the eggs came from. I'd seek eggs from another source next time just to be on the safe side. Also, those keets that do make it to adulthood and are able to breed may possibly produce keets with the same kinds of problems.

Slipped tendons are painful for the keet, and the longer you wait (and the longer the tendons are slipped out of the groove and the joints swell more) the harder it is to correct it, plus the longer the keet is in pain. If you wait too long the tendon just won't stay in the groove and heal, no matter what you try. If you aren't confident enough to try to correct the problem asap, IMO it would be better to just put the keet down and not let it suffer any longer. I know you mean well and care, but some conditions just aren't fixable after a certain point. Good luck with it.
Thanks for the advice. The one with both legs bad did not make it even though we tried to set his legs correct.
Too much for him i think. The other little guy with one bad leg is doing well. My DH got the tendon slipped back and we wrapped it in vet wrap to keep it in place. My DH is very squeamish, still can't believe he did it. i think he was AFRAID I would go to the exotic vet. he is spunky and even though we tried to keep him still and in a little rolled towel he jumps out and about using his leg like a a little peg leg. Do we leave the wrap on for a couple days? I can tell it was hurting him. Not as much now it is wrapped up. So, for how long? we are helping him get water and all that. Thanks bunches for the advice.

Oops: Yes, all the keets were left in the brinsea until it seemed the hatch was finished. We try to never open it until then, and for sure not until all are dry. We will probably not breed this group. They will be pets and tick eaters. i wouldn't want to have more little ones with leg issues.

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