"Leg problems in baby chicks..."

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cking3, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. cking3

    cking3 New Egg

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    Having problems with my 3 week old brown leghorns legs. Two out of nine so far have had this issue, My other breeds not having this issue (so far). Any ideas-solutions for my..."leg problems". What is it? How to stop/cure it?
     
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Its difficult to offer assistance without seeing what's actually going on, or even without a thorough explanation. Leg problems can be anything from splayed legs or slipped tendons to an all out injury.
    How long have the chicks had issues, is it a recent development or have they had it since they hatched? Are there sores, or do they just look off?

    Pictures would really help.
     
  3. Wol1

    Wol1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are their legs splaying out like this? [​IMG] See http://www.poultryhelp.com/spraddle.html and links below which discuss similar issues

    Or are their toes curled or crooked like this? It's "curly toes" See here: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/02/spraddle-leg-in-baby-chicks-what-is-it.html or it could be a riboflavin deficiency due to inadequate nutrition for mom: It can possibly be successfully treated with riboflavin supplementation and physical "therapy". http://www.thepoultrysite.com/publications/6/diseases-of-poultry/217/vitamin-b2-deficiency
    [​IMG]
    Please follow up with more details.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
  4. cking3

    cking3 New Egg

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    The problem just started about 4 days ago and is only in my Blh chicks. first one then another and now another. upon examining the lil chick it appears that the problem is at the leg joint. They get around fine with it at first then it gets worse? Its as if the leg turns toward the outside and backward, they can move the leg...it just flops around something fierce. Hope my explanation helps yall to help me! tryin to get some pics or small clip on here. Oh yeah, toes and feet both look fine? No curls. Thanks for the input and help peeps. [​IMG]
     
  5. Wol1

    Wol1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sure sounds like spraddle leg, although I haven't seen it myself.

    http://www.2ndchance.info/spraddle.htm
    "What Is Spraddle Leg ?
    Spraddle-leg or splay-leg is a leg problem that begins when birds are quite immature. It occurs when abnormal lateral forces on the legs and feet causes the long bones (femurs) and sockets of the upper leg (acetabula) to distort and bend outward or sideways. Both legs are usually affected.
    The cause of this condition is a nesting area or nesting container, which is too slick for the young bird to grasp well. Not having enough shredded bedding or bedding of the wrong kind within the nest also causes this condition. Another common cause is too rapid a growth rate in overfed, hand-reared birds. Although a diet too low in calcium or vitamin D3 or too high in phosphorus could theoretically cause the problem or make it worse, I have not personally seen spraddle-leg cases that were attributable to that.
    Baby birds that are in the process of developing spraddle-leg are much like novice ice skaters whose legs slide outward from the midline. "


    What kind of bedding are they on? They need to be able to grip it and there needs to be something underneath that is not slippery, like paper towels under pine shavings. I put mine on straw as soon as possible. There could have been a nutritional deficit in the breeding hen. You might want to try non-slippery bedding and some electrolyte/vitamins in their water, or add brewer's yeast to their feed. Make sure they are getting a good quality chick starter feed and perhaps try the method below to correct the problem while it heals.

    Anyway, if that is what it is, the same website has a long description of what to do about it. Many other websites have info and pictures.

    "Correcting this problem in a rapidly growing chick (baby) is a fairly straightforward proposition. Reversing the forces that cause its legs to protrude sideways will bring the legs back to the midline - if - the bird has sufficient remaining growth time. The same technique, performed more slowly and more cautiously will help birds of any age (but the results may not be as spectacular).
    No two veterinarians or aviculturalists fix this problem in identical ways. Luckily all techniques are successful if they reverse the lateral forces that caused the problem in the first place. What is important is that no force be great enough to injure the bird's delicate legs and joints and that no device or apparatus restrict circulation, bone or muscle growth. Bone and cartilage are dynamic tissues that continuously reform and re-contur in response to stress forces. In correcting spraddle leg, you redirect those forces. You never want to rush the process, tear or deform existing joint and bone architecture.
    I do not like methods that limit normal motion of the legs with foam or braces because they do not allow for normal bone and ligamental development while the bird heals. This is particularly true during the phenomenally fast growth spurt of newly-hatched chicks. Preventing normal motion of a joint is sufficient to "freeze" that joint up and result in ligament and muscle shortening within less than a week.
    To protect the baby's legs, I wrap a 1/8 to 1-inch wide strip of two-sided foam sticky tape, that is normally used to attach picture-hanging hooks around either foreleg (tibias). I leave a wide gap in the tape on the medial (inner) surface of the leg so that circulation to the foot is maintained. Then I fashion and apply a shackle (hobble or handcuff) made of a 1/8 to 1 inch strip of Curity white bandage tape so that the legs can no longer splay outwards. This apparatus is positioned just proximal (above) the ankle or tibiotarsus.
    Ouchless tape and bandages fall off too easily. When the time finally comes to remove the shackle or when it needs to be changed, olive oil and a pleget of cotton will remove remaining tags of glue adhesive.
    I reapply the tape daily so that inward tension on the legs is always very mild. Each day the legs are positioned closer to the midline. If X represents the bird's body and o the bird's leg, first the legs will look like o-------X-------o then gradually over a few days; I move them more toward the midline: o-----X------o, then to: o--X--o. Then, finally, to oXo. The entire procedure should take 7-30 days in immature birds. It can take much longer in birds that are no longer actively growing. During this period attempts should be made to massage the feet and allow the bird to perch so that the toes and feet do not become atrophied and contracted. As soon as possible I get them on large-diameter perches because the feet and toes are also usually abnormally shaped due to the spraddle. One has to be sure circulation, temperature, color and consistency of the feet always remain normal - if not, the bands are too tight or one is putting too much torque on the legs to quickly. It has always amazed me how quickly the bones of the leg and pelvis remodel and correct the problem. If splay-leg is advanced, angulation at the “ankle” (tarsus) accompanies bowing of the upper legs. This ankle angulation is harder to correct but does not incapacitate the bird. The younger the bird, the more likely the ankle problem self-corrects when the upper legs are straightened.
    As I mentioned, the older the bird, the harder spraddle–leg is to correct. This is because bones of older nestlings and adults are more calcified and rigid and cell structure less adaptable to change. Correcting the problem in grown or nearly grown birds sometimes requires that a veterinarian cut and wire abnormally shaped bones in a procedure somewhat similar to the "triple pelvic osteotomy" (links from that article still go to U.Penn website) performed in humans and dogs. In these birds, the legs will probably never return to a completely normal anatomy and function."
     
  6. cking3

    cking3 New Egg

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    Update: Had to dispatch the third chick yesterday, tried the remedy for spraddle leg with no luck. Poor thing just kept getting worse. Really don't think it was spraddle leg though, watched a few videos and looking up links you guys suggested. Bird just didn't exhibit the same signs? Hard to describe without a video clip. Never less the birds were sickly and weak. Good news the other birds are all fine. Running around, playin, appear to be strong and healthy. I'm thinkin a nutrition issue that just affected 3 of 9 due to weakness, small size, genetics? Really have no idea. Anyways...thanks yall for all the help!
     

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