My odd little physically challenged chick

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ninjapoodles, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas

    This chick is actually MUCH improved. When she arrived, we were a heartbeat away from culling her, but decided to watch awhile first. She could not stand up on her feet at all, and was always tail-up, face-down like this. (ETA--not with legs spread apart sideways, like spraddle-leg.) The only way she could move about was to use her tiny little WINGS as "crutches." I am not even kidding.

    We're not big on heroic measures when it comes to survival of the fittest livestock, but we're not cull-happy, either, and she didn't have any apparent pain or distress--she didn't know there was anything wrong with how she was.

    As long as she was able to eat and drink by herself, we decided to just watch and wait. Now, a week later, she still can't quite stand up straight like the others, but she CAN lift herself up off the bedding and stand in a kind of crouch, and she can now walk and even run short distances using just her feet and legs, without hock-walking or using her wings as crutches.

    When resting, the tail-up posture remains predominant.

    I really pretty much expect her to make a full recovery at this point. And also to make a fool of me by proving to be a boy.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2008
  2. Are both legs to the side like this? If so it looks like spraddle legs. There is an easy remedy to this. You take a band aid and wrap around both legs leaving the gauze part in the middle as a spacer. It won't take long but it should cure the problem. I have sone this with a few of my chicks ans it has worked out quite well.
  3. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    No--it may appear so in the pic, but they don't go to the side at all. She was down on her hocks, actually, but no sideways spreading. At first we did try to brace her little hocks a bit with bandaids, but that totally incapacitated her, because she HAD to stand/sit on them, so they had to be completely folded.

    What you see here is actually a vast improvement, because she's straightening her legs a *little*, and she's clearing the bedding!
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2008
  4. cool was just wondering, I know when they hatch sometimes they have splayed feet and that is what i used to fix it.
  5. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    Thanks--that was the first thing we looked up, because it was the ONLY leg problem I knew about! We couldn't find anything that matched this bit of weirdness. :eek:
  6. VanSintjan

    VanSintjan In the Brooder

    May 23, 2008
    This looks like a mild form of what one of my chickens had in the last hatch. She could not carry her bodyweight though and after while the preassure on the hook joint became so big that it crawled out of the socket and bursted the skin. I took her to the vet and he said that it was the brain that didn't develop enough to give the signal to the lower leg. She could move her toes though. In her case it was so severe that she had to be put down. The vet had seen this before and it is not so uncommon.
  7. RioLindoAz

    RioLindoAz Sleeping

    Jul 8, 2007
    Yuma, Arizona
    Its a good thing you have bedding!

    BTW what type of bedding do you use?
  8. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    Quote:This is just pine shavings. I keep it pretty deep, so I don't have to be cleaning it all the time. We have a semi-detached basement that is finished and heated/cooled (it was the family's "play room" for the last owner, and had darts and games and things), and floored in linoleum. SO, when chicks are coming, we just clear a patch of clean floor, put down a cardboard brooder-guard, and dump several inches of shavings into the "circle" (I use quotation marks because it only resembles a circle in the loosest sense--it's more like an amoeba [​IMG] ). Then we put an ex-pen or a circle of chicken wire around that before anyone gets big enough to flap 12 inches vertically. [​IMG]
  9. brownfarms

    brownfarms Songster

    Jun 24, 2008
    San Diego Area, CA
    I had a baby chick that sounded exactly like the one you described. I tried extra vitamins but she didn't make it. She had just turned a week old. Good Luck to yours though. I hope she pulls through!!
  10. goddesses

    goddesses In the Brooder

    Jul 3, 2008
    I've had same situation. My chick had to be isolated as the others began pecking at her. She is doing fine, no poroblem with walking, eating, pooping. All feathers coming in, but she is just 2/3 the size of the others. I've tried to introduce one chick into her space, but that is very traumatizing.

    Any suggestions on how to help her catch up, growth wise?


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