My Silkie chicks have bad feet!

IUfarm

Hatching
12 Years
Nov 24, 2007
9
0
7
I was so proud I waited patiently throught the winter for my Silkie hen to start laying, she and her rooster finally got down to bussiness and I just hatched my first eggs. HOWEVER, 3 of the 4 have crooked toes (on one or both feet) and one one of those three is also splay legged. The only "normal" one appears to have 6 toes per foot instead of five. What is happening! Is this normal for Silkies or do we have a pair that should not continue to breed? I know you can try to fix the crooked toes with matchsticks, popsicle sticks, etc. but is that realistic especially with feathers down the toes that would get stuck in an bandage/tape adhesive?
 

Must Be Losing It

Lost It
11 Years
Mar 3, 2008
993
2
161
Uxbridge MA
I'm thinking its a problem with the breed. I hatched four last week, two with splayed legs, and one with the splayed legs has bad toes. There is a lot of advice on this forum for the toes involving duck tape, or velco, etc.

Good luck. Silkies are such beautiful little chicks.
 

Poison Ivy

Songster
12 Years
May 2, 2007
2,596
11
201
Naples, Florida
Did you incubate the eggs in a incubator or let your hen sit on them? If you incubated them then you might have had a temp problem. You can tape the foot to try and correct the toes and then tape the legs on the one for spraddle leg.

One web site had this.

Sign: Crooked toes, spraddled legs. Causes:

High or low incubator temperature.

Inadequate nutrition.

Smooth bottom hatching trays.
 

IUfarm

Hatching
12 Years
Nov 24, 2007
9
0
7
Could be a temp./humidity issue. It's a new incubator (a mouse got the old one) and this is the first hatch. Other chicks of a different breed hatched as well and they seem to be fine but my overall hatch rate was extreemly low compared to the old incubator.
 

BamaChicken

Orpingtons Bama Style
12 Years
Nov 14, 2007
4,266
34
251
Humidity and temp problems will definitely cause toe and feet problems. Maybe not every egg but you will have enough to notice. Somewhere I read six toes is not great but can be breed out but when you have less than five you have a definite genetic problem with your breeders.
 

LilPeeps

Songster
13 Years
Jan 13, 2007
3,925
13
221
SE Mass
Quote:I agree, your temp/humidity must have been off. Splayed legs can also be caused by a slippery surface in the incubator or brooder. You can correct the crooked toes and splayed leg, but just do so asap, as the longer you wait, the longer it takes and less likely it is to work. Six toes can be bred out of your line, but just don't keep the 6-toed chicks if you plan on breeding.
 

7AcreOrganics

In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 11, 2008
44
3
32
Ashland Oregon
Hi, we cant seem to get a cardboard flat boot to stick to the foot. Our new silkie has a terrible crooked front toe. Nothing really sticks and if it does, it sticks it crooked, not straight. What to do? Thanks
 

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