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New-hatch toe problem... but not the typical issues.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LTygress, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a new hatch two days ago that has a problem with his largest toe on one of his feet. It's not "twisted" like I've seen before. And he has no problem holding his feet under him properly either.

    The issue is that the toe is pointing UP. The second joint going in from his toenail touches the ground, but the last joint (the one closest to his toenail) sits up off the ground and the toe points up.

    I tried to bend it downwards, and it doesn't go. I had a feeling I was going to actually break the bone in his toe trying to bend it down, so I left it alone. He has a very slight upward curve on his other foot, but he doesn't seem to have problems with that foot. Only the one that actually points up AND practically reaches for the sky, is giving him problems.

    Most importantly, he is up hopping around with the others. He does have balance issues from it, and I can tell he struggles to move around as quickly as the others, but he's overcoming them to try and be a normal chick.

    So my question is, should I leave it, and let him just grow and be a "special" chicken? Should I go ahead and try to fix it, even if it breaks the toe and/or joint? Or should I put him down? Since he is still TRYING to be a normal chicken, he has no problems moving to the food and water, nor pooping (he hasn't let poop get on his rear end - he still stands for that too). So ability-wise he is fine. He's just got to fine-tune the motor skills involved with a messed up foot.

    Also, I don't think the toe gives him pain, because he never tries to hold his foot off of the ground, or pecks at it, like it bothers him. He simply can't balance that well, because the toe that would normally keep him from falling forward is too short (for the part that has contact with the ground) to stop it.
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Could you post a photo? My guess is that it is some sort of deformity, either caused by genetics, being in the egg in an odd position, or something else. While he may look odd, as long as he seems to get along fine, I would just let him be. Either that, or I would try and force the toe into the proper position even if it breaks the bone--at least it would heal in the right position.
     
  3. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    X2
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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  5. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The first two photos don't do it much justice. I've realized when he relaxes the foot, the toe points straight, so you can't really see the issue. Although usually when a chicken relaxes their foot, the toes curl up, but you can't tell in the photos if he is really relaxing it or not.

    The third photo, although fuzzy, shows the problem the best. You can see after the last join, the toe points UP.

    The joint before this one bends just fine. The join where it bends UP won't allow the toe to bend down. It'll go straight, but not down. It's almost like the joint itself formed upside-down in his toe as he developed inside the egg. And that's why I don't want to break it to fix it - I'm not sure if it really will FIX it, since it's a JOINT, not just a bone.

    But like I said, he still gets up and walks around. He does still have balance issues, but he manages. And he's only two days old, so the balance issues are likely to get better with time. If it turns out to be a pullet, I'll keep it no matter what. If it turns out to be a cockerel, I'll probably find him a good pet home.


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  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I really would start vitamins ASAP because Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) deficiency is the biggest cause of chick toe problems besides heredity. Doing physical therapy according to the Poultry Pedia link is very important in the first 3 days.
     
  7. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did start a vitamin B12 supplement right away and I'm going to Tractor Supply for Rooster Booster multi-vitamins tomorrow. And I do take him out and keep trying to bend his toe back down, even if it won't go. I take it until right before I think it will break, and then hold it there for a moment.

    If his toes twisted around, or he walked with his feet out too far, I know I could fix it with medical tape. But this one I just don't know, because it's a joint bending the opposite way than it should. It's kinda like a child born with a knee who bends backwards.
     

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