Older chick - Splayed legs treatment

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by labelcherky, Mar 23, 2018.

  1. labelcherky

    labelcherky Chirping

    Sep 10, 2015
    I just noticed today that I have an older silkie whose legs are splayed. I feel terrible for not noticing before now! She has extra long feathers and tends to stay under the Brinsea heater.

    Anyone have experience with treating older chicks? It's about 7-8 weeks old.

  2. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

    Jun 14, 2017
    Central PA
    According to this site (which I consider to be perhaps the ultimate authority in chicken leg-fixing) it's probably too late to fix it, but you can try anyway. Do make sure it's not perosis.

    Leg Hobbles
    KEEP IN MIND: You need to help a chick daily by gently scratching itchy spots that the Leg Hobbles prevent it from reaching with its feet. If you don't scratch places like the back of its neck for the chick where it cannot, it will be pretty miserable and can develop a terribly itchy, swollen welt from lack of normal skin stimulation.
    • CAUTION: A young chick wearing Leg Hobbles can't get up easily or stand easily. It can fall and drown if it stumbles near a water container. See "Prevent Drowning in Water Dish" section.
    • Use to treat Splayed Leg (also called "Splay Leg", "Spraddle Leg", and "Straddle Leg"), which is often caused by hatching problems or poor flooring.
    • Leg Hobbles (also called "Hobble Braces") have the best chance of being effective if put on within 1 to 3 days of hatch, and usually correct Splayed Leg within 3 to 6 days in a newly hatched chick.
    • Leg Hobbles help keep a young chick from trying to incorrectly twist hip and leg out sideways. Once the chick has Hobbles on, it will usually experiment with turning its legs forwards (like it should) instead of twisting one leg or both legs out to the side. The little chick will gradually wobble less and not use its wing for support as much, and will try stepping ahead. Once the chick learns that correct walking is the most effective motion and the chick reprograms its brain, you can begin leaving the Hobbles off for increasing periods of time.
    • Be sure to change Hobbles at least every 2 days since a chick is growing fast and tape will quickly become too tight to allow growth & circulation.
    • These should be put on lower legs (below hocks) and allow enough room for the chick to stand with its legs a little farther apart than normal standing position so chick can balance and practice walking.
    • Can be made from sports tape, Band-Aids, Velcro (make sure only soft side touches legs), etc. Can also use elastic hair-band in figure-8 around legs with tape wrapped around section between legs.
      • To keep the chick from wriggling out of Hobbles, use vertical wraps of sports tape (or masking tape or sticky section of band-aids) around the section between the two legs to more firmly tape the center section together.
      • If chick is over 4 days old and extra stiffness is needed to help keep legs apart, reinforce center section. Use extra sports tape wrapped vertically, pipe cleaners, thin piece of taped-on cardboard, etc.
      • For sensitive or feathered legs, put a little piece of paper towel (to cover the tape's stickiness) on just the section of the tape that wraps around the chick's legs.

    Good luck. Hope she does well.
  3. AmandaMBG

    AmandaMBG Songster

    Apr 16, 2016
    Southern Utah
    I would try to fix it. Seperate out and use bandaids to put legs into a normal position. Change them out every day or two and check progress when you change them out. I had a chick that got it once and I did get him 2 day old bantams to keep him company since he really couldn't be with the other chicks. They ended up being best friends.

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