Oopsie chicks can't walk - broken leg/back? Video.


In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 6, 2012
Tucson, Arizona
I had an accidental hatching from a hidden nest in my coop. These chicks are the last three survivors of eight (four were deceased before we'd even found them). I asked for advice about how to help them yesterday, here but now I'm sorta at a loss as to what's wrong with two of them.

They are estimated to be 2-3 days old. Two of them cannot walk, only flop around. We did have a problem with one of the bigger hens going after the chicks so it's possible these got pecked or something before we rescued them from the coop.

They have been drinking electrolyte-boosted water and mothered by my best momma hen in an old ferret cage for the past 30 hours or so, but no improvement on the two gimpy peeps. All of my chickens are from different sources so no inbreeding issues. We haven't had any problems with diseases and such in our flock, which we've had for almost a year.

Click for link to YouTube video of the three remaining chicks - I thought a vid would be better than a photo, in this case.

Any idea what it could be? Neurological? Broken bones? Just needing some more time? I have been giving them water through a medicine dropper because they have so much difficulty balancing to get a drink themselves. Any help would be appreciated.

At first glance, I didn't think splayed (or spraddle leg) because their legs aren't so obviously that way until you hold the second one. When you hold her, the legs definitely splay. At second glance also, the first one you held in the video has curled toes on one side, which I think stems from the same problem... I know that curled toes in chicks can mean they had too much room at hatch (makes sense, since this was a hidden nest) and started walking around before their frail legs/toes could support that. Maybe they tried to get away from the other hens-? I copied a link, I hope it copies correctly (maybe it's a very mild case of spraddle leg and curled toes and it can be corrected these ways...) Good luck, those babies are too sweet!


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