question about curled toes - interesting new piece of information

HennyJenny

Songster
10 Years
Dec 26, 2009
552
4
131
Bennington, NE
I hatched two batches of Barnevelders from the same parent stock. The eggs were shipped. I have three females and two males. There is one male from each hatch. Neither of the males appeared to have curled toes when they hatched. However they both have severely curled toes now. It doesn't impede them in anyway - in fact they are both very hardy vigorous birds but I am wondering if this is a genetic problem and if I should not breed these birds.

Thanks
Jenny
 
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HennyJenny

Songster
10 Years
Dec 26, 2009
552
4
131
Bennington, NE
Thanks, Minnie. Since their toes weren't curled when the hatched but curled as they matured and it was just this one breed and just the males I think it's probably something other than incubation. I did have a buff hatch with severe spraddle leg and curled toes and I think that probably was incubation as they were hatched with some much larger turkey eggs and I think there were temp and humidity problems in that hatch. I would think if the problem was due to incubation that I would have seen it long before now. This seems to be happening in these birds at about the four week mark. They don't have a smooth surfaced floor and all of my chicks are eating the same starter grower feed. These birds had perfectly fine feet up until the time the leg and skin on it started to thicken then the toes curl and deform. If it's environmental I need to figure out what it is and if it's genetic I need to not breed them.
 

Minniechickmama

Senora Pollo Loco
10 Years
Sep 4, 2009
7,135
695
391
Minnesota
My chicks had normal looking feet too and got worse in time. It could be nutritional too from the parents' standpoint. I am going to hatch some out of mine anyway and see how it goes. I don't think this is a genetic problem, but I could be wrong.
 

hinkjc

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Jan 11, 2007
12,683
95
331
PA
If birds develop curled toes as they grow, it is their nutrition or malabsorption of nutrients that is making that happen, not their parents. If the parent flock was the cause, the chick would have hatched with curled toes. Just wanted to clarify that for those following this type of issue.
 

aveca

Songster
10 Years
Jun 30, 2009
3,704
92
228
Waverly, NY
It sounds like viatamin B 2 deficeincy . Thou most chick feeds are supposed to be fortified , makes you wonder.I always give grated carrots also extra vit A. ( I just use a cheese grater after about a week or so) and hard boiled eggs in with the feed for a while till they can get out and get some greens in the lawn..so far Have never had a problem .
You could add a little vitamins to water..

Diseases: Vitamin B2 deficiency
Also known as Curled toe paralysis, Riboflavin deficiency
Vitamin B2 deficiency occurs worldwide in poultry of all ages. It is caused when vitamin B2 is deficient in the diet. Most grains are deficient in vitamin B2, therefore it must be included in the premix.

Effects of Vitamin B2 deficiency
Curled toes, poor growth, weak and emaciation are seen in young birds. Leg muscles are atrophied and flabby. The skin is dry and harsh. Poor hatchability and egg production can occur in adults. Dead embryos have "clubbed" down feathers. Poults have severe dermatitis of the feet and shanks and incrustations on the corners of the mouth.

Diagnosis of Vitamin B2 deficiency
Postmortem lesions (curled toes) are characteristic.
 
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HennyJenny

Songster
10 Years
Dec 26, 2009
552
4
131
Bennington, NE
Thanks everyone! I am feeding purina starter grower but I could provide supplemental vitamins. I am glad to know that these birds are genetically fine so I appreciate that information as well. I don't see any of the other symptoms of the curled toe paralyis but I don't think additional vitamins (within reason) could hurt to add. These are otherwise healthy appearing robust birds that are quite beautiful.
 

HennyJenny

Songster
10 Years
Dec 26, 2009
552
4
131
Bennington, NE
I was really starting to do more than wonder about this. It concerned me that something I was doing might be harming my birds. I didn't think it was incubation - praying it wasn't genetic - not really thinking it could be nutritional. So I did a bit of looking myself - which is what I usually do but for whatever reason was looking for easy answers this time. The barnevelders of both hatches were always in a brooder by themselves and they had the only heat lamp that was an infrared sun-lamp - probably not meant for the brooding of poultry. I got rid of it when I put the turkey in there because it seemed to be driving him crazy. A little googling produced the answer that infrared light sometimes produces this effect. I can't really find why this is - there was one mention that the light is too hot and that it may "denature" the feed - I guess by cooking it. But it does explain why out of the 10 varieties I have right now that only the barnevelders have this issue. I wish I was able to fully explain why it has this effect - but I really couldn't find the supporting data - but in this one circumstance it does seem to offer an explanation that is applicable to my birds and that may be helpful to others. This was a very high wattage lamp and was called a "infrared sun lamp" - I think it showed up in a batch of goods from a farm auction and the only other time I had used it was this winter on a couple of days that were well below zero - until I stuck it in my brooder. I feel bad - but I'm glad to have learned something. I appreciate everyone's input in this discussion. I learned a great deal from it.

Thanks.
Jenny
 

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