Question regarding raising baby chicks on wire Re: Foot problems

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by wwmicasa1, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. wwmicasa1

    wwmicasa1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 22, 2008
    Wingshadows Hacienda
    I recently was gifted with an old (1940) non-working commercial brooder. My DH is wonderful on getting things running again & I was eager to try it. I hatched in excess of 40 chicks & kept them in the brooder on wire. I have never raised chicks on wire so I am wondering if this problem is a result of the flooring.

    Now for the problem.....I have at least 5, perhaps 6 chicks that have foot problems. Not splayed leg as I have dealt with & corrected that problem in many chicks. But turned in feet (claws & toes balled up underneath foot) & unable to walk. Could this be a result of the wire? DH has to put 3 of them down today (groan) but fortunately 4 are cockerels. I have delayed an opinion on #4 as he is getting the perfect MF coloring & he only has one foot with the problem. He is able to get around fairly well. If he looks unable to keep up with the flock, then I will have DH do the deed. The other is a little pullet & I also want to observe her for awhile before I make the final decision.

    At first I thought it might be a breeding problem but one of the chicks is a D'Uccle & has the same problem as the MF Cochins. I will not use the brooder for chicks in the future. It is great for Quail. So the brooder will not go to waste but I do have many concerns on the wire flooring for chicks. It is really a puzzlement.

    Any Ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  2. beautifulbirds

    beautifulbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think it's fairly clear that the wire is not giving them the correct support that their tiny legs need. Can you put a floor in it?
  3. pbjmaker

    pbjmaker Overrun With Chickens

    May 9, 2008
    Central Iowa
    I'm not sure if it is the wire. I have two mf d'uccles that have the same problem. The toes on one foot turn under towards the middle which in turn makes their ankle turn out. Mine are around 6-7 weeks old and although they walk OK they don't stand with weight on the foot. I may have to cull them also as they get older and bigger. Mine are not on wire floors and never have been.
  4. wwmicasa1

    wwmicasa1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 22, 2008
    Wingshadows Hacienda
    I used rubber like shelf liner over the wire for the first week. They weren't on wire at the beginning. I guess I'm just concerned over the percentage of peeps with leg problems. Granted, I hatched more at one time than I have hatched before so perhaps this is just something that would have happened if my numbers had been the same. It is just puzzleing & something that I want to avoid in the future. Thanks for the input.
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    If it's like the commercial brooders I am thinking of, that they use in lab settings and so on, we put the "brooder pads" in them. They are basically big stiff puppy like pads that go over wire.
  6. Msbear

    Msbear Fancy Banties

    May 8, 2008
    Sharpsburg, MD.
    Lynne, I would google the heck out of that. I looked briefly and saw nothing where wire floors are a problem to chicks but it may be the case.

    I love google. My Chevy was making a funny noise so I googled "whining noise chevy trailblazer" and a youtube video popped up. I clicked on it and it showed a truck with hood up making the same exact noise. The guys on the video even told the part we needed and how to fix it.... A trip to the dealership ...$300+ ...hubby at home $14.95 shaweet [​IMG]
  7. Smartie_Pants

    Smartie_Pants Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2008
    Madisonville, KY
    Are you sure its the wire and not a sickness/disease? I know there is one out there that makes the toes curl under, but can't think of the name.
  8. Teresaann24

    Teresaann24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2008
    Eastern, Kentucky
    I have raised chicks on wire before not all wire but half the cage was wire around the food and water. I never had this problem but with 1 chick and this chick was hatched from under its momma and was raised on dirt floor only. So it couldnt have been from the flooring. Somtimes mostly what its called is (curled toes) it can be caused by the way they hatch from the shell I have heard. I raised him till he was 7 months old and then found him a good home but he could get around great but he had to stay in a cage because he could have never defended himself from a predoter.
  9. wwmicasa1

    wwmicasa1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 22, 2008
    Wingshadows Hacienda

    I think you are right about the brooder pads...duh! We had to order parts for this antique [​IMG] brooder. (You are right, a huge 5 level commercial brooder that you would find in a hatchery.) My DH took the whole thing apart to get it down into the basement. It weighs in excess of 300 pounds. They built them good in 1940!

    Anyway, I digress....The only place that carried the parts was Rocky Top General Store back East. When the parts arrived, they had included two of the brooder pads. Dumb me didn't know what they were for but I put them away in the event I found a use for them. I suppose part of this problem was my lack of knowledge. Thank you for suggesting that not using the pads might have been the problem.

    I agree, sometimes the way peeps are situated in the egg can cause them to have leg problems. That might be the case as well. However, they stayed in the incubator for 2 days prior to being transferred to the brooder so I think I would have noticed the problem early on.

    Again, I appreciate everyone's suggestions & I will try a different method in the Spring.

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