Severely crippled chick walking only on hock joints

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Clare Mosko, Jun 9, 2017.

  1. Clare Mosko

    Clare Mosko Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just got a 1 or 2 day old golden red pheasant chick that is very uniquely crippled. It does not have splay leg, which I've treated (even severe cases) before. The chick walks (barely) on its hock joints with its shanks and feet upward. Imagine a person walking on their knees with their feet ticking up. Sometimes the chick's feet get caught behind the wings. It struggles to move and sit properly. The back of its hock joints are sore. I cannot figure out the best way to splint or brace the bird so that it uses its feet to walk and keeps them under its body. This issue occurs in both legs. Frequently it sits with both feet caught behind its wings. Help. IMG_8424.JPG IMG_8430.JPG
     
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  2. Lauren Kim

    Lauren Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's so sad! I'm very sorry for your chick.
     
  3. biophiliac

    biophiliac Chillin' with the Peeps Premium Member

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    @PD-Riverman do you know anything about this? (you've hatched so many, have you see it before?):D

    @Pyxis ?
     
  4. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    I have seen it but I have never had one that walks like that. I have had a few with a good leg and a leg bent out to the side or back and raised them. I have seen people on here "splint" legs and make harnesses to hold them up so they can eat/drink, but I do not know how it turned out.
     
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  5. biophiliac

    biophiliac Chillin' with the Peeps Premium Member

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    :welcome @Wyorp Rock , @rebrascora ?
     
  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My gut feeling would be to try to hobble the lower legs in the same way as you would spraddle legs with some surgical tape. That may bring the upper legs better into line, because from the photo it looks like the legs are coming out over instead of downwards. It might be a good idea to support the chick in a hammock with the legs hanging hobbled below the hammock and perhaps start out with the tie between them quite long and gradually shorten it, bringing them into a more normal position over the course or a few days.... you could even perhaps attach a very light weight two or 3 times a day like medical traction to encourage the lower legs to straighten up.
    I'm really just making this up as I go along though, as I've never had to deal with anything like this. It's going to be incredibly fiddly to rig up with a chick that small and lightweight.
    Good luck. I had an orphaned wild pheasant chick a few weeks ago that suddenly developed a problem with it's leg where it was dragging it straight out behind it. The hock joint was just straight and it hopped on the other one and trailed that leg. I was just starting to worry that the knuckles would get sore when it started to bend the hock and walk on the knuckles but 2 days later it put it's foot flat to the floor and walked normally. Sadly, just when I thought we were in the clear, I found it dead the following day. :( I hope you have more success with your chick. You can only do your best!
     
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  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    It would be good to start some poultry vitamins containing B2 (riboflavin) in the water, or you could use Poultry Cell (not NutriDrench) vitamins 1 ml daily, or a half of a ground up B complex tablet daily in food or water. Vitamin or mineral deficiencies are very common in newly hatched birds, usually from a deficiency in the parent stock or a hatch problem. A little homemade sling may be useful to get it upright so that it can move it's legs, and you can place food and water right in front of it. Here are some examples:

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  8. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Those photos are just too cute!
     
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  9. Clare Mosko

    Clare Mosko Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had some success in the past splinting my duck with a severe and unusual case of splay leg which is why I was hoping to get some advice on how to correct the issue. When you flip the chick on its back. Instead of the legs going toward the face the joint veers to the side. It's very unusual. The chick doesn't use its feet to walk.
     
  10. BlueShadow

    BlueShadow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A couple ideas about the possible problem, but the advice you have been given so far has been good.

    Vitamin and mineral deficiencies certainly are possible. For this, I would expect generalized weakness.

    From what you describe, I wonder about a physical deformity so that it cannot straighten its legs. The first thing that comes to mind is contracted tendons, although a bone or joint malformation may present similar. You can easily rule this idea in or out yourself. Pick up the chick and try to manipulate the legs. Can they straighten? Is each leg the same, or different? Does it suddenly stop (bone or joint problem) or seem like there just isn't enough "give" to open the joint up as wide as it should (contracted tendons)?

    For contracted tendons, the hammock/sling idea would be the best, and then you need to do physical therapy, straightening the legs and stretching them out. You want to do a gentle stretch - enough pressure to stretch the tendons but not so much pressure that you are straining other bones/joints/ligaments.
     
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