Silkie with Spraddle / Splay Leg...


In the Brooder
7 Years
Nov 12, 2012
Wilton, CT
Hi all!
First post here. I've been stalking this site for a while, but have always found the info I needed without actually having to post. Anyway, I'm thrilled to be here and to "meet" all the great people I've been reading for the last couple years! :) So here's my story (I'm not gonna give the whole background on my experience here cause that's a story for another post and possibly my profile - this is kindof an emergency so I'll do the rest later).:

I just hatched 10 beautiful Silkie babies over the last couple days (the last one hatched yesterday early morning, but it needed help - the other 9 hatched Friday and Saturday). One of the blue Silkies that hatched Saturday evening seems to have hatched with spraddle leg. I cut a bandaid in half legnthwise and wrapped it around the legs with the with pad as the spacer to guide how far apart the legs should be. The bandaid has come off several times, and the chick keeps putting both legs behind it straight out as if it is lying on it's stomach. I have a couple questions because, while I've raised many chickens, I've somehow, never had to deal with spraddle/splay leg. Questions are as follows:

1. Since the chick seems STILL not able to support it's weight on it's legs should I be doing something else to at least keep the legs underneath the body as opposed to straight out behind it? I'm concerned that since it can't move around at all, it will become either cold, starve, die of thirst, be picked on, etc... It is able to jump a little bit, which is my alternative concern because it keeps jumping into the waterer! :(

2. I've had it isolated since this morning since it just can't make it in the large brooder. Basically it's living inside a cowboy hat lined with paper towels and a thick sweater on top for warmth. I've got baby ducks in one room, 3 week old barred rocks in another, and the Silkies in the last brooder I've got. I don't have any actual heat lamps - just 2 of the brinsea ecoglow heat pad things, but they are being used by the other silkies and the barred rocks, respectively. This one needs to be isolated and have special care. That much is obvious. Does anyone know of another way to keep her warm immediately? I've been carrying her around wrapped in a sweater, but I don't think that will work for when I'm sleeping and/or need to take care of my young kids or other animals. I don't even know if the wrap is adequate. Plus (longwinded, sorry): I feel like keeping her wrapped up all the time will hinder her recovery since she won't be able to walk around. I need To figure out a way to effectively and cheaply keep her warm enough, fed, and hydrated. Any ideas?

3. Should I be using vet wrap instead of bandaids? Would that provide better hold and/or flexibility?

Thanks in advance for anyone's opinions! I really appreciate it!
Update: Went this morning to the vet and got some vet wrap so that it's legs are more secure. Poor thing really can't walk at all, but I'm still trying to hope it will recover. Meanwhile, I don't know why I didn't think of it before, but I cleaned out the brinsea incubator, put some paper towel down, and popped him in there with the heat set at 99.5 and the humidity at 35% - which is the humidity of the room in my brooder area. Added some food and figure I'll do supervised water every hour until it's strong enough not to drown in the water dish and/or become chilled from jumping in... Fingers crossed that this little one makes it! If it really starts going down hill, I'm thinking I might have to euthanize. Gosh, I hope not! :(
I am so sorry.... keep us updated please
Look who's up and walking around! We are SO happy! My daughter named him/her Tomorrow because it hatched a full day later than the rest of the chicks.

She made it!!!!
I am so happy for you and all your family!!!! Your kids are so cute and seem very gentle.
Keep it up and in no time she won't even need it anymore!
Thanks! HUGE sigh of relief over here! I'm so excited to see this chick doing well. I feel great about it! You might even be able to see my smile from the other end of this country! :)
Oh, and thanks for the compliment on my kids. They are very sweet (mostly!). :) My daughter is super gentle all the time, and my son is gentle sometimes. He's 2, so at times he gets a little physical. I only bring the chicks out when they're both feeling particularly calm, and all the adults in the house make a huge effort to teach the kids empathy and proper animal handling. So far it's going pretty well. We've never lost an animal or a kid yet!
(at least not due to the interaction of the two) My daughter says she wants to be a vet. I'm saving up for Cornell!
I know what you mean with the kids

I have a 4 year old son (and a 8 month old) and he has been at times mean to them. One time I saw him throwing my favorite silkie. I got really upset and scolded him for an entire week (his punishment was not see or touch any chickens). He cried and cried but since that day he never bothered them again lol.
Now I have to train my other son lol.
It's true. Little kids and little animals can really be a recipe for disaster. My son is seriously that kid that is literally swinging from the chandeliers. lol He learned a good solid lesson though when he was being super rough with our newly rescued coonhound and she gave him a strong growl and warning snap. Didn't even make contact with his skin, but he's been a lot more gentle since then. Plus he's learned that he ONLY gets to play with the animals (one of his favorite things) when he's being sweet and gentle. The minute he even starts getting wild, the animals go away and he doesn't get to play until he's better behaved. He really is starting to get it. Our daughter, who has always been gentle just lost animal and all electronic entertainment privileges for 2 weeks cause she smacked the dog on the nose. We don't tolerate anything like that around here for both the kids' and animals' safety. :) We trust our dogs about as much as you can, but I still feel like any animal pushed too far is capable of many unexpected things... Luckily both the kids and animals have learned pretty fast!

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom