Slipped tendon advice needed.

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The Sheriff

10 Years
Jun 17, 2009
Northern CA
I have a 2 day old Icelandic chick who hatched with what I believe is a slipped tendon. He is much tinier than the others. Thirty six hours after pipping he still had not made progress so I enlarged the pip a bit and within five minutes he was out. No bleeding, no unabsorbed yolk, just a tiny chick. I realized later while photographing him with the other chicks that he had a leg problem. He stands with one foot flat like he is supposed to but the other leg he hobbles on the hock. It was not swollen but was definitely tender to the touch. I fashioned a brace after doing some research and he has had it on for 36 hours. I took it off tonight to make sure it wasn't too tight. Briefly he stood normally then settled back down on the hock. I made another brace. I am dipping his beak frequently and feeding him starter mash, soft scrambled eggs and yogurt by hand. His little feathers are coming in but he is still half the size of the others. I don't see him eating or drinking independently. I have tried isolating him but he peeps incessantly so I put him back in with the others where he is happy. He moves around and props himself up in a corner of the brooder and sleeps a lot.

Does this sound/look like slipped tendon to you. Sorry for the picture quality. He was less than cooperative. He is the little dark guy in front.


You can see in this picture that he can stand on one leg but the other he stands on his hock. I re-did the brace to straighten the leg to force him up right.


This is the new brace I made. I could see what looked like the tendon in both legs and I slid the bad one over to the same position as the good leg before wrapping the leg. He can hobble around with this on but falls over a lot. Should I make a chair for him?


Can slipped tendon happen when a chick has difficulty breaking out of the shell and he has to work his legs too hard? Or, did he most likely have the slipped tendon already and that was why he couldn't break out of the shell?

I know, too many questions but I hope I didn't save him then, to ultimately have to euthanize him later. I would appreciate any advice.
Awwww, shucks, Mary. Sorry to hear this. I had one chick with a slipped tendon, and finally had to cull it. Did you see speckledhen's thread, "pocket pooper?" It was their slipped tendon chick. They also culled, in the end. I hope your brace for him works. It is sure worth a try.

I wouldn't worry much about him not eating yet. He still has the yolk to absorb for another day or so. Does he sleep more than the others? Mine always seem to sleep for a couple days.

Good luck!
I have read that thread Kathy. It helped me make the difficult decision this morning to cull the baby. He wasn't going to get any better. I shed my tears for him and now I will move on to care for the others. Life goes on.
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