Slipped Tendon in Baby Chicks

HannibalBarca

In the Brooder
Mar 21, 2018
12
16
49
Hello everyone who is a poultry enthusiast! I am a second year veterinary graduate student at UC Davis and I have been raising backyard chickens for four years. If you have concerns about treating a chick with a suspected slipped tendon(s), you may find that my experience can help you.

I had two three week old cochin bantams with slipped tendons. The first, a partridge, had it in one leg and the second, a splash, in both legs. They were the largest in a brood of nine. The bedding from day one was paper towel atop two inches of soft pine shavings. The starter feed contained vitamin b, manganese, and choline so I do not think poor nutrition was the cause. My guess is that they grew too quick and their weight exceeded what their legs could handle.

The partridge recovered on its own within four days of the injury without me having to isolate it or treat the leg. The splash, however, had it in both legs and could not reach the feed/water or be around other chicks without being bothered. I isolated it inside the main brooder with feed and water. It would sit on its hocks or side and when it tried to stand it would whine in pain and was in obvious discomfort.

Others who have dealt with this leg problem recommend tying the legs together or making a chicken chair immediately after diagnosing the injury so you can prevent further damage to the leg/tendon. The only thing I have done is isolate the bird and make sure it has all the food and water it wants.

A week and a half later the chick could stand on one leg with no (noticeable) pain and proper alignment under the carriage. Two days later it could stand on both legs. It is now running and jumping with it's brood-mates.

This may be an outlier but my result can be substantive in treating slipped tendon in chicks. Isolation with food, water, and rest might be just what your bird needs to recover. Before you consider a vet visit, attempt to fix it yourself, or contemplate culling the animal you can let the bird heal naturally because sometimes...

life uh.gif
 

HannibalBarca

In the Brooder
Mar 21, 2018
12
16
49
Welcome to BYC! Happy to have you!

Interesting approach, and it may be all we need to do, but I'm still going to try and help them by splinting the legs. It's worked 100% of the (three times) I've had to do it, and why change a winning formula?
u got picture tutorial of slip joint?
I only took a single photo when she was able to stand on her own...
 

HannibalBarca

In the Brooder
Mar 21, 2018
12
16
49
Your chicks' issues sound more like splay leg than slipped tendons. Very different things.
The legs were never off to the sides of the body and both chicks could align their legs under their bodies. They could only sit on their hocks and their tendons were indeed out of place. I should have described their symptoms better. In the photo the leg is not so much twisted or out of place as it is being raised due to discomfort as it is still swollen.
 

WVduckchick

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Slipped tendons usually end up with their leg stretched straight and usually it ends up out behind them. Now what you are describing is what we call "happy feet".... just a fat bottomed chick that takes a couple days to get up onto its legs. Normally doesn't require any special help, just a little extra time.

I'm not trying to call you a liar, please don't be offended. I'm trying to clarify for other members here who may decide not to treat something, based on your description. The tying of legs together is usually for splay leg, which is why I mentioned it. It's not a bad thing to disagree, and try different things, but I do feel its prudent to clarify the issue.

This is what I have seen as a slipped tendon on this bantam cochin chick's left leg.
WP_20150629_019.jpg
 

HannibalBarca

In the Brooder
Mar 21, 2018
12
16
49
Slipped tendons usually end up with their leg stretched straight and usually it ends up out behind them. Now what you are describing is what we call "happy feet".... just a fat bottomed chick that takes a couple days to get up onto its legs. Normally doesn't require any special help, just a little extra time.

I'm not trying to call you a liar, please don't be offended. I'm trying to clarify for other members here who may decide not to treat something, based on your description. The tying of legs together is usually for splay leg, which is why I mentioned it. It's not a bad thing to disagree, and try different things, but I do feel its prudent to clarify the issue.

This is what I have seen as a slipped tendon on this bantam cochin chick's left leg.
View attachment 1306618
Thanks for the post! I'm no chicken expert and i'm happy to learn something new.
It took this girl about 2 weeks to gain the ability to stand. I posted my account because I was ecstatic that my chick ended up recovering and I thought I would share that and is by no means an attempt at prescribing a charlatan's scheme. That being said, every chick is different and no injury/recovery is the same.

I pulled up a better picture showing how the bird rested when I noticed its symptoms. She's on the left of the divider on her side with an out stretched leg. Again, I could have explained my chick's symptoms more accurately but I just wanted to show that my bird ended up recovering naturally with very little interference from me. Everyone has a different experience in dealing with health issues with their animals. I thought there could be more to that and I was hoping other people might have had similar stories they could share. I'm really just happy she pulled through.
chicker.jpg
 

casportpony

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Welcome to BYC! So happy you were able to get your chicks healthy, and thanks for sharing your experience.

Slipped tendon is quite common in peafowl, and I suspect that's because many people don't feed them properly. :( Somewhere I have some pictures that you might find interesting and will post them here if you want.
 

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