Splayed Legs (First ever incubation) Please advise!


5 Years
Sep 14, 2014
Sadly, one of the Buff Sussex that hatched overnight has splayed legs. :-(

My daughters were soooo concerned. We read this post on BYC about using zip-ties and newspaper to immobilize in these cases, so we tried it.
My 11 year old daughter very bravely helped, and the 8 year old took photos.

We weren't able to roll the chick up properly (in the newspaper) with legs underneath, so we decided to try a sock! Chick was content for a few hours, then... NOT. SO. MUCH. It took me a while to get the zip tie off (was probably too thick, but it's all we had on hand and I thought: the sooner the better- It was clearly rubbing and the chick was distressed. I'd crossed the legs (as shown), so it couldn't stand at all, if we left it out of it's wrap.

Scissors didn't work and I ended up needing to use wire snippers to get the zip-tie off, which worked a treat. Then I ended up holding the little thing for much of the afternoon. Hopefully it didn't get too cold.

Called hubby to get coban (vet-wrap) on his way home from work. The little "w-sitter" is now in the brooder in a separate little box, because the others are pecking at it. We've now done the Chicken Chick approach (coban ring on each leg, with a tether of coban) and occasionally the chick seems to get the legs under him/her, but frequently cheeps in distress (will this adversly affect the other chicks??) , and often sleeps on its back (***IS THAT OK?? TO SLEEP ON IT BACK? ***I hope it's ok for it to sleep on its back, or it'll be a long night for me!!)

Left alone on a flat surface it ends up on its back, or slightly in it's side, often panting but sometimes looking ok. It was happy in a low circular tupperware for a bit, but then it fell out. Feisty little thing! lots of flapping going on.

Any recommendations what to do overnight?
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Yes, that's what we did with this chick the second time, before bedtime. It seems to have slept OK, but keeps falling to one side. One leg obviously stronger than the other and I think it's wing is getting damaged from rolling over onto that side.

I'm starting to wish we'd bought day-olds. This is much harder than I expected, even after lots of reading.
I just had a chick hatch that couldn't stand about a week ago, assumed it was spraddle leg but it wasn't, she was just a chub and it took her almost two days to find her legs. Is the chick sitting like a frog?
Take all the junk off her legs keep something soft under her, help her to food and drink a couple times and then let her sleep. Leave her with the other chicks too.
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Does she look like this without the strapping on?
Yes, we call her W because of the way she was sitting.

But now she seems to keep twisting the same way. She can sit flat now she sort of pops up and to her right. Only happy to be held on her back, or lying on the right side. One leg has the toes splayed rigidly and the other toes are relaxed. That leg seems weaker.

She's had a lot of handling. I hope I didn't bonk her on the head and give her an injury!

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