Splayed or Leg Problems (Splits)


10 Years
Apr 22, 2009
Port Washington, WI
So I have never had problems with legs before and it seems this year out of 200 birds over a 1/3rd of them I have had to cull because of leg issues. What is the cause of splayed or when their legs go out from side to side and they don't recover?

I have been starting them same as always?

In a 8 x8 brooder with 2 lamps to spread them out.
Paper towels on floor for first 3/4 days
Then on pine. And it seems that within a week the issue starts happening. Any help would be great as I don't like losing money.

At what age did the problems start? A week to when?

I think it is a nutrition problem either from the hatchery or at home. I think I'd give the hatchery a call to let them know what happened. I wouldn't expect any kind of compensation but just inform them.

How were the chicks when you got them? Stressed or ok?

What kind of feed are you feeding?
I don't know what is causing your leg problems, but I always give my Cornish Cross a niacin supplement. It is necessary for ducks because they drink a lot, grow fast, and poultry feed doesn't contain enough niacin for ducks. They will go down in the legs if they don't get enough niacin.

Well, those Cornish Cross drink a lot and they grow fast. They go down in the legs. So, I give them niacin just like I give it to the ducks.

an 8X8 brooder for 200 birds sounds like they don't have room to exercise.

I am doing 50 birds right now. I had them in 2 brooders and the chicks from the less crowded brooder have been noticeably stronger and livelier. They move better and explore more. After everyone got moved outside, 2 weeks later, the less crowded chicks are still livelier and still move better.

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