Spraddle Leg - Splay Leg Treatment Instructions


Life is a Journey
12 Years
Jul 8, 2007
Woodville, MS
Here's a link for anyone who needs to know how to treat spraddle leg/splay leg. It has step-by-step instructions and pictures.


It would be nice if this could be made a sticky because everytime I've tried to find this information for someone posting for help it's taken me a long time.

Hope this helps.
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Thanks LCRT - I missed that one when doing my search. But do think this needs to be added to FAQ (which by the way I couldn't see how to add to that page) or made a sticky under Emergencies because it's spring and babies are hatching everywhere and the spraddle leg/splay leg questions are going to start coming.
I am bumping this post up because it is good helpful information! I have my 1st spraddle-legged chick that was hatched this morning and now I know what to do! I will fix her/him up first thing in the morning! Thanks for the helpful info!
In the time since this thread was posted I've discovered my own little technique that I think works MUCH better for treating spraddle/splay leg. I've had to treat many little chicks and the bandaid method doesn't allow them to be able to walk around and learn to use their legs, especially the "bad" leg. I felt so bad for them watching them fall over and not be able to get to food and water.

What I now do, with 100% success, is to use a very thin rubber band (the very thinnest kind). I cut it so I have a long stretchy string. Then tie one end around one ankle and leave a long piece/end sticking out. Then tie the other ankle with a loose knot leaving about an inch between legs so that the feet stay under the body. After I tie a loose knot around the second ankle I then tie that end of the "string" to the tied off other end of the string. So under the body the string is tied to istelf. That way as the chick runs and walks around they don't manage to pull the rubber band knots too tight on their ankles. If you don't tie the ends of the string to the other end, the chick will walk and it will pull the rubber band and possibly tighten the knots around the ankle.

With this method the chick can learn to walk. It gives them mobility but keeps their feet under their body. After about a day, they will be running and walking with it like all the rest. I check the knots often just to be sure they don't pull tight on their ankles and leave it on for about a week.

Works every time.
With spraddle/splay leg there's nothing really wrong with the "bad" leg, it just doesn't seem to want to stay under the chick and the chick will find itself doing the "splits" because its leg keeps spreading farther and farther out. The rubber band will help hold the leg under the body and next to the other leg so that the chick can put weight on it and walk around.

If the chick is holding a leg up or the leg is twisted or seems to be broken or deformed, I'm not sure the spraddle leg treatments will work.

In my experience, it only takes a few days for the chick to learn to keep their "bad" leg underneath themselves and I remove the rubber band. Again, I found this method worked better because the chick could walk around whereas with the bandaid the chick can't walk and will fall over and can't get to food/water. The legs need to be tied very close together, probably no more than your finger's width apart. The rubber band will allow some stretch and movement but if you make it too long, the legs will just splay apart.

Hope this helps.

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