Spraddle legs - slipped tendon - broken leg? chick arrived w/ bad leg


Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs
14 Years
Dec 8, 2008
Glendale, AZ
We ordered chicks from MPC. They were shipped on Monday and arrived on Wednesday. We discovered this chick with a bad leg and started researching to figure out what to do with it. The leg looked deformed to me, but after seeing the spraddle leg pictures, I was hoping the chicks leg was just splayed. Wednesday afternoon (after finding instructions), we proceeded to tape its legs together with a band-aid. The chick wore the band-aid for 3 days, but there was no improvement and it got a sore on its hocks from hobbling around. This chick is now 6 days old and I'm afraid its leg is in the wrong position permanently.

This chick has always had one perfectly good leg that was straight underneath it like the leg should be. Even though I originally taped the leg with the foot aimed in the right direction, the foot won't stay that way. Her wings are not feathering out as fast as the others - even though she can get itself to feed & water, she sleeps more than the other chicks. When I took the band-aid off to attach a new one, the leg just stuck way out to the side again. I was hopeful in the beginning, but am not very optimistic about this chick anymore

Upon arrival:


You can see from these 2 pics, that even though I taped the feet in the correct position, the chick will not stand on its foot correctly (these were taken last night, after the chick had been wearing the band-aid for 3 days).

The chick's foot is turned out.

This picture was taken right after the other two. I removed the band-aid to check on it and the bad leg popped right back out. It is bent at the knee? and there is also a sore at the back of the upper part of the knee because of how the chick is using its leg. You can see how the good leg hangs down like it's supposed to.

The sore that formed

I just couldn't bear to give up, so last night, I called my husband in to help me fix her legs up again, but taping them just isn't going to work. When I pull the bad leg in, it pushes the top part of the leg into an unnatural positiong - the foot doesn't want to turn right-side up. The leg seems to be stuck in a permanently wrong position.
It is a shame they just didn't dispose of it at the hatchery
surely they didn't charge you for it
I will post some information if you decide to keep on trying to treat her

Here is my friend DCTownsend's help on the matter read the one that fits you best
Orthopedics for Poultry Made Easy for Beginners
By D.C. Townsend

These treatments have been tested and proven effective. I developed them for peafowl but they
may be used for any poultry. The key to success is to begin treatment promptly. In some cases delay
will kill or cripple the chick.

Sometimes a peachick hatches with toes rolled into a fist. They may straighten out on their own
in the first day of life. If they do not do so, I make a CHICK SHOE (see illustration below) from
black pipe cleaner available in the crafts department at Wal-Mart. I use black ones because
bright colors are more likely to be pecked by other peachicks. One packet of Westrim Crafts Chenille
stems costs 89 cents and will last for years. Any kind of half inch wide tape can be used to attach the CHICK SHOE to the toes, but I prefer Johnson and Johnson First Aid clear tape. I cut a piece a quarter inch long for the middle toe. I cut another piece the same length and split into two quarter inch-wide pieces for the other toes. Eight hours of treatment is usually enough time to end the problem on a day-old peachick.

Not Actual Size
Not Actual Size
In the 1995 hatch, I had a number of peachicks with a kink in the outer toe of one or both feet.
They were well past a week old when I decided that I must do something about it. I made HALF SHOES of black pipe cleaner. I tore off a quarter inch-wide stripe of duck tape several inches long and secured
the HALF SHOE to the middle and the outer toe. Several days of treatment were needed. Some of the
HALF SHOES came off and had to be taped on again, but all treated peachicks had straight toes at the
end of the treatment. There is a young peacock that I missed treating. Now it is too late and he will
always have a kink in his outer toe.

This problem can occur even if you take the precaution of having quarter inch hardware cloth
under your peachicks. Sometimes it is caused by the struggles of a chick with its toes rolled into
fists. In that case, both problems must be treated at the same time. I cut a piece of tape four or
five inches long and from the HOBBLE BRACE with the legs far enough apart so that the peachick can walk. The tape must go the whole way around and cover its sticky side so that it does not stick to the
peachick's fuzz when it sits down. Usually 24 hours of treatment is sufficient, but sometimes more is
required. CHICK SHOES and the HOBBLE BRACE can be used at the same time.

When the Achilles tendon slips out of the groove on the hock joint, a peachick will not be able to
straighten its leg. The problem needs prompt attention because the struggling peachick will put
its weight on the hock joint which will damage the skin and cause swelling in the joint. The tendon
can be pushed back in place with just one finger or a very gentle squeeze between the thumb and index
finger. Sometimes just one treatment will give a complete cure that seems like a miracle. Other
times several treatments are needed. Stubborn cases require advanced treatment that is too difficult to
explain here. I treated both legs of a peachick for two weeks; She grew up to be a healthy peahen.

email me any questions

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