spraddle question

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chant, Mar 15, 2016.

  1. chant

    chant Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2016
    N. FL. USA
    I have a question for those who raise their chickens for eggs and meat. I had a fairly unsuccessful hatch a week ago. The 1st one that hatched, I was told to leave her in the bator until she dried, which I did. Then she started developing spraddle legs. I did the bandaid thing on her tiny legs for 4 days as suggested on this site. It did help for 1 leg, but the other it didn't, and the bad leg is now facing at 4-5:00 (but not flipping up in the air anymore at least).
    I only had 2 chicks make it; the 2nd chick I removed from the Bator at 6 hrs. and she's fine (note: everything is a "she" until crows). But I'm torn as to what I should do with the mamed one if anything. I don't want the other one to get lonely, but I am afraid she won't be accepted into the Flock later on. I have no way of knowing if she's in pain as she just make the normal chick Twitter's just like the other chick, although the other chick does seem to pick on her a little, but not a lot (the smaller chick is a day younger).
    Re homing isn't an option right now.
    I'm not sure if keeping her is just prolonging the inevitable or if I should put her down. This is the 1st we're experiencing spraddle legs. Our flock are large breeds and they bully each other as it is (even though they have a ton of room to roam)
    Any wisdom would be appreciated.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I would put the two chicks together for company, or I would get a few feed store chicks for the healthy one to bond with. This depends on whether you want to put the lame chick down, or let her try to make it in the flock with her handicap. If you don't want more chicks from the feed store, I would try them together, and see how it goes. Ciqala, a BYC member, has a chick like that which has grown up with his handicap and stays with one other chicken in their own little coop, separate from the other chickens.
     
  3. chant

    chant Out Of The Brooder

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    N. FL. USA
    Thank you very much for your reply. I want to do what's best for her in an as natural as possible scenario... I.e. what would her mother do?
    We aren't set up for special needs pets, but if she'll survive in the flock with her disability without being tortured, abused, or killed by the rest of them I would prefer that. Practically speaking, I want to do what is best for her.

    Also, I don't know why I didn't think of it, but I love the idea of bringing in another chick for the other one! I've been so focused on her I guess. Thanks again.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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  5. chant

    chant Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you. I will read this, but we ended up putting her down. Her leg was getting worse; besides facing the wrong way, it started extending back out. She wasn't able to use it at all and ended up just pivoting in a circle or trying to fly to the food and water. After the other chick stepped on her a few times, which made her cry out, I was feeling like I was allowing my human emotions supercede logic. She's crossed over to the other side now and her sister has 3 sybling to keep her company.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Sorry for your loss. Leg deformities are really sad, and I wish there were more cures.
     
  7. chant

    chant Out Of The Brooder

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    N. FL. USA
    I agree.
    Your suggestion was the perfect solution to a bad situation; they are both better off for it. I honestly don't think the flock would have accepted her. I don't know if it's something all chickens do or if I have a motly crew, but they always make new introductions go through a hazing phase. I had 1 new hen actually try to kick me in the face (with both feet!) when I bent down to remove a short 2x4 I keep in front of their coop door at night and use it to keep the door open during the day. Good thing for her the door was closed, but the force she used knocked her backwards lol. I think she stunned herself but she's never tried that again.

    Thanks for the reply and the great advice. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
  8. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    Coming in after the fact here, but I think you made the right choice.

    It is very hard to correct spraddle legs. I had an expensive rare breed hatch fiasco, and struggled for weeks to try to rescue the situation. I had taped 2 chicks, and seemed to be doing okay with one and not so okay with the other. I ended up culling the second one fairly early as its legs were getting worse and worse. The other one looked like it was going to be okay, but as it grew the problem returned and it began to hobble around on curled toes, then caught something and died.

    After struggling through a number of rescues, I have come to the personal decision to simply cull those who are not strong at hatch. It simply catches up later on as the bird is hazed or succumbs to an illness because the deformity often means repressed immune system. That means that bird can become a vector of illness to my other birds.

    As to what the mother chicken would do? She would drag the chick out of the nest and let it die from exposure...each time my broodies have done that with weak, struggling, deformed chicks. I intervened and tried to save them with later regret.

    So yeah, I thought it sounded awful when the old timer breeders explained that they culled anything that was ill or deformed, but now I get it.

    LofMc
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
  9. chant

    chant Out Of The Brooder

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    N. FL. USA
    I am glad that you shared your story and experiences, especially in light of the fact that there are so many people like myself new to chick raising. I see a lot of info on things to do, causes, and possible other factors, by nothing that addressed how to make an educated decision from a practical standpoint when our human emotion gets the better of us. ( hope that makes sense).
    Learning a whole new mindset is challenging, but totally worth it to have clean food and knowing that the life they live is the best it can be. I wish I had access to knowlegable, local old-timers... the ones I meet don't even know what a capon is.
     

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