unabsorbed yolk, splay leg, curly toes...

Kristenadelaide77

In the Brooder
May 18, 2018
11
17
26
Hi everyone I just had 8 eggs hatch really well, a few different breeds. Then the last two to hatch had problems, although they did hatch on their own. The one I'm having trouble with seems to have not absorbed the yolk fully or something, she has a massive squishy abdomen with what looks like protruding umbilical area or something (I dabbed betadine on it and it doesn't look infected). She also has curly toes (which I have taped) and what seems to be splay leg although when I try to splint them together they just shoot out behind her and she can't get off her belly and shrieks for hours. Could it be something other than splay leg? Thanks :)
 

Rose Quartz

Enabler
Mar 18, 2018
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East Hants N.S. Canada
Hi everyone I just had 8 eggs hatch really well, a few different breeds. Then the last two to hatch had problems, although they did hatch on their own. The one I'm having trouble with seems to have not absorbed the yolk fully or something, she has a massive squishy abdomen with what looks like protruding umbilical area or something (I dabbed betadine on it and it doesn't look infected). She also has curly toes (which I have taped) and what seems to be splay leg although when I try to splint them together they just shoot out behind her and she can't get off her belly and shrieks for hours. Could it be something other than splay leg? Thanks :)

it could be other things.

the only chicks I had hatch on their own, with yolk outside had some kind of contamination inside the egg. They were both in the same hatch, one looked normal except for the yolk, the other had green liquid everywhere. the First survived and seemed normal. the one with the green liquid lived a week, it seemed mostly normal. Running around eating drinking, but it screeched all the time and seemed to need to be warmer than the other chicks.

I don't think that that's what's going on with yours, but it's a possibility.

another possibility is based on incubator temperature, if the temperature was different for just those 2 eggs it could be defects from that. I know mine have warmer and colder spots.

there are other possibilities but those 2 are the only ones I have any experience with.

It could be exactly what you're treating for too.

Pictures would I think go a long way to help anyone else that would like to chime in. Of the chick laying down as she normally does, and a close up of the navel area where the yolk is.
 

EggWalrus

Free Ranging
Aug 14, 2017
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Southeast Alabama
At just one day (or less) babies tend to be stuck in a curled up funky fetal position. They have been curled up in an egg for 3 weeks. I would just take the tape, and splints off and let the poor thing have a day or two to stretch on its own. If by the third day something is still wrong, is worry about it then. As for the one with the yolk not completely absorbed, if it's still partially in the egg, make sure you don't tear the little umbilical cord between the shell and the baby, and leave it under the Momma or in the bator. Sounds like they they are bator orphans. Hopefully it will finish absorbing the yolk in another 24 hrs.
I hope the little rascal makes it.
 

007Sean

Face it, Embrace it, Ace it, Replace it
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Oct 25, 2015
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In my experince the chicks that have their toes curled and legs sticking straight back, took longer than normal to get out of the shell. They pipped and started zipping then for some reason stopped for a long period before resuming zipping. Most of the time resulting in an assistant hatch but not always.
The ones that haven't absorbed the yolks fully usually means the humidity was too high during incubation. These chicks often don't make it. I have had a couple make it with a pea size yolk's still not absorbed, which actually dried up instead of being absorbed
They were also very weak chicks.
Just like temp differences, there can be humidity differences throughout the incubator, too.
Try getting some Nutri-Drench in them, in some cases it has turned them around for me. HTH
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
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Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
What you are describing is problems with the temperature or maybe the humidity in your iron hen or incubator. At about day 19 the chick must assume the hatching position. This is with its head under the chicks' right wing and facing the large end of the egg. In this position the chick must rotate its body with its beak in firm contact with the inside of the eggshell. Chicks have the only tooth that a chicken will ever have when they hatch. It is called an egg tooth. Chicks do not peck or break the eggshell, they cut the eggshell in two with the egg tooth on the tip of their bill.

Chicks that lag behind are more apt to being hatched with infections and to have congenital defects caused by being in a cramped position (instead of resting under their mommies) while its bones were hardening.
 

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